Tablet PC Talk Forums Forum Index Tablet PC Talk Forums
Forums about Tablet PCs, Ultra Mobile PCs and those who use them!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Tablets in the Construction Industry
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Tablet PC Talk Forums Forum Index -> Construction Industry SIG
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
denverleigh
Tableteer


Joined: 02 Jan 2003
Posts: 13
Location: Vancouver - Kelowna - Toronto

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2003 2:51 pm    Post subject: Tablets in the Construction Industry Reply with quote

[b]BuildIT Systems[/b] was created to address the need for a truly mobile solution to business people in the contruction industry. Our web based application coupled with an appropriate "rugged" Tablet PC is a winning combination to enhance a contractor's business, giving him full screen capabilities and ready access to his important business information. In this forum, you are invited to give your feedback on experiences with Tablet PC's in the field, issues surrounding wireless Internet access in your marketplace, the benefits of full screen viewing vis a vis more common PDA style screens, and general applicability to an adverse, outdoor environment subject to weather and handling. Furthermore, you are invited to discuss software applications specifically designed for the Tablet PC that benefit the builder.

Over the past 9 months, the team at [b]BuildIT[/b] has interviewed dozens of builders and developers, both in residential and commercial construction, asking them about their business. Without question, builders are in need of, and will adopt, turnkey solutions to managing their businesses more efficiently, and profitably. Access to information is paramount, and the Tablet PC provides that vehicle. As more and more software becomes web based, expect builders to adopt the Tablet PC and related construction software as they have adopted the cellular phone and fax machine in recent years. Builders today can maintain their schedules, delegate tasks, modify contracts, and fax out change orders, all from their truck while at the jobsite. Builders are mobile, and now with the Tablet PC their office is mobile!

Are you a builder who currently uses a Tablet PC? Are you in the market for one? What do you feel the Tablet PC offers you in terms of a competitive advantage over those who continue to do business status quo?

We look forward to your posts, thoughts, experiences and questions.
_________________
BuildIT Systems - the people and projects manager for profitable construction.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Andy
Guest





PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2003 3:00 pm    Post subject: Looking for solutions Reply with quote

I'm a residendial builder in Western Canada and I've read the information on your website regarding your web-based system. How does it work with a tablet?
What is the best way to view and demo the application?
Back to top
denverleigh
Tableteer


Joined: 02 Jan 2003
Posts: 13
Location: Vancouver - Kelowna - Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 7:43 pm    Post subject: WebOffice and the Tablet Reply with quote

Andy, the best way to view our WebOffice application is through a NetMeeting. Upon review of the application, we would give you access to a demonstration account to familiarize yourself with the features and various screens. Contact a representative at BuildIT ([url]http://www.builditsystems.com[/url]) to arrange the NetMeeting and learn more of our solution for builders.

Insofar as the Tablet PC is concerned, you would view WebOffice through a browser much the same way as you would from a notebook or desktop computer. Aside from mobility, there are other benefits to using the Tablet to run WebOffice. First, if typing on a keyboard is not your first love, then you'll find the stylus a welcome relief. Write directly on the screen, and your "writing" is turned into text that can be entered into the various fields. Second, our WebOffice application is built for "point and click" users - you'll find navigation through your account a breeze.

Regardless of which software you select, you'll find the most important benefit of the Tablet PC is that your business information is with you all the time!
_________________
BuildIT Systems - the people and projects manager for profitable construction.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Kevin Sheets
Guest





PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2003 12:36 pm    Post subject: Tablet Pc in the HVAC trade Reply with quote

I am a HVAC sales / estimator / project manager. I am really looking forward to getting my first tablet PC. I believe that it will a most usefull product and really take off, ONCE THE PRICES ARE REASONABLE!!!!!!
There are a lot of people like myself that would purchase one tomorrow if they were comparible to a laptop. The cost has to be in line with what I would pay for a regular laptop for this new technology app to be the success, it has the potential to be!!

The trades are dying for a product such as this! We are constantly writing notes and diminsions, specs, addresses, etc on various pieces of paper or in notebooks. My personal problem is that there is so much information that I deal with, I lose some of it. The Tablet PC will help a great deal with this.

I am hopefull that the manufactures wil meet the following objectives soon:
Lower prices
Longer battery life
screens that have the feel of paper when you write vs glass
Better handwriting recognition
displays that can be easily read outdoors in sunlight as well as indoors

When they meet the criteria, I will buy.....promise!
Kevin Sheets[/b]
Back to top
denverleigh
Tableteer


Joined: 02 Jan 2003
Posts: 13
Location: Vancouver - Kelowna - Toronto

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2003 9:06 pm    Post subject: Tablet PC for the HVAC Vertical Reply with quote

Kevin,

You raise some excellent points, as well as your "price" point in a related post. Let's address your price issue first.

There is little doubt that prices will adjust downwards as more manufacturers and models enter the market. Having said that, you'll pay more for a really skookum notebook (eg. IBM ThinkPad with the works) than you will for a "tier one" Tablet PC. Of course, there are the rugged Tablet PC's built by various American manufacturers to military specs, and these can range from $3900 to $5500 USD, but to be fair, you'd have to compare them to rugged notebooks.

When you look at price, you have to weigh it against ROI (return on investment). For instance, say you pay $2200 USD for a Tablet PC, lease it over 3 years, and let's assume your monthly payment is $85, or about $20 per week. You mentioned that "trades are dying for a product such as this" and that you occasionally lose valuable information that you write down on various pieces of paper and notebooks. What does that cost you in terms of wasted time, inefficiencies, lost opportunities, and screw-ups (call backs)? Way more than $20 per week, probably closer to $20 per day, and with larger businesses, $20 per hour! Business owners we have polled have acknowledged income leaks of $1000's per year, making the value proposition of buying a Tablet PC and relevant software a no brainer.

As for battery life, you ought to check out the Electrovaya Scribbler. Built in Western Canada, it boasts the longest battery life of any Tablet PC I've seen (any one with information to the contrary, let me know). They claim 8 to 16 hours per charge! Try and get that out of a notebook!

Screens for outdoor usage - as soon as they become available, I'll be lining up for one. You can adjust the brightness of today's Tablet PC screen (options for "portable" and "plugged in").

As for handwriting recognition, true, it isn't perfect, but we've impressed everyone we've demonstrated our Electrovaya Scribbler to. Eventually, you'll make adjustments in your writing to avoid errors in recognition.

I'd be interested in hearing what data you would be entering in your Tablet PC from the field, and what software packages you use concurrent with your paper based system.
_________________
BuildIT Systems - the people and projects manager for profitable construction.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Chris
Guest





PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 5:33 pm    Post subject: Outdoor screens Reply with quote

I believe that fujitsu have just released an outdoor screen for use in full sunlight. I will be interested to see how this ability effects the battery life. I understand that the main problem with reflective screens was a technical issue between the pen and the reflective screen. One did not work with the other.
I work for a Governement Authroity that has 250 Safety Inspectors in the field. Some looking at Construction sites. I too am waiting for the price to come down so I can begin to trial them. I have had a loan of two, the Paceblade Pacebook, and the Fujitsu st400. Both units are good, but these where the first gen tablets out in Nov last year. The next genreation should be even better. Another product to watch out for is the new Office 2003 from Microsoft. This will be more tailored to the Tablet, with products like onenote and infopath being included.
Back to top
denverleigh
Tableteer


Joined: 02 Jan 2003
Posts: 13
Location: Vancouver - Kelowna - Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 6:44 pm    Post subject: Too early for builders? Reply with quote

While we have found the Tablet PC to be a useful and very practical device, it has not been adopted in droves by even technology savvy members of the construction industry. We have talked with many manufacturers of Tablet PCs and found very little effort has been directed to educating and marketing these devices to the business professionals in construction. Furthermore, while WiFi is a real treat to use in the office (providing untethered high speed Internet access), our experience with current AirCard technology is that it is just slightly above dialup access insofar as connection speeds are concerned, resulting in a less than desirable Internet experience while "out in the field". To everyone we demonstrate our Tablet PC to, they are impressed, especially with the handwriting recognition, but the jump from what they're used to (and quite frankly, what they currently struggle with), to purchasing a Tablet PC is a stretch.

Our current customer base primarily accesses their BuildIT Pro accounts from an office desktop computer, and while they could access their business information in the field with an AirCard equipped Tablet PC, today they are fine with the option and added mobility of logging in to their accounts from home. While price objections (to the cost of a Tablet PC) will always be raised by this audience, we sense the real objection is fear of the techology.

We would appreciate hearing from you, the builder, if you are having success with your Tablet PC. If you operate a Tablet PC in the field with AirCard technology, what has been your experience? Will the day come when this device will be the one of choice for mobile workers, or will the smaller handheld wireless device (or cell phone/PDA/camera combo) win out? Do you know of someone in the construction industry who is a raving fan of the Tablet PC?
_________________
BuildIT Systems - the people and projects manager for profitable construction.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
ChrisD
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 4101
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
I have operated Tablet PCs, Notebooks and Pocket PCs for awhile now using GPRS. I agree that the speed is similar to dialup. However this is not the same technology as Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi requires a local area network at the jobsite and an access point to provide access to the network while the computers are used outside. The speed on Wi-Fi does vary based on distance and interference however it's been my experience that the speed is much higher (1 megabit to 11 megabit).
_________________
Chris De Herrera
Webmaster
http://www.tabletpctalk.com
http://www.pocketpcfaq.com
http://www.pocketpctalk.com
http://www.mobilitytalk.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
jefe
Guest





PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree, denverleigh, that the construction industry is really an untapped market, however, I believe education and pricing will change that. I would also think the benefits for the architecture and engineering side would also be greatly influenced once people understand what they can do with the technology that is available to them.
Regarding the Aircard. I would agree that it currently is at slightly faster than Dialup, however, once TMobile becomes EDGE compliant (I have heard 6 months in my area) that will all change. ISDN speeds for $29,99US unlimited. SprintPCS is currently spiking at around 128Kb/s, I have done speed tests at 160kb/s with it, but at 80US a month, it is out of most price ranges.
I am currently in talks with a construction/architecture firm in my area, which has been looking at your product, and will do demostrations with an Indoor/Outdoor ST4121 w/ Tmobile's Aircard 750 to see the current feasibility of the construction market in my area. If its to slow for their needs, or too expensive, then I will wait until the market becomes ready for the technology. It's only a matter of time.
It had taken Nextel years to penetrate the construction bubble, but once it did, it seems every construction worker is required to carry them. So much so that Verizon is trying to get into it here in the US.
I will post the results as soon as I can get him setup with a demo and let you know.
Jeff
Back to top
Dowadudda
Guest





PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a self employed HVAC/Refrigeration Service contractor. Being self employed with no employees in this kind of business gives me a lot of financial freedom to experiment with all this new technology. The obvious reason for interest is because the more efficient I can be, the less I must rely on anyone else. I am very happy and will continue to remain small.

The tablet is almost the perfect solution. To conduct business in my trade, one needs to combine all the comforts of an office, all the requirements of the feild into one form factor. The real advanatage is. Receive a service request, begin the work order, that turns into an invoice on completion of work, that goes into the accounting and then receive and post payment, even accept payment by credit card. You see, in the traditional sense this would be paper based, then input into the office database, then sent to the customer. I could eliminate all of this.

What I want and need. I want a rugged slate, that has WLAN, Bluetooth, IR, and wireless modem, such as cingular or verizon. If you had this, all your stuff. Smart phone could synch wirelessly, I could print wirelessly, keyboard wireless, I could beam my info to a customer PDA. Scan wirelessly.

When near a hot spot, use wifi, when not I am on my air card. And the ruggedness means I can be on the roof, on the equipment, taking my notes, taking down model numbers that will go on my invoice. Take pictures to add to the invoice. I already have Dataoncall.com, so since I am on the net always, I could receive faxes while on that roof. Send faxes while on that roof. Send email. Receive phone calls on my phone, and input my service request, simoltanously creating a work order, all the while working on a roof on a peice of equipment. Capture a digital signature, to compete work order and then bill it it right there. CASH FLOW improvement huge. Go to the next customer and I need a company to send me a wiring diagram on a peice of equipment I am about to work on. He could email it, fax it, and then I got it right there in front of me while on the equipment. Then file it, to have for the next time. A serviceman's best tool is his literature on equipment.

Accept credit Cards. Synchronise in real time my accounting program with my bank account. Every stinking single transaction ever done in my business, 100% updated, real time. Especially now. Instead of a credit card, take their check. You can process a written check now, just like a credit card. I could do all business efficiently, effortlessly from the feild. I could do a quote, over a cup of coffee at Mcdonalds. Say I am in wait, away from home. Watch a movie I got downloaded, or jump on the net, catch the 5 oclock news streamed in real time. Check traffic. Mapquest. I mean my god. I need this.

My problem. I need to get the latest technology and all of it, in one device on a rugged set up. Nobody has it.
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Tablet PC Talk Forums Forum Index -> Construction Industry SIG All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



All content Copyright 2002-2010, Chris De Herrera, All Rights Reserved
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group