Working with two-way radios for 30 plus years, RFC Wireless' Project Manager Michael Miller has used many tools to design and document his two-way radio projects. Loving that it was made specifically for the radio industry, see how he uses D3M on a daily basis.
As the project manager, what do your daily activities entail?
Coordinating the activities to get the project done - making sure it is completed on time and on budget. We are on a global scale, so it can get interesting. We do all kinds of radio systems everything from simple IP Site Connect to Capacity Plus, Connect Plus - whatever it takes to get the job done for the client.
We have corporate clients who pop up and say we have something in Zürich we need done and something in Milan and Japan. We will provide resources and in some cases, we send out our own people. We make sure that everything is coordinated and that everyone is happy and the project is online and connected back to the US at whatever command center they want.
Who does your dealership do business with? what industries?
Mostly high tech, but we do some hospitals, and a lot of other industries as well.
Who do you interact with on a daily basis?
End users and technicians, pretty much evenly, because I coordinate everything between the two.
Prior to D3M, what tools were you using to design and document two-way radio networks?
Visio and PowerPoint so we could draw pictures and help our clients understand what we are talking about. We also used a lot of narrative which presented problems because there are a lot of language issues we have to deal with.
How are you finding using D3M?
More pictures and less narrative is needed, which is better. A picture can translate to clients in Paris. I can send them a picture of what we expect the system to look like when it is finished and label where things go, so they can understand it. If I tried to explain it to them, a lot of things do not translate well. There are a lot of people out there that don’t have the technical expertise. We no longer have to explain everything in great detail.
How does D3M compare to other tools you’ve used in the past?
Hands down, no problem. The more D3M grows the more useful it is going to become to us. It has simplified things. When a technician goes out and looks over a job site, returns and draws it out, that provides me with all the parts that I need to put together a quote and presentation. D3M is making life a whole lot easier. I can now understand what the technicians are talking about too.
Have there been any WOW moments using D3M?
From day one, we thought this is good! This is what we need!
How often are you using D3M and does it save you time?
I’ve got it in front of me open every day. It’s hard to say how much time I save using D3M, but it has probably cut the conversations I need to have about projects in half. I can see what other technicians are doing and they can see what I’m trying to get across to them.
Who within your organization is using D3M?
All the techs, service department, myself and the president [of RFC Wireless]. I think there is 10 of us using D3M.
How has RFC implemented D3M into the process of creating and managing your radio network projects?
We had a meeting and we did a few webinars and training with the D3M Team.
Was it a difficult transition for the team?
Not at all.
At what stage has D3M helped you & your dealership the most during the sales cycle?
In the planning stages, it has been very handy and the execution stage when we are dealing with someone outside of our office. To be able to send them project information is huge. Now they have a picture and know that the repeater goes in that room and it’s labeled and there are 25 radios that go with it, as well as the specific cabling needed; everyone knows what is expected of them.
What do you like best about D3M?
D3M is one of the first products that I’ve seen that is for the radio industry. We have always had to make do. We used Visio which is for electricians and engineers, and PowerPoint, which was for everybody and we had to make it our own. D3M is something that came along specifically for our industry and it is just great! As more things develop with D3M, the more we will do with it.
What do you find most frustrating about D3M?
The only issue I see right now is if we could bunch things up on the project page. We can currently filter it by company name, but if there was a way to not view all 75 projects on one page. If projects could be more specifically grouped on the screen that would be very helpful. We have a lot of projects. I’m currently working on 50 active projects just myself.
RFC has been involved in the beta testing for the quote tool feature. How are you finding that portion of D3M?
Unfortunately, we have not gotten that far. We have a huge database that we are trying to pare down to put in there and we have just been buried with new contracts. We are putting things together and pushing things as much as we can. We seriously want to use it.
Do you have comments, suggestions or additional features that would help us improve D3M?
Not at the moment. From time to time, I’ve popped up and given feedback directly on the application, but right now we are just trying to get D3M involved in our operation.
What is the most significant benefit of using D3M?
Collaboration on a simpler basis. It has eliminated the need for me to go downstairs and the technicians trying to draw something out on a piece of paper. [D3M creates] something I can go back and refer to at any time because the technicians drew it out. They know how the system is going to fit together. As a project manager, it makes my life easier.
If you were to review D3M what score would you give it out of 10?
With what I’ve got and where it is going, I would give it a 10. I’m pleased with it.
Would you recommend D3M to a friend in the industry?
Please finish this sentence in 25 words or less… “D3M has been beneficial because…”
…it has simplified the planning and design process.