Really 'Smart' Phones
Masonry contractors don't need to stay in the office to stay connected. Smart phones like the Palm Centro from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Palm Inc., offer text, instant messaging and email capabilities from a small touch-screen complete with keyboard. The phone lets users dial from their address book, set up three-way calls, and talk hands-free.
A built-in Google Maps application provides directions to jobsites and traffic updates, says Rob Katcher, product manager for Palm.
"There are thousands of applications available to personalize your device for work," says Katcher. "For example, The Tradesman for Palm OS is a client diary, invoice management, and time-tracking application that allows mobile workers to log each visit to clients. For any client, you can see what you did, when, and how much you charged, and it's as easy to use as a punch card. The Tradesman also calculates the appropriate cost or charge of each visit for you. Then, send your data back to your PC in a spreadsheet format via Tradesman XChange."
Katcher says contractors can use the camera feature to take photos on the jobsite and immediately send image updates back to the office.
About the Author
Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at www.masonrymagazine.com.