Four for the road

Aug. 1, 2013
RazorSync Mobile Field Service Management software,, for small to medium sized field service businesses, is a cloud-based desktop and mobile software solution that facilitates business management and interaction among team members in the office, field technicians and customers.

RazorSync Mobile Field Service Management software,, for small to medium sized field service businesses, is a cloud-based desktop and mobile software solution that facilitates business management and interaction among team members in the office, field technicians and customers. The web app can be accessed from any browser on a desktop, laptop or tablet computer and runs on any iOS or Android tablet or smartphone.

Intuitive drag-and-drop job scheduling supports scheduling of service requests based on color coded employee location. Onscreen mapping capabilities enable crews to find the most direct route to the jobsite. The app also accommodates repeat scheduled appointments, according to user-defined rules. Users can attach any type of file, including PDFs, photos, videos, and audio to service requests, work orders, and customers and technicians can receive automatic notifications on the status of service requests.

The onscreen dashboard provides a quick look at upcoming appointments, a synopsis of recent service requests, and work orders, along with status of those work orders, activity, employee time cards, and a chart that shows percentage of utilization of workforce that day.

Management features include customer details database, employee tracking, payroll management, and integration with QuickBooks (desktop and online versions) for customer invoicing. Productivity features include a variety of templated forms, including service requests, work orders, and customer satisfaction, all accessible from a smartphone.

RazorSync supports several types of reports, including employee time cards, service items usage for a given date range, completed work orders, inspection, and signature capture in the field.

iEstimate Construction for the iPhone by Avikey,, available at the iPhone App Store is a mobile app for creating and sending estimates, which can carry the company logo, to customers from the field. Users can create templates for common projects and manage a database of products and services that can be attached to individual projects. Contractors can create custom price sheets in Excel and download them directly to the app. Users can import external product catalogs. For example, the Home Depot product catalog (text and images) is available for import to the app (and updatable quarterly), which enables a contractor to use a smartphone as a barcode scanner at a Home Depot to scan the barcode of (most) items and add them automatically to a project.

Contractors can define profit margins, overhead and contingency for each job and also define labor tax and material text globally or for each job. It is also possible to attach notes, photos, and audio recordings to jobs. Complex estimates can be grouped into categories. Each product can be assigned to a supplier.

The app features built-in reports for simple or detailed itemized estimates, project details, and itemized shopping lists. Estimates can be reviewed online, saved or printed as PDFs, or emailed directly from the device. 

Users of the app also have access, for free, to iEstimate Online, a web-based interface for designing estimates with contact information, standard disclaimer that will appear at the bottom of each estimate, warranty information, and other details; uploading the company logo; and viewing a history of estimates sent with the app. The information inputted online is plugged into the iPhone. A copy of every estimate sent out via smartphone is automatically archived in the contractor's iEstimate Online Account.

The Pipe Trades Pro Calculator for Android Smartphone or Tablet by Calculated Industries,, provides instant answers for pipe layout and design calculations related to cutting, welding and placing pipe, including complex rolling offsets, parallel pipe cutbacks, weight/volume conversions, flow rates, pressures and areas.

The app includes calculations such as cut lengths, take-outs and odd-degree fittings; right angles, offsets, and complex rolling offsets; fitting angles, bends, slopes, percent grades, drops; parallel pipe cutbacks; pipe areas, fill weights; flow rates, velocity, force, volumes; pressure loss for any pipe size, type or distance; and complete building, plumbing and metric unit conversions.

Built-in Pipe Data enables users to choose pipe material and pipe type and enter size to get diameters, wall thickness, filled weight per foot, and internal area for seven pipe materials: steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminum, cast iron, plastic and copper.

My Measures & Dimensions Profor iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad is for managing and sharing a photo taken with a smartphone. The user uploads the photo to the app and can add dimensions (inputted from measurements taken manually on the spot), arrows, angles and comments via text bubbles for storage, printing or e-mailing. Adding a new dimension requires only tapping each end of the arrow to make the line (using two fingers) and then tapping in the middle to set the value. An addition tool calculates the sum of linear measurements. There is also an arrow multiplication tool for surface measurements and volumes. Users can select color of arrows and angles and font sizes of text.

Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at [email protected]

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