Computer System Uses for Contractors

Current and Near Future Trends

Bill Zeigler - Zeigler Associates, Ltd

March 4, 2000


-         Intro - presentation scope and method

o       Not a review of accounting and estimating software

o       Not a live on-line demonstration of all discussed points, but system and connection setup available

o       Encourage exchange and dialog to share on-point experiences

o       Q+A can involve a variety of things, time allowing


-         Internal Analysis and Recordkeeping

o       Columnar sheet or calculator -> spreadsheet

o       Name/address management

o       Time management and [group] schedules

o       Tight[er] integration of accounting system to all operations

        Receipts, orders, changes recognized immediately

        Changes into estimates and billings


-         Email

o       Development history akin to fax machines

o       Bid solicitation and placing quotes

o       Electronically documented and organized contact history, format dependent upon the email program in use

o       Job progress / field reporting and documentation including timecard submission


-         E-Commerce

o       Definition - Broad based for discussion - any Internet based commerce

o       Developing stage for doing business

o       Current and real life examples: Abbott, Dayton-Hudson

o       A broad offering of goods and services, even groceries and prescription refills

o       Consider what products/services you offer that can be offered on the Web

o       Capitalizes on the assumed demand to transact anytime and in the desired electronic environment [next section on Your Website]

Your Own Website - Related to Offering Your Product / Services

o       Not everyone can benefit from the same implementation extent

o       Immediately distributed brochure

o       Job Site progress

o       Commerce [previosu section]


-         Others' Websites - Internet Resources

o       Software / Hardware Support

o       Research References

        Tax forms


        Advice, legal and safety

        Punch - lcca site

o       Customer driven scenarios

        Abbott EDI


        HHH description

o       Sales

        Price check and purchase

        Credit card processing

        Information gathering

        Problem resolution

o       Contractor - specific web sites


-         Future Trends [review booth list of recent trade/tech'y shows]

o       'Infostructure' - elevating priority of technology

o       'Instantaneous' Internet connections and web page designs and features

o       Hand held videophones

o       Input devices and methods

        Voice recognition

        Scanners / wands to automate events at the source

        Renote timecard submission

o       Electronic Meetings - NetMeeting, concurrent video/audio connections [obviously more practical with improving bandwidth]

o       Digital image job monitoring [eg of weather station showing ski slope scenes]

o       Plans electronically distributed and formatted for estimating