Contractormag 10278 Efficiency

Software for heightening efficiency in 2018

Jan. 12, 2018
Here are three business software solutions that, each in its own way, can heighten efficiency during the work day.

Here are three business software solutions that, each in its own way, can heighten efficiency during the work day. Two are for “niche” users and the third is a handy app for expediting signing of contracts and other documents.  

Bolt (, 972-855-8296) is cloud-based construction management software for subcontractors active in the volume home and multi-family building industries. Accessible via any web browser and through the Android and iOS applications on tablets and mobile phones, it provides a central space for storing job information, including scheduling, labor and materials tracking, timesheets, and reporting. The mobile app component gives crews in the field the ability to view plans and other documents and interact with management about evolving scheduling updates and other job-related details.

The subcontractor downloads the general contractors’ plans and other documents that are stored inside BuildPro, BuilderMT, Builder Trend, ProCore, Plangrid or other system and files those documents inside the Bolt Job Folder. The builder can also email PDF attachments directly to the Folder. The software can also integrate scanned-in marked up plans/redlined plans that are physically handed to the subcontractor. (A future version of Bolt will include integrations with builder software enabling electronic submission of the plans directly from the builder.)

Once the plans are filed in Bolt, they are visible via the app and the web similarly to the way documents stored in a generic cloud-based storage site such as Dropbox or Box are viewable.

Scheduling and rescheduling

Bolt’s scheduling feature supports drag and drop creating and sharing of crew schedules. When rescheduling a work order (authorized users only), the system requires selecting from a custom list of reasons, tracking why the schedule is changing.

The webpage dedicated to scheduling enables viewing the status of each work order for that day, week, or month. The information displayed is determined by security privileges and whether the work applies to the user accessing the page. Many different views are possible, including crew assignment, calendar, and overall company job count.

Time sheets are pre-filled based on the time and activity tracked via the app.

Labor and Materials tracking includes time, auto-tracking of time against the work order, and jobs on which the crew is spending time. While currently Bolt can track what leaves the warehouse, an estimating module that allows tracking material used on a specific job is slated for later in the year, notes the developer.

An auto confirmation feature can prevent dry runs (which can occur in residential homebuilding when one trade is delayed, delaying the next) by asking the builder to confirm that work is ready before the subcontractor goes to the job. The builder can do that via an email which links back to the specific work order being confirmed in the subcontractor’s system.

An auto confirmation feature can prevent dry runs by asking the builder to confirm that work is ready before the subcontractor goes to the job.

Controlled by security rights, a user can view specifications, change a schedule, take pictures, check statuses, email, change the plan via Bolt’s PDF editor, change a takeoff, change the crews on the job, edit time, and create/complete punch list items.   

A change order can be created on the web and in the apps. Once created, it remains “pending” until someone confirms with the builder (since they typically need purchase orders to continue).

Types of pre-formatted reports include productivity, crews, schedule, billing, punch list, historical data of which crews have the most punch list items and other reasons to return to the job, and forecasting. Users can also produce custom reports.

Bolt integrates with QuickBooks, Sage 300 CRE, and, soon, will integrate with Dexter + Chaney’s Spectrum and ADP.

HVAC Refrigerant PT™ - Air Conditioning Pressure Support (Cyberprodigy LLC,, available at the App Store for iOS devices and at Google Play for Android devices) features pressure and temperature charts, bubble point, dew point, A/C refrigerant color codes and their corresponding data. User-selectable settings include refrigerant type, temperature (F or C), and pressure (psig, kPa, psia, inHg, atm, bara, barg).

The app provides a detailed list of physical properties for the selected refrigerant, including classification, density, critical temperature and pressures, specific heat, ozone depletion potential, safety rating, applications, and recommended lubricant for the refrigerant. It also includes pressure/temperature charts for many commonly used refrigerants. 

KeepSolid Sign ( is an eSignature solution that allows remote   electronic signing of a contract, purchase order or other PDF document with just the use of a finger. The person who will sign the document imports it from the device (computer, smartphone, etc.) or the cloud, inserts a signature, and can then share it with others.

The app allows specifying of access rights and adding of comments and annotations such as initials, date, notes, and checkmarks. Users receive notifications on any changes made to documents and the information on their statuses, whether they are being sent, waiting for signature, or completed.

The solution, which features high-grade (AES-256) encryption protocol to secure the transferred and stored data, is available on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android and the web, and is free for the beta version and will be $9.99 monthly when full version is released.

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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