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Tablets in the Construction Industry

 
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denverleigh
Tableteer


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

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:24 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.
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rktect2
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2003 8:03 pm    Post subject: Tablet PC ins and out of the office Reply with quote

...I'm currently in the market to upgrade to a tablet in (adjacent/hardwired to my desktop) and out of (one of the Tablet PC models) the office.

My goal is to get my drawing documentation and pertinent web sites, along with my project calendars sync'd b'twn my portable tablet and my desktop, then take the bundle out on the job...not to mention wander around the office untethered (with WiFi) and conduct client meetings etc., all as if I was using a pad on a clipboard.

Wishful thinking...I hope not...I'm a DataCAD (drafting/3D) and mostly MS (Office/XP) user, so I'm looking forward to integrating the whole bunch, and drop my PDA in the trash, while carrying around everything...I mean EVERYTHING on my tablet...oh, and don't forget, setting up a hardwired tablet on the desktop as well...pen-based, to me makes all the sense in the world...

Let me know your thoughts.
Thanks!!
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denverleigh
Tableteer


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

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 8:23 pm    Post subject: Future of PDA's!? Reply with quote

You obviously see the Tablet PC displacing your PDA. We have questioned the future of PDA's insofar as their usefullness in surfing the web is concerned, and running web apps, given their small screen. The message we're getting from our client base clearly favours a larger (800X600++) viewing screen. With the advent of Tablet PC's in the construction industry, PDA's won't be the only thing "dropped in the trash"!

The [b]BuildIT WebOffice[/b] application allows you to store drawing files on our servers, and with the appropriate software or viewer loaded on the client, you can view these drawings. In future, we will have a "thin install" applet which will permit viewing from any client. For now, you'll have to save your drawing files to your Tablet PC before you can view them, which is a pain given today's wireless "Air Cards" are maxing out at 40 Kbps (at least that's the best we can get with two local air card providers). High speed wireless can't come soon enough!

As for sync'ing your project calendars between your Tablet PC and your desktop unit, with [b]WebOffice[/b] no sync'ing is required - once you make the change to your calendar/schedule, it's saved in your account. Having used a PDA for some time, I realize sync'ing is not that difficult, but it is one more step that we've eliminated with our application, and one less procedure our customers will have to bother with.

As for WiFi around the office, that is in the works at our headquarters, no wires ... but the real advantage is for the builder to be on a jobsite 10 km out of town, accessing the Internet, and his account, and doing business where he wants to do business!

Email me should you wish to discuss the merits of our app for your business in greater detail.
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randy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 6:27 pm    Post subject: house front design Reply with quote

most of my contracting business comes from lookie-loos when i remodel in the front yard, however, when i finish on the block, i have to find new business. to start new sales i have always wanted to take digital photos, re-design the house on a tablet pc by hatching, erasing, filling, etc. then print a copy and lay it on the doorstep. is there software for this? comments please.
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denverleigh
Tableteer


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

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 1:20 pm    Post subject: Great marketing concept! Reply with quote

Randy, sounds like a great marketing initiative that your future customers will really appreciate. Not sure I can help you on the software side (probably AutoDesk would have some drawing/rendering software that meets your needs), but we came across a really nifty product the other day, called a DocuNote, by Step Up Computing. This little tablet, or glorified PDA as they call it, has a 8.4" screen and a built-in camera. May be just the hardware you're looking for, and it's priced well below most of the tier 1 products discussed in this forum. As for printing on site, we checked out a portable HP colour printer earlier this week, a deskjet 450Ci, print right from your vehicle! Certainly will assist contractors in printing off important documents like change orders and contracts, right there on the spot.
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