Most contractors are in the field most of the time and do not relish work in the office. That creates the need for having whatever tools necessary to run the business to be portable. For a long time that portable business tool was a laptop computer. You have seen the gadgets that make your truck into an office with a flat surface for writing, the power converters to run your laptop and printer and the safety pocket in which to keep those devices.
That still works but, today, there are other choices and other technologies to support those same functions. Lots of people have iPads and other tablets and almost everyone has a smart phone. Those phones are almost as capable as the tablet or laptops for business work. The only reason I say almost is that it is difficult to configure complex business applications like estimating and project management that require multiple resources on a screen the size of a smart phone. You can’t picture yourself doing a takeoff on the phone. Your fingers aren’t small enough and your eyes are no good enough.
Everyone creating software for contractors is working on the mobile apps that will take advantage of the technology to make the job in the field easier. There are numerous software apps for phones that can be used to look through walls, to measure, to determine moisture content of walls ceilings and studs. There are other apps to do a multitude of chores for the contractor at the site.
Here is a short list by functionality of all the current tools available for your smart phone that can make you smart.
- Measuring device
- Augmented Reality Tape Measure
- iHandy Carpenter
- Walabot DIY Imaging
- Phone Works Inspection Scope
- FLIR One Thermal Imaging
- WiFi Inspection Camera
- Milwaukee One Key is connected to the drill, not the battery. As a result, users can control the speed and torque with their phones.
Many more exist and are being created every day.
What if you could use a combination of those tools to compile an estimate of work to be done right there, as you are surveying at the premises. Let’s use the phone to measure the wall to be replaced or the room to be created. And, in the estimating software, find the items for the job from the cost database and then apply those measurements. How about looking through the wall to find out what needs to be worked on behind it so there is no guessing when select those items from the cost database and applying the quantities. Sound enticing? Well, you can do it today. The secret is having the right combination of apps that will give the productivity.
The one type that you may have some difficulty finding is estimating that includes all the features and databases of the desktop software. Well, that has just changed because Contractor’s Office will now run on your phone without any loss of capability or flexibility. It’s the same Contractor’s Office that runs on you Windows™ desktop or laptop or your MAC™. The only difference is that the user interface is designed specifically for the phone.