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Showing posts from June, 2007

HVAC Maintenance and Mobile Handheld PDAs

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Access Heating & Air Conditioning came to my house today. Poor them...they did not realize that I work at MobileDataforce and we design, develop and deploy mobile handheld PDA HVAC software applications. They must think I am the most obnoxious customer they have ever had. "Using a paper form and clipboard I see." "Yep" "How do you know what job to do next?" "They tell me on the radio." "How many jobs do you do a day?" "As many as they tell me." "How do they tell you?" "I go to the office in the morning and they say - here and hand me a job." "What about jobs 2-7?" "I call them on a radio and say I am finished. They say about time now go here or there." "Do you ever need to review past work orders or maintenance forms?" "Yep - most of the time the customer has the last one duct taped to the side of the furnace." "If not?" "I call the office and as

Auto & Equipment Auctions and Mobile Handheld PDA Inspection Solutions

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MobileDataforce has been working on projects in Europe, North America and in Australia/New Zealand that involve inspecting and appraising automobiles and other equipment for auctions and resale. Think about the environment that these activities take place in - mines, construction sites, storage lots, homes, auto dealerships, etc. These environments require one to collect a great deal of data in the field. Handheld PDAs and mobile inspection software with wireless synchronization back to an enterprise database application in the office provides a huge amount of value. Let's discuss some of it here: Standardized inspection forms on handheld computers can ensure inspections are complete, uniform, accurate and readable. Business rules included in the mobile handheld inspection applications can validate that the information is accurate. For example scanning a VIN number on a vehicle can automatically fill out much of the vehicle information automatically and ensure the inspection da

Electric & Water Utilities and Inspection Software for Handheld PDAs

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In the past week MobileDataforce has been contacted by over 20 electrical and water utilities seeking mobile handheld PDA solutions for inspections. It seems our mobile inspection software fills a significant need for them. Here are just a few of the common mobile software applications that electrical utilities are searching for: Power Plant Inspections Asset Management - Conditional Assessment Meter Repair & Maintenance Line & Pole Inspections Stray Voltage Inspections Health and Safety Inspections Pole Inspections Weld Tracking Construction Management Health & Safety Facilities Management Substation Inspections GIS and mobile applications

Inspection Software on Handheld PDAs

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Across the globe MobileDataforce's mobile inspection software solutions designed for handheld PDAs are used in a wide variety of situations and environments. Let me list a few: Food Processing Plants Bridge construction Residential water usage Vehicle inspections for resale End-of-lease auto inspections Mold inspections Roof inspections Heavy equipment auctions Street sign inspections many more... Yesterday I was involved in learning all about the following: Eddy Current Inspections Non-destructive Testing Tube Plugging Tests Corrosion Tests Ultrasonic Testing Concrete Testing Soil & Water Testing Leak Testing Our PointSync Mobility Platform is the foundation for all of these inspection software applications. It is a software platform that supports quickly designing, developing and deploying a wide variety of mobile inspection applications for a large number of different mobile handheld PDAs in a quick and cost effective manner.

Mobile Inspection Software and Handheld PDAs in City Government

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MobileDataforce has worked with a lot of municipal governments on mobilizing inspections using isnpection software designed for handheld PDAs. Here is a list of the departments in a typical city that conduct regular inspections: City Engineering City Land Use City Forestry City Historic Development City "Right-of-Way" City Traffic Engineers City Building Inspectors City Fire Marshall City Electrical Inspectors City Mechanical Inspectors City Plumbing Inspectors Many of these departments may have multiple inspections they must perform. In the Fire Marshall department alone they have quite the selection: Fire Alarm Cooking Equipment Wall Rating Wall Penetrations Above Ceiling Exit and Emergency Lights Sprinklers Panic Hardware Standpipe Emergency Extinguishers Many more... These departments and their associated inspections represent a lot of field data collection activities and internal office data entry. It is easy to see why MobileDataforce provides a lo

Business Analytics and Mobile Handheld PDAs

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We have many very large customers that are deploying hundreds and even thousands of mobile handheld PDAs to their field services and inspection teams around the world. In addition to all of the efficiencies derived from using mobile software applications that synchronize directly to enterprise database applications back at the office, there is the additional value of being able to analyze services and business metrics in real time. Let me explain: If your company provides a defined list of services, it is easy to include a feature in your "mobile work order" application that will record the start and stop times on a service. Let's say you have 100 field service technicians all performing the same list of services. It will not take long to understand the average length of time it takes to complete that service. Your job estimates will become increasingly accurate, your planning and scheduling processes better defined and accurate and the individual performances of your f

Inspection Software for Mobile Handheld PDAs, Service Requests & Asset Management

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Many of our customers that use mobile handheld computers and PDAs for mobile inspections also use them for mobile service requests and asset tracking. Let me provide you with a scenario: A mobile handheld computer is used to perform an inspection on the condition of a building (company asset) The information collect from the conditional assessment inspection is synchronized to the enterprise Asset Management system so it can be documented, analyzed and work and budgets assigned to maintain it. A service request is dispatched to the handheld computer or PDA of the service technician. The service technician completes the work that was dispatched to him/her and the service request is closed and synchronized with the enterprise Asset Management system Inspections, Asset Management and Service Orders often go hand-in-hand. All three of these functions benefit from the use of mobile handheld computers and PDAs. The data that is collected is in the field, the company's assets are lo

Mobile Handheld PDAs and Inspection Software

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It is very important to select the appropriate and relevant handheld PDAs, Smartphones or Tablet PCs/Laptops when preparing for an inspection project. I have collected many of the most important considerations and published them in a document called, " Selecting Appropriate Handheld Computers ". Inspection software developed for handheld PDAs is unique and requires specialized attributes. It must work in disconnected environments, in rugged and remote locations and support the functionality built into your mobile handheld PDA. I hope you find this helpful!

Mobile Inspections on Handheld PDAs and the Web

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Inspections are of little value if the data is not shared, analyzed and provides relevant information necessary for making solid business decisions. We have worked with several customers who have reported that historic data from field inspections simply got placed in paper file folders and stored. The data was not accessed or viewed by any decision makers!!! Most if not all of the field inspection software applications that MobileDataforce have worked on synchronize data from mobile handheld PDAs to a database back at the office. Often we are asked to create web interfaces to this data so project participants and management can quickly login and review the collected inspection data from anywhere in the world via a web browser. We customize a series of reports that display the data in relevant and helpful formats for quick and efficient viewing and understanding.

Mobile Inspection Software on Handheld PDAs

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Mobile inspection software solutions are the topic of the week. Why? Many of MobileDataforce's largest global customers are in the inspection services business. In addition, rarely are inspections done in an office cubicle. They are most often completed somewhere away from the office and often out-of-doors. My engineering team has been developing and enhancing the PointSync Mobility Platform for many years specifically for companies that have a need to use a wide variety of different inspection applications and other mobile applications in the field. The image in the upper right corner of this blog - is a screen shot of the PointSync Developer. This is the application companies use to develop each customized inspection. Once the mobile application is designed, developed and deployed the work can begin. Because the inspection services industry covers such a wide variety of inspections, MobileDataforce created a mobile inspection platform to support the requirements for q

Off the Shelf Mobile Applications vs Customized for Handheld PDAs

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Often my sales team gets asked the following question, "Should I buy an "Off-the-Shelf" mobile software application, or customize a mobile software application to fit my specific business?" The answer depends on if your business is set-up as an " off-the-shelf" business. Do you conduct your business in the exact same manner as many others in your market? Do you use the same business processes and the same accounting package as the others? Is your product or service business managed in the same manner as others in your market. If the answers are yes, then buying an off-the shelf mobile application is a reasonable option. However, if you conduct your business in a unique manner that offers you a competitive advantage over others in your market, then you may want to customize your mobile software applications and automate the business processes that provide you with these advantages. Let me give some examples: In this recent blog article I write about comp

Mobile Inspection Software for Handheld PDAs

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MobileDataforce works with many inspection services companies. Our PointSync Mobility Platform enables companies that provide a wide variety of inspection services the ability to rapidly develop new and cost effective mobile inspection applications for use on handheld PDAs and rugged handhelds. The "rapid" part is very important since many inspections are project based, and you can't spend 6 months developing a mobile solution for a handheld. Some of our customers use the same mobile inspection application routinely, while others do contract work for electrical companies and other large organizations that require customized inspection services based upon the needs of the project. The PointSync Mobility Platform works well for both kinds of project environments.

Mobile Software Solutions for Handheld PDAs and Integration

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Mobile software solutions for handheld PDAs have limited value, unless they are synchronized and integrated with business applications back at the office. To that end, MobileDataforce's mobile software applications are integrated with many of the world's most popular database applications including: Sybase & iAnywhere Quickbooks Microsoft SQL Microsoft Navision Microsoft's Great Plains Microsoft Dynamic Microsoft Access Oracle AS 400/DB2 MRO Maximo Many more... The integration with these database applications enable bi-directional database synchronization between the mobile handheld PDAs and the office business software applications. This empowers the mobile handheld user to have the same kinds of visibility to enterprise data as someone sitting in a cubicle in the office. In addition, the office can receive near real-time data from work being done in the field. The efficiencies that are available through mobilization can be enormous.

Hawaii & Mobile Software for PDAs, Smartphones and Handhelds

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Greetings Folks, I am back from a wonderful and relaxing family vacation/holiday on the Island of Maui, Hawaii. I tried to forget about mobile software, PDAs, handhelds and smartphones for a few days, but alas, there are people carrying mobile handheld computers everywhere I go! Let me give you an update on some of the mobile software solutions my team has been working on over the last few weeks: Paintless Dent Removal - mobile auto/vehicle inspections, services and repair business solutions Bridge inspections Mobile work order management applications for ATM service technicians Electric Utility - mobile inspection & work order applications Building inspection applications for a county government Clinical trials - mobile applications for healthcare service providers Asset management/conditional assessments and preventative work orders Much more... The key value propositions for many of these solutions are the following: Accountability of work and workers in the field Accountab