Efficiency at your fingertips
Construction apps and software
Software companies continue to top one another, and the number of electronic devices available to load and house all of that software climbs as well. Keeping up with it all can be frustrating, but let’s face it – this is a good problem to have. The many choices, though plentiful, are going to save you time, money and, perhaps, a pair of tired eyes. Anyone who has stared at a computer screen for hours on end knows exactly what I’m talking about.
As devices morph and upgrade each year, software becomes more intelligent and user friendly. Interestingly, it’s a two-fold scenario. Software companies keep on making excellent products that can help your business and your projects. But manufacturers are in on the game as well, assuring you have “an app for that” – no matter what “that” is. It’s not enough to be able to access a brick manufacturer’s website; you need an app for that site on your iPhone or iPad so you can get to the information you need, pronto.
Masonry has sampled the software and construction product industries to bring you just a few of the new offerings out there, designed to make your life a little easier. Be sure you share with us any software of electronic advancements your company may have.
Belgard iPhone AppBelgard Hardscapes
Belgard Hardscapes has launched the Belgard mobile app, putting outdoor living, patio, walls and driveway products and design information conveniently at the fingertips of anyone working on hardscape projects. The Belgard mobile app is the perfect complement to the traditional printed pieces and business tools they already offers authorized contractors and dealers. With a mobile device in hand, contractors now can quickly and easily show their customers visuals of products available in their specific region, explore color swatches for design discussions, and share information critical in purchasing decisions such as warranty details or maintenance tips. Consumers can use the tool on their own to explore different outdoor living and décor options, from fireplaces and outdoor kitchens to garden walls and sweeping driveways. They also can use the Locator tool to find the design center or contractor nearest them. More than a dozen videos featured in the app offer tools and resources for contractors and consumers.
D+C Spectrum Version 14 and Venture Project Collaboration SoftwareDexter + Chaney
Construction software provider Dexter + Chaney has launched two web-based products: a new version of Spectrum Construction Software and a Venture Project Collaboration Software, a completely new product line aimed at the needs of construction operations professionals. Spectrum version 14, the latest iteration of the company’s construction management software, provides unprecedented ease of use, affordability and accessibility. Dexter + Chaney also has completely redesigned the Spectrum user experience, in both the office and the field; all the information about a project or job is no more than a single click away. Venture is the first product release from Dexter + Chaney’s newly formed Operations Group, addressing the needs of construction operations professionals, uniting the management of project documentation, people, and communications on one easy-to-use platform. Venture’s features help operations professionals assemble bid teams, share and manage documents, control versioning, automatically send alerts, and take control of issue management.
EDCO Mobilized WebsiteEDCO - Equipment Development Co. Inc.
EDCO ¬ Equipment Development Co., manufacturers of surface preparation, sawing equipment, concrete polishing machines, and hand held tools has launched a mobile version of its website, edcoinc.com. Using smartphones, customers in the field can conduct business with EDCO without downloading an App. Through the site, customers can view training videos, contact customer service, request quotes, discover which EDCO product fits their application, and conduct other business. EDCO machines are manufactured in the USA.
Firestone BP iPad AppFirestone Building Products Co.
Firestone Building Products Co. has released the Firestone BP iPad Application, a free app that gives building owners, facility managers, contractors, architects and consultants the opportunity to explore the complete integration of people, products and systems that Firestone Building Products offers. The Firestone BP iPad app is available online from the App Store and provides a preview of Firestone’s Roots to Rooftop Building Envelope Solution. It provides an overview of all the products from ground and stormwater management solutions, to complete wall panel and commercial roofing system applications. The Firestone BP iPad app offers multiple views; product specifics; and green building product offerings and full service opportunities, with videos of the Environmental Passive Integrated Chamber (EPIC Chamber) Water Management System and multiple Building Envelope Solutions options.
Maxwell Systems Releases ProContractorMX Version 2.8Maxwell Systems
King of Prussia, Pa.
Maxwell Systems Inc., a provider of complete construction business management software solutions, has released Maxwell Systems ProContractorMX version 2.8, which delivers capabilities to enhance overall system performance. The new version includes infrastructure upgrades, and provides valuable features to help Canadian contractors handle payroll and taxes. The notable capabilities delivered in ProContractorMX 2.8 include a feature to handle sales and use (self-assessment) tax for the United States, Canada and Australia; a feature to automatically transfer daily field report items entered on an iPad directly to your back office; and enhancements to features for efficiently managing workforce reporting and construction payroll, including government, state/province, Davis-Bacon Certified payroll reporting, union, workers' compensation, and benefit tracking for merit shop. Enhancements to features allow users to virtually and securely file, access, and manage all important employee documents, such as W-4s and TD-1s, I-9 details, copies of drivers' licenses, etc.
Sage Personal Assistant ToolSage
Sage North America has released Timberline Office MyAssistant, a personal assistant tool that monitors critical project and property information and delivers automatic alerts about profit, compliance and a broad range of key activities. This enables construction and real estate professionals to focus on the strategic actions required to grow and manage their businesses. MyAssistant lets users limit exposure on important issues by proactively monitoring key performance indicators, alerting them to issues needing attention, and providing the rich information needed to take action. The tool automatically generates and places reports, spreadsheets, documents and email alerts into the hands of those who need it, saving hours of productivity every day. MyAssistant can be configured to automatically identify and notify vendors whose insurance policies are expiring in 30 days; send project managers a list of overdue RFIs, submittals and change requests with detailed logs attached; send tenants their statements; or recognize jobs falling below a profit threshold.
Stoneyard.com Launches Online Project VisualizerStoneyard.com
Natural New England Stone Veneer producer Stoneyard.com has released an online visualization tool for contractors, retailers, homeowners, architects and other stone professionals. The Project Visualizer is a tool that will show potential stone consumers how their projects will look with their choice of stone before they buy. Stoneyard.com says one of the hardest things for stone purchasers to figure out is whether a color and shape will look good on their fireplace, on their house, on their wall, etc. Now they can see how it will look in their space, before placing even one stone, by just uploading a picture of the potential stone project, selecting the location, choosing from the many different New England Stone Veneer product options, saving and viewing the before-and-after picture. This virtual mock-up can help narrow the choices for buyers, making the stone-purchasing process less complicated. This tool will show buyers not only different colors and shapes, but also which stone will look best on a project.
WennSoft Signature Solution for ContractorsWennSoft
New Berlin, Wis.
WennSoft Signature provides contractors the tools needed to manage jobs and projects. It allows them to manage the bid process with the alerts to ensure all are submitted on time. The solution can import or create jobs, and track all the associated costs and labor on each. It monitors estimates, forecasts and change orders to ensure contractors can assess job profitability while they can impact it rather than waiting to see what the margin was after the fact. Additionally, the solution groups multiple jobs into projects and collaborates on projects to make adjustments throughout the project, keeping the office informed while projects stay on time. Delivered with Microsoft Dynamics® GP, WennSoft Signature ensures the ability to enter the information once and use it multiple times. This saves on administrative costs and data entry errors.
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
About the Author
Jennifer Morrell was the editor of Masonry magazine. She has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry as a writer and editor, covering such topics as real estate and construction, insurance, health care, relationships and sports. A graduate of The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in magazines and is an award-winning newspaper columnist.