BlueSpeed AV, Tulsa, Oklahoma

BlueSpeed AV Improves Their Bottom Line by 38% with iPoint

BlueSpeed AV in Tulsa replaces 7 pieces of software with iPoint end-to-end solution to increase efficiency and cash flow by 38%.

Technicians for BlueSpeed AV in Tulsa, Okla., can update service tickets in real time and get them signed off by the customer immediately using iPoint. It took the company about a month-and-a-half to fully implement the software.

Any custom integrator would relish the thought of boosting their bottom line by 38 percent. BlueSpeed AV in Tulsa, Okla., just did.

Indeed, sometimes software adoption can be hard to quantify for a custom integration company, but without hesitation, Jason Evans, operations and head programmer at BlueSpeed, says, “Using iPoint, we have increased our efficiency in terms of billable hours and time logged on the jobsite by 38 percent.”

The company adopted the iPoint end-to-end software solution about two years ago, and the results have been dramatic.

“We are completely engrossed in iPoint. Everything the software does, we use: invoicing, scheduling, sales orders, purchase orders, receiving, proposals, inventory, Return Merchandise Authorizations (RMAs), and work order and service tickets creation,” says Evans.

“The major, major, major, major change in our efficiency is due to the ability of our technicians in the field to generate work orders in real time. How fast we can now take work order information from the field and convert it through our invoicing process … and essentially generate cash … has increased dramatically.  From an operations standpoint, that is my favorite part of the software,” he says.

BlueSpeed AV is a 10-year-old custom installation company that specializes in  high-end residential system integration.  About 80 percent of its business is residential, but when BlueSpeed  does a commercial project, it tends to be large, such as a recent casino project. The company does design, installation and service for all its projects with a staff of two salespeople, two office administrators, one operation person and 10 technicians.

7 Pieces of Software to 1

Before BlueSpeed adopted iPoint back in April 2016, Evans says the company used seven pieces of software. The company used a combination of Google Calendar for scheduling, Trello to track the status of every project, Microsoft Excel and later D-Tools to create proposals, and Quickbooks for estimating and later invoicing.

“The main reason for making a switch was because my guys in the field were each using their own software and were having a hard time logging their hours, and clocking in-and-out of jobs. We also could not tell what they were doing in real time. They would go out and work all day long in the field, then come back to the office with their saved service tickets or work orders, and only then would we see what happened during the day,” says Evans.

“Now with iPoint, it is all real time. I can log in and see immediately a scope of work progress for the day for every job. I can see what they are doing and where they are in their progress as far as what tasks they have completed as well as what parts they have used for the day… all in real time,” he notes.

Evans uses the example of a service technician who discovers a bad HDMI balun. With the software, he can go directly into the service ticket, add the necessary balun, and present a total service ticket amount for the customer to sign. If the technician needs to get approval from the office, he can call in and Evans can view the service ticket in real time with no delays, no saving, no synching.

“It’s a real-time endeavor… I can literally watch him type.  iPoint gives me all the data I need with just the click of a mouse,” he says ebulliently.

In addition to the work order efficiency, BlueSpeed AV’s accounting team now operates in real time.

“We no longer have to say, ‘We have to do billing for last week.’ Now, we do billing every day. As soon as those tickets switch over to ‘Complete’ they are reviewed and invoiced. Boom. We never have a stack of invoices sitting around that need to be mailed or emailed,” says Evans.

Changing Operations to Accommodate Software

One of the most consistent complaints integrators make regarding software implementation is that they are forced to alter their operations to accommodate the software.

Evans admits Bluespeed had to make some changes in the way it does things to use iPoint. “There is a certain flow to iPoint that the software walks you through in order to make the use of it easier,” he says. “So we did adjust the way we run our business to accommodate the ease of use of the software, but it was for the best. It took away the bottlenecks. It kept everything flowing in a straight line versus like a spider web. Instead of a lot of jumping back and forth between departments within our company, iPoint let us set up a process. It also gives you checks and balances along the way, which is really nice.”

For example, in Bluespeed’s inventory, when a TV is ordered for a project, the software sticks the project name on the purchase order and ties it to the sales order. So when the TV comes in, the packing slip indicates exactly what project it is for. Once you indicate that you Receive the product, it moves to Staging. That means it is no longer in your Inventory.

“It essentially keeps everything in line. The flow does not allow you to do it wrong. So there is no chance you can accidentally sell that TV out from under the customer when a quick sale occurs,” says Evans. “Most integrators will likely have to slightly alter the way their business operates. You can’t shoot from the hip with iPoint. If an integrator takes the time to make some slight tweaks, it will absolutely be beneficial.”

One-Month Implementation Time

“It took us a month-and-a-half after implementation to get all the kinks and bugs worked out,” recalls Evans. “iPoint actually called us more often volunteering to help us versus us calling them needing help. If you follow their doctrine, I think an integrator can implement the software in 30 days. We took a little longer just because I was stubborn and wanted to figure it out on my own.”

Evans discounts the contention that end-to-end software solutions are only for larger custom integration companies. “This software would be beneficial for even a two-man operation because it keeps you laser-focused on the end goal of being profitable and making money. It whole-heartedly pays for itself.”

Another feature that Evans likes is the proposal creation. “As you build your proposals and add products, it shows you the bottom line right at the bottom of the screen. So you can immediately see your profit margin as you create the proposal. There is no guesswork. ” he says

Hear No Evil, Salem, Oregon

iPoint Boosts Employee Confidence; Turns Around Jobs Quicker

Precision documentation of projects, scheduling and invoicing brings greater workforce efficiency—and more jobs—to Hear No Evil, Salem, Ore.

Hear No Evil just might be saving on gasoline–thanks to the iPoint business management platform which itemizes all the equipment needed on a jobsite, the installation and service teams have fewer callbacks.

The longer you drag your feet, the longer it takes to get a job complete. That’s not to say that the 11 employees that make up the workforce at Hear No Evil were intentionally sluggish; they just didn’t have all the right tools to stay completely on track.

Coming from a retail background, the Salem, Ore. team had a solid handle on invoicing. Lacking was an efficient means of managing and flow of home installation projects as a growing part of Hear No Evil’s business.

“We had a good accounting and invoicing system,” says company president Chris Rasmussen.

“But for work orders and workflow we were relying on Excel and lots of paperwork—a strategy that was really slowing us down and affecting our profitability.”

Saving Time and Closing Deals

This all turned around when Hear No Evil implemented the iPoint platform about three years ago. Rasmussen says it has singlehandedly streamlined every part of its operations—from procuring equipment and drafting proposals to scheduling projects and managing workflow. He figures that iPoint has accelerated proposal generation by at least 25 percent—and that time saving has trickled into new business.

“When we can build proposals faster and streamline workflow, we have more time to take on other jobs,” Rasmussen explains. “And because our documentation looks so professional, it’s improved our close ratio.”

Minimizing Mistakes

There are a lot of moving parts in a custom design and installation project, and Rasmussen admits that before iPoint mistakes were made and items inadvertently overlooked.

“It wasn’t uncommon for the team to show up at a jobsite missing a piece of equipment,” he admits. “Now, with the right system we are able to accurately document each phase of the job, make changes on the fly, and have the right techs at the right jobs—no running back to the shop for something we may have forgotten.”

Techs carry tablets with them to the jobsite, so they can access the documentation anytime, from anywhere.

These benefits certainly influence Hear No Evil’s bottom line, but it’s the ability of iPoint to factor into proposals ‘modifiers’ like administration fees, labor involved for each piece of equipment, and parts allowances that Rasmussen attributes as the biggest fiscal advantage.

“When we are able to break down jobs to this level of detail it’s surprising how close our quotes on labor are to our actual labor charges. It’s a safety net that helps us be more profitable. And not one customer has complained about or questioned these miscellaneous line-item expenses.”

Instilling Confidence

The accuracy by which Hear No Evil employees are able to break down jobs has instilled a high level of confidence across the entire workforce. When mistakes are fewer, profits are on-point, and workflow is smooth, employees naturally feel more confident doing their jobs.

“We continue to get faster and more comfortable with the iPoint system as time goes on, and it’s now a platform that we completely embrace as a crucial part of our business,” says Rasmussen.

Discovering iPoint—A Last Ditch Effort

Although iPoint is firmly established as Hear No Evil’s sole business management platform, the company endured many years of inefficiency before landing on the solution. Admitting there was a problem was a good first step, toward Hear No Evil’s journey toward iPoint. Rasmussen looked long and hard for a few years to find a system that would streamline Hear No Evil’s operations.

Seemingly with no other options, he was about to sign on the dotted line with a manufacturer of a “very expensive and complicated system,” when he decided to take one more look for something that was more befitting of custom installation business.

“A friendly competitor happened to mention iPoint; after reading about the system online I knew immediately that this was the type management platform we needed. The system was designed from the ground up by people who have backgrounds in the custom installation business, so there was no trying to fit a square peg into a round hole—the system suited our needs right off the bat and continues to do so today.”

iPoint User Groups – See what you missed!

iPoint community members have just finished User Groups and the response has been very positive. We wanted to share briefly some of the information shared between iPoint Community Members.

Request for Payment – Discussion on which billing method works best. Learned about the new Liability RFP billing model and talked about how that positively impacts financial statements

Inventory – Talked about the pros and cons of tracking inventory in QuickBooks as well as iPoint. About half of our members are currently using iPoint only to track inventory and are not pushing inventory quantities to QuickBooks. We also talked about who delivers products and when that process takes place in iPoint.

Sales Tax – We discussed a number of tax issues, how to track taxes under special circumstances as well as how to ensure that customers are charged the correct sales tax rate.

Printed Invoices – We shared tricks on how to best present the invoice to the customer for payment. Do you send line item detail or a summary invoice, and why? And how do you send partial billing to customers?

User Groups are designed as a networking opportunity where like sized, non-competing businesses can ask business questions and exchange best practices. These quarterly meetings are generally centered around a primary topic but participants are free to ask questions of one another for other issues as well.
For more information about upcoming User Groups,click here.

Meet Courtney Alderton

Help us welcome our new Marketing / Support Specialist, Courtney Alderton, to the iPoint family! With a variety of experience ranging from the AV industry to event planning to business management and marketing, Courtney has a passion to connect with people to help meet their needs.

Currently in the heart of the Ozarks, Courtney likes to spend time outdoors, exploring the Ozark trails or floating down a river. She enjoys spending time with her firefighting husband, Alex, and their busy toddler, Callie. On the weekends, Courtney is usually busy serving at church or hosting dinner parties with friends.

Hello, it’s me. Calling Clients from the iOS WO Screen

It couldn’t be simpler to get in touch with a client directly from a work order on iOS. Need the gate code? Hit a traffic slow down? Call the client with the touch of a button.

calling from iOS deviceFrom the iPoint dashboard on your iOS device:

  1. Select the work order
  2. Tap the person icon at the bottom of your screen
  3. Tap the phone number you wish to call
  4. Tap OK to dial the number on your device

P-push it Real Good: Push Multiple Receipts per PO

Purchase Orders are often broken into multiple shipments. And when the vendor does this, they will usually send multiple invoices. This trick will help your accounting staff match those invoices to the actual items received, which makes them happy campers.

push item receiptsWhen shipment A arrives, mark the items as received in iPoint and then push the item receipts for those things.
After shipment B arrives, mark the next items received and push a second item receipt to QuickBooks.
Now QuickBooks has two receipts for the two different shipments and all is well in the accounting world when it comes to matching the invoices to the packing slips.
Rinse and repeat until the entire PO has been received.

Keep in mind that QuickBooks can be somewhat fickle on multiple item receipts, so when you run into errors, you might have to manually enter the second receipt (and any subsequent receipts). If you run into trouble pushing the receipts, check the Override Item Receipt Push checkbox in the QuickBooks pop-over on the invoice (this turns the dot green) and manually adds the receipts in QB.

Crush Your Workday: Add Tasks From a Project to an Existing WO

Come on down to the Silverdome for a thrill-show spectacular! Sunday! Sunday! Sund—

Er.. where were we? Right, tasks! Ahem. Increase your productivity and crush your workday with this helpful tip.

new from project

New From Project Button

To add tasks from a project to an existing work order:

  1. Open an existing WO
  2. Click the Tasks/Parts button
  3. Click the New From Project button
  4. This will open the Task Picker window
    1. Anything with a blue “W” along the right edge is already on a work order)
  5. At the top of the Task Picker are several fields to allow you to tailor your choices:
    task picker window

    Add Tasks in the Task Picker Window

    1. Set up to two levels of filters to find tasks by specific location, project phase, task type, etc.
    2. Change the sort order to sort by manufacturer, location, phase, etc.
    3. Use the wild card search
    4. Tick any of four check boxes to see additional information in the list (task completion status, tech assigned, task description, and product manufacturer)
    5. Click the Toggle All button to select or deselect all tasks
  6. Select the tasks you want to add by ticking the check boxes along the right side of the Task Picker
  7. Note the Total Selected Task ETC listed at the bottom of the screen
  8. Click the Add Selected Tasks button

Easy as 123. Click, Drag, and Drop to Add an Event

It’s just as easy to add an event to your calendar as the title makes it sound.

To add an event to a specific day/time or resource:

  1. Open the iPoint Calendar
  2. Click the plus sign button and drag and drop it to add an event for a specific day/time or resource
  3. Input the event information in the Event Details popup window that automatically opens.

That’s it! Easy!

 

Batteries are Forever. A Battery Backup for Your Server is Essential

You don’t have to be James Bond to secure your business data, though you might feel like a badass when you protect your data from a space laser made out of diamonds controlled by an evil tycoon data corruption.

Installing a battery backup, also known as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), for your network/server is one of the most important things you can do to protect your data. A UPS provides power to your server in the event of a power outage. It gives you a few crucial extra minutes of server run-time in order to properly shut down all of your equipment and start up an alternate power source, like a backup generator (if you have one). Without a battery backup, you run the risk of corrupted data, as well as lost time and money.

In addition to providing protection in the event of a power outage, most UPS devices also help protect your server against damage and data loss from power surges.

So, get out there and save the world from potential data corruption and loss!