Last week, we set up a time to chat about D3M with longtime user, Joe Kletke from Spectrum Telecom Group. Located in Sault Ste. Marie, he and his coworkers have been using the tool to improve their configuration, procurement, installation and support process.
What do your daily activities entail?
My daily activities include system design, troubleshooting, and testing, product research, setup, and installation of radio systems, programming and installing radios, management of our commercial radio network (TalkPlus) among all sorts of different things, including paperwork.
Who does your dealership do business with? what industries?
We deal with a lot of different industries. Some of our biggest customers include nickel and gold mines, a steel plant, seamless tube mill, many utility companies, multiple police and first response services, mining and forestry. We have a very broad range of customers.
Who do you interact with on a daily basis?
On a daily basis, I interact with our sales team and technicians at other branches. I also deal with customers when I’m in the field doing service calls or installing equipment.
Prior to D3M, what tools were you using to design & your radio networks?
I was mostly using a pencil & paper to do sketches. I didn’t have much experience with Visio and I found it difficult to use. For fleetmaps I always used Excel. In some instances, I still use Excel actually, depending on the size and complexity of fleetmap required.
Before D3M, how did you share the knowledge about a radio network with your coworkers?
We would email any files back and forth that we had. If there was anything large, we would have to upload it to dropbox or whatever the other person’s preferred method was (everyone had their own thing they were doing). Once we had each other’s files we would coordinate a time to explain things to each other over the phone, and that wasn’t always easy. Without good diagrams, it’s very difficult to show or explain to another tech or sales rep what you’re talking about, especially if they aren’t familiar with radio system architectures or network designs such as Linked Capacity Plus.
How does D3M compare to your pen, paper and Excel method you’ve used in the past?
There is no comparison. D3M is above and beyond those methods by far.
On average, how many hours do you save on the design & engineering of each two-way radio project by using D3M?
It depends on the size of the project really. When designing a large system it’s possible to save a couple days worth of work. Creating simpler designs might only save you half a day. But that time can be spent on refining and adding details to the project diagrams that you normally wouldn’t include.
Who within your organization is using D3M?
Most of our techs are using it to document customer sites and system designs. One example is our TalkPlus network that spans across a large area of Northern Ontario. We have multiple repeater sites all networked together with many frequencies, IP addresses etc.. I keep the entire system diagram up to date in D3M and we use it a database. When guys from other branches call me asking for information to program a radio for another site, I usually tell them to go onto D3M because everything is on there. Some of our sales team use D3M as well. We are in the process of trying to get everyone accustomed to using it so we can have a standard method to creating designs and proposals.
How do you manage your fleepmaps?
For large and complex systems where we really need to have customized fields and keep track of total numbers units etc, I use Excel.. but there’s only one system I’m currently doing that with. Everything else is done on D3M.
How has D3M increased collaboration between your team?
It certainly makes things easier. We can bring up the same diagram and discuss it over the phone. We’ve had a few projects where a couple people from different branches were involved, so before we got on the road and met up at the job site, or just to bounce ideas off each other… we were able to look at the project diagrams together and bring everyone up to speed.
What do you like best about D3M?
I like its ease of use. It’s pretty straightforward to create diagrams. Just drag and drop, then connect the dots and add the technical stuff! As I mentioned earlier, I found it difficult to use Visio and D3M blows it out of the water for simplicity. I like the fact that you can send a message if you need help and can expect to get an answer back in no time! Teldio’s support team is top notch!
What is the most significant benefit of using D3M?
The ability to share everything with everybody... and do it easily.
What do you find most frustrating about D3M?
It doesn’t make coffee.
If you were to review D3M what score would you give it out of 10?
I would give it a 12. It’s that good!
“D3M has been beneficial to Spectrum Telecom Group because…”
…its ability to quickly and easily share information with colleagues throughout the company has allowed us to brainstorm together and create the best solutions possible for our customers.