Develop an exhaustive list of possible Project statuses. Prefix each status with a number to provide order to the list (e.g., 01-Proposal Under Development, 02-Proposal Complete, 03-Proposal Under Review… xx-As-Built Drawings Complete). Put them in the order in which they would normally occur in your project work flow. (SeeProject Statuses)
This may include the names of your Sales, Designers, Engineers, Project Managers, Lead Installers and members of the Installation Team. (See Staff Types and Members)
Each Equipment and Labor product can be assigned to a Phase. You may name a Phase anything you like. The Phases should correspond to the possible events in your project delivery methodology. At a minimum, most companies will have a Rough-In, Finish, and Programming Phases. Remember that if you are using the “labor per product” estimating method, you will need to define labor rates for each Phase you create. (See Phases)
A unique ID is assigned to each Product that is added to a Project. These IDs show up on drawings and wire labels. Work with your engineering and install team to construct a component ID schema that best suits your business. (See Component ID Format)
All company contact information is completely editable. Company information will show up on almost all SI5 reports, particularly client reports. (See Company Information)
SI5 allows your logo to be shown on client reports. Any JPG or BMP file is acceptable. (See Company Information)
Each project may have both a Project Name and Project Number(ID). In many cases the Project Number is a more convenient way to identify a Project. A common Project Prefix would be the first “N” digits of the Client Name. Using the Project Number Format will enable auto generation of unique Project Number when a new project is created. However, you may enter any Project Number you wish. It is strongly suggested that the Project Number be unique. (See Project Number Format)
This allows you to decide how you want text to appear within the database and on reports. The AV industry has a lot of abbreviations. If you see abbreviations that are not correct (Ipod rather than iPod) use the Exceptions link to add corrected abbreviations to the existing list. (See Formatting)
Review the lists associated with Label, Signal and Terminal. Make sure the terminology you use is represented in these lists. (See I/O Lists)
Enter your most typical wire pull length. When "bulk wire" drops are added to a project, you may be prompted to provide a wire length. The value entered will be presented as the default. (See Application Settings)
Each Product in the SI5 database must be assigned a category. Care should be taken when assigning Products to categories since many Products may logically exist in more than one category. Your team should review your current Products lines and consistently apply categories. This will particularly help individuals without extensive Product knowledge find Products to include in the Project. The sales reports can group Products by Category within a Location or Zone. (See Categories)
SI5 provides a wide range of options for specifying the location of Products and the associated labor within a Project. The level of Location detail required by your organization should be carefully considered before implementing your first Project. In some locales, wire label standards require detailed location information as provided by the SI5 default types. However the requirement for this level of detail is the exception. SI5 provides five levels of location types that creates a top to bottom hierarchy. The default Location Types are Campus, Building, Floor, Room and Closet. You may use one or more of these Types and they can be renamed. You may also use only one location if you like. If you choose to use only one Location Type, a “Room” could be called “First Floor Master Bedroom”, providing sufficient detail for both proposals and installation reports. However if you need to sort or group Products by floor or building, you will need to assign multiple Location Types to your Project.
Each individual location may also include a detailed text description. These descriptions may be included on proposal reports further defining the requirements or limitations of your system. It is highly recommended that these text fields be used for more complex systems to provide functional detail for each location. This level of specification with the proposal will help reduce misunderstandings in scope that could lead to future payment disputes. (See Location Types and Locations)
SI5 provides five “Types” of locations. These Types are listed in a parent/child hierarchical list. Only define the number of Types that you would typically use in a Project. Do not use more Types than necessary. Unless you need to group, sort or in some other way view data by Location Type, we recommend that you start with Type (Room).
Each Location Type may have as many name/description pairs as you like. As mentioned above, if you only use one Location Type (Room), you may have a Room named “First Floor Master Bedroom” on your Location List. Populate your Location List with the names you use most often. You may add more items to the Location List at any time.
The description field is best used to provide detailed scope of work or requirements for a particular Location. A “By Location” proposal report will show the Location Descriptions on the proposal. This is an excellent way to carefully review system functionality on a Location by Location basis with the client. As a result, when you first set up SI5 there is no need to populate the description fields, since these descriptions will typically change from Project to Project.
Zones are another way to group Products in a Project. Reports can be generated by Zone or by Location within Zone. Think about how clients may wish to view groups of Products on a proposal. Zones may include detailed text descriptions that flow to the sales reports giving you the opportunity to clearly define the scope and functionality of a particular Zone.
Many residential users will use Zones to define disciplines such as Audio, Security and Central Vac. In the commercial sector one may consider using Zones to provide high level category grouping by placing all the Products associated with the sound system, video and Projection and control in separate Zones. (See Zones)
Access to SI5 requires a Username and a Password. Basically, Users get assigned Groups, and Groups contain your permissions for functionality within SI5.Your system or SI5 administrator should be the only person with access to the SI5 Administration Console. How you intend to use SI5 within your organization will determine the Group settings. These setting let you restrict changes to data and access to many functions within SI5. Define the roles within your organization and then match the needs of each of the roles to a particular group. For small organizations where everyone wears a lot of hats, you may provide all rights to all users. For larger organizations with divisions of labor, rights and permissions may be customized for a specific role.