How SiteOwl’s cloud-based computing and centralized data concepts help 3Sixty Integrated save time, effort, and money?
Help 3Sixty Integrated eliminate data replication and disorganization through every stage of the design and build process
3Sixty Integrated designs, installs, and services electronic security systems for government and enterprise clients in Texas and the surrounding states.
Founded in 2002 as DHS Security, a commercial and residential security firm, the company sold off its residential business in 2008 and rebranded as 3Sixty Integrated.
Ranked as the 9th fastest growing security integrator in the country, 3Sixty is a trusted partner for clients in the US military, K-12 independent school districts, higher education, healthcare, and enterprise-level business.
SiteOwl’s centralized data platform helped 3Sixty bring the sales, engineering, and production teams together inside the same digital workspace, eliminating the need for team members to re-enter information into a different system. After implementing SiteOwl throughout the installation process, engineers, project managers, and technicians can submit critical system information in a neat and organized fashion.
Different Teams, Different Tools
It’s not uncommon for different teams within an organization to use different tools in order to achieve similar results. That’s often because the information required at the end of a process may differ slightly between departments.
For most security integrators this is an operational pain point that slows down processes and causes confusion between teams.
For 3Sixty, it was no different.
“The sales team would use one software for site walks and I would use another for shop drawings and sometimes a third software would be used at the end of a project for as-built submittals,” explained Lewis Flores, 3Sixty’s CAD designer.
Flores is responsible for creating proposal, shop, and as-built drawings for almost every company project, and his work contributes to every stage of the process — from sale to install to final work summary. Because of his essential role within the organization, Flores knows firsthand how frustrating it can be to input the same information over and over and over again.
This frustration didn’t just stop at the sales and design process.
As the system designer, Flores also needs to ensure that his design plans stay up to date. In the past, he had to chase down team members in order to retrieve redlines and other essential change information from the field. Unfortunately, he often found that the information had been misplaced.
“It’s a giant hassle trying to interrupt working people to gather all that information for a project they might have worked on a month ago,” he said. “Plus, everybody is working on different projects and has their own way of storing information.”
For Flores, using different tools and different systems was a nightmare with no end. It was an inefficient and frustrating part of the process, and it often felt like an extra job on top of his design duties.
Everybody in One Place
The most obvious solution to distributed systems is a concept that’s easy to visualize but difficult to implement: Migrate everyone over to a single system, give everyone the same set of tools, and make sure that those tools meet their needs.
That’s exactly what SiteOwl does.
3Sixty partnered with SiteOwl and began making changes to its processes and workflows. It was a difficult transition and, for the longest time, Flores wasn’t a fan.
“I felt like SiteOwl just didn’t have enough information to replace AutoCAD floor plans,” he said, “but as more and more fillable fields and tools are added I’m starting to see the real potential for SiteOwl.”
Flores is careful to point out that while SiteOwl has helped 3Sixty centralize its floor plan information, it doesn’t replace some of the technical software that he needs to get the job done. He says he’ll always need a CAD software and a PDF software, in order to create installation models and put together PDF packages.
As he explains, “I believe SiteOwl almost works as a BIM [Building Information Modeling] software inside of an individual company. BIM is used in the construction field to coordinate different trades on a project and to share information between individual contractors. SiteOwl essentially works the same way within a company, updating individual team members from different departments with important information as a project moves along from beginning to end.”
That ability to keep information centralized and updated helps every team member stay on task during the life cycle of the project.
“SiteOwl is going to save you a lot of time and frustration at all stages of a project. Especially with floor plans and equipment schedules.”
Lewis Flores – 3Sixty Security Systems CAD Designer
Replication Issues Resolved
Since adopting SiteOwl into their standard workflow, the company has seen better efficiency around their data input. Teams no longer need to waste time replicating the same information.
Because everything is centralized, sales teams can deliver proposals more quickly, and Flores can easily co-opt and implement the information that sales team members gather during their site walks.
“With SiteOwl, our team can design, plan, and install floor plans all on the same software, and information for hundreds of security devices does not have to be replicated over and over,” Flores said.
Longer Viability for Design Plans
With SiteOwl, Flores no longer has to chase down installers to fill in the gaps on his floor plan.
Because SiteOwl accompanies technicians in the field via mobile apps, installers are able to add essential information like IDF assignments, IP addresses, and equipment part numbers directly into the floor plan as they work.
“With SiteOwl’s Project Device Filters, I can quickly generate an equipment schedule with a few clicks using information that has already been put in during the design phase or updated in the field by technicians,” Flores said. “For huge projects, separating, sorting, and inputting all that information manually would take days. With SiteOwl, I can complete this task in a couple of hours.”
While the ability for installers to self-update their floor plans helps customers better understand how their project is progressing, it also allows designers and project managers to focus on other tasks.
From Flores’ point of view, that’s what makes SiteOwl a key differentiator to his process.
“I think it is a real possibility that SiteOwl will be contributing to about two-thirds of a project’s drawing submittals soon. With the rest being mostly title pages, indexes, legends, 3D/2D installation models, and wiring schematics,” he said.
Fewer Frustrations All Around
Any company has a few key individuals who are central to any operation, but the responsibilities distributed to those individuals are often a source of frustration that can lead to overwork and burnout.
Since implementing SiteOwl into the company workflow, Flores has been able to eliminate tasks that would have otherwise been considered essential. As a result, he can focus on producing designs and creating the documentation that every company project needs in order to move forward.
“SiteOwl is going to save you a lot of time and frustration at all stages of a project,” Flores said, “Especially with floor plans and equipment schedules.”
For the sales team, that equates to a smoother sales process. For designers, it means fewer impromptu visits from Flores as he tries to capture missing data. And, for customers, using SiteOwl delivers a more detailed and easily-managed security system when the process is complete.
Find out more about how SiteOwl’s Mobile Design App can change the way your design team creates security plans. Visit us at www.getsiteowl.com or contact us at +1 888 SITEOWL.