iPad useful on job sites?

Discussion in 'High Tech Tools & Equipment Support' started by Nikki B, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Nikki B

    Nikki B Pro Member

    Hi Everyone,

    My husband is an owner/installer like I'm assuming most of you are. I typically (ok, always) handle the "business" side of the business, he the "labor" side. It would be nice if he started to learn how to handle the business side just incase it was needed one day.

    Here is my question for those of you who are more like my husband and do mostly the "labor" side of the business. Can an iPad be of any use to you at work/in the field?

    Would it encourage or help you to create invoices and estimates while on site for your customer? Usually, he comes home, tells me what he did/measured and I create all the paperwork needed for him.

    How about using it as your notebook that you write EVERYTHING down in? We've had several occasions where we haven't been able to find which notebook something was written in (or where that notebook went)....not a fun experience, I'm sure you've all been there before :)

    Other than using an iPad for computerized measuring, are there any other uses you guys would use it for?

    My husband is not very computer savvy BUT he does love his iPhone (for playing games when it's "break time" & this website). As far as technology goes, he only uses his iPhone, and maybe once a year tries to "google" on the actual computer. This is why I'm only asking about the iPad. We are not a big business/company, it's just him and a couple of helpers these days.

    I can't wait to hear some feedback from you all.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Floor Boss

    Floor Boss Flooring Professional and Mgr. I Support TFP

    Nikki B, For me, most of what can be done on an iPad can be done on my iPhone. (probably Androids too).
    From a 'job site' perspective, I receive diagrams, work orders and pre-installation pictures on my phone, but I usually have those in paper form as well.
    Our system doesn't directly interface with either of the iPhone/iPad features, so from an invoicing/costing point of view it doesn't help.
    My iPhone is the greatest tool for documenting site conditions and justifying change orders. An iPad, larger and more cumbersome, can do the same thing (except you won't need reading glasses).

    An iPad would be great for sales and showing possibilities to clients.
    I don't think it's worth it as a 'job site installer tool.' ....... yet!
    Or even for a foreman unless he has absolutely nothing else to do but business side paperwork and documentation. Not likely.

    good luck,
    DB
     
  3. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    It would probably depend on the installer. I'm a technophile and love computers and my smartphone. I've been away from sales and installations for over 8 years now, but I used to take a laptop computer with me on sales calls and estimates. My first mobile device was a cell phone that was nearly as big as a tool box. My last cell phone on the job was a flip phone.

    I'm no fan of Apple products, but if that's what you and your husband are into, then it sounds like you might be on the right track. Floor Boss might be right though, an iPad might be too large and cumbersome. An iPhone with a large screen and a great camera might be better.

    Jim
    PS: great first post!
     
  4. Darren Ramey

    Darren Ramey Charter Member I Support TFP

    I've been using my iPad for business for years. I use it to jot down measurements, draw out odd shaped rooms, take pics of anything funky, emailing and do all of my estimates and billing on it. I can do some of that on my iPhone, but the app I use for billing only works on the iPad.

    Like you said, it is great to have everything in one place. I just did a job that I measured 2 years ago. The guy called and asked if I would need to measure again, nope, I still have it right here. I've never been this organized with my jobs (not that that is saying much)
     
  5. David Hunt

    David Hunt Charter Member Senior Member Published

    Ditto to what the FloorBoss said. There's a 'notes' app on the iphones that I use for, well... notes. Another thought, what if he made notes and sent them, via text message, to you on the iPad? Then you'd have the info as it happened, there would be an electronic information trail in the event one of the devices was lost, broken or stolen. Then, your time at home could be spent working on your marriage ;) and not the business.

    BTW: I work with my wife and believe any couple who can work together should. Sometimes people will tell me 'oh, I could never work with my spouse'. To which I reply 'I couldn't work with them either'. :p

    Hope this helps.

    David
     
  6. SteveG

    SteveG Pro Member

    I have a work iPad that gathers dust on my desk. Every now and then I use the Measure Mobile app to figure the lowest waste percentage on a particular carpet seam placement. That's kind of nice. We use RFMS, so I can do that on the iPad but really it's a pain. I mostly just jot things down, take pictures with my (Android) smart phone, do calendar, email, etc with my phone... I just don't use that iPad much.
     
  7. Hanover Fist

    Hanover Fist Pro Member

    I guess I'm your polar opposite in this one, Jim.
    ;)
    I'm an Apple guy all day long. Didn't used to be, but am a slow convert. (Ask me how and why if you want a wall of text, but not here...)

    Having said this, 4 or so years ago when I was still on my knees I used to carry a chromebook (mini laptop) around with me, it came in on every bid and job with my notebook and tape measure. Today I would totally bring an iPad.

    I had a friend over for beers and he helped build an excel spreadsheet blank that allowed measurements, including fill measurements for any room/area, would composite the whole - it was pretty rudimentary but it was free.
    I also carried a portable printer too, and printed bids, contracts, and invoices onsite.

    Depending which blank I used I could make any doc needed on the fly; I could get a signed contract and turn around and open a toolbox.
    Oh, and per document, it took me less time to create a doc than to tell my wife (who wouldn't have done it anyway, she works harder than I do).

    This is about what I imagine my rig would look like today:
     

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  8. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Something like an Ipad would get destroyed by dust on the jobs I'm on. That or someone would steal it cause it doesn't fit in a window sill or pocket. I updated my smartphone to a Note 4 so I could do more with it. Mostly so my pictures would be bigger for clients to see.
     
  9. Majwoody

    Majwoody Pro Member

    I use a samsung note 4. I now have Microsoft Office on it. I rarely use it but I have an invoicing template in Excel I often use. I also have a Bosch laser measuring device that will link to my phone via bluetooth. I was hoping to be able to construct floor plans but the app doesn't support that. I can operate it remotely from my phone and build a file on measurements.
    IMO a tablet would be useless for anything but project management or other "white collar" tasks.
     
  10. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Since I do Inspections an Ipad is a must. Take pictures, make notes write mini reports, email to clients, use FaceTime so that analysts can actually be on site with me.
    I have a laptop and two I-pads, next month the company is getting rid of the laptop and one I-pad, going to go with Surface Pro 4. Supposed to have as much power as a desktop and almost as light as an I-pad.
     
  11. Nikki B

    Nikki B Pro Member

    Darren, does the app you use for billing also "talk" to other accounting programs such as Quickbooks?
     
  12. Nikki B

    Nikki B Pro Member

    Well so far you guys are making it very hard to justify buying an iPad as a "business expense" :)

    I liked the idea of just using a larger iPhone (currently he has the 5) BUT here's the problem with that....if he gets a larger phone by the time we get the heavy duty protective case (that's a must) it will no longer fit in his pocket and might as well be as large as the iPad:eek:
     
  13. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

  14. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

  15. asevereid

    asevereid Adam the FNG

    Sounds like you don't need much more convincing, but I'll add in two bits.
    Mobile devices are just perfect for a smaller operation.
    I use a Galaxy S3, and a Nexus 7 tablet that have several apps that compliment each other for estimating material, cost, and invoicing/estimating.
    I don't use a notepad any more except for field measurements, and can typically produce a full estimate and invoice on the first meeting.
     
  16. hollywood

    hollywood Pro Member

    I have quickbooks online on my iPhone, so when I'm at the customers I can estimate, invoice , make a report. Etc.. The office can see what is being done on the iPad. There is also, a free app called Joist for contractors I found that works well . You can even take pictures with the estimate with notes with or without customers knowledge. Most of my clients have email so I try to run paperless, occasionally I will have to ask office to print something to send to customer. Even have customer sign contracts on the phone.
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Pro Member

    Used to use an ipad on big commercial jobs like hospitals, age care. Had instant access to every floor, room, elevations, specs, plans, schedule of works etc.
    There are several software apps available here in Australia ( not sure if they are available in the US). Measure Mobile³ and measuresquare. both have free trials available through iTunes and Google play.
     
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