Technology Update: Software Solutions

Aug. 1, 2008
Aeroprise, Mountain View, CA, a mobility solution for BMC® Remedy®, reports that Lennox International Inc. is among the latest users of Aeroprise Mobility for BMC Remedy™.

Complied by Kate Hoban

Aeroprise, Mountain View, CA, a mobility solution for BMC® Remedy®, reports that Lennox International Inc. is among the latest users of Aeroprise Mobility for BMC Remedy™.

BMC Remedy Service Desk 7 is an automated incident and problem workflow application. Aeroprise Mobility extends the help desk solution to field-based IT workers, who access the system and manage trouble tickets on BlackBerry® smartphones from Research In Motion (RIM) without returning to the office. According to Aeroprise sources, Aeroprise Mobility for BMC Remedy is the only out-of-the-box solution that automatically inherits and updates BMC Remedy workflow on handheld devices.

According to company spokespersons, IT support technicians are often 30% more productive when they don’t need to return to their desks to manage trouble tickets and update asset records.

Instant alerts minimize downtime of critical equipment, such as health management and financial systems, by delivering real-time call ticket information to the device. Mobile technicians, armed with detailed information, respond to business issues quicker and deploy new assets faster.

Alocet Inc.

Alocet Inc., introduces the QXpress- a scheduling, job costing and invoicing add-on to QuickBooks for the HVAC industry.

According to company spokesperson the QXpress satisfies the needs of professionals that don’t want to replace QuickBooks - they just want to add to it. With a Gold Developer Status awarded by Intuit, QXpress also offers real-time synchronization between QuickBooks and QXpress.

HVAC industry professionals can use the QXpress to double data entry and schedule one-time, recurring and multiday projects. Job information only needs to be entered once and develops from an estimate to a work order to an invoice with the click of a mouse. QXpress, can generate job costing and customized reports, use the marketing tools to create items such as renewal letters, and track equipment and warranties in the equipment list.

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Aptora Corporation announced the second major version release of Total Office Manager. The new program includes a Multiple Contacts tab, which enables the user to add an unlimited number of contacts, phone, fax, e-mail, and other fields,which also enhances the capabilities of TOM’s Caller ID feature.

The Employee Skills Checking tab includes the ability to set up employees based on skill sets with a warning that pops up if the dispatcher tries to assign a service call to someone not qualified to do the work.

The Over Quantity/Under Quantity on Invoice Items feature sets up a message that will appear on the invoice anytime the over or under amount falls outside the set parameters during the selling process.

Escrow Accounting (Enterprise Edition Only) allows the technician to “hold” service agreement income until the work is actually performed.

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Climate Automation Systems

Climate Automation Systems announces the availability of its env software system for indoor climate control optimization for residential and moderate-scale commercial buildings. The env software system offers intelligent climate control technologies previously exclusive to large-scale commercial applications, that balance indoor climate to maximize both comfort and energy efficiency.

Using the science of climate control, env accounts for current environmental humidity levels and the convective and radiant heat transfer split factor, weighing them against the energy consumption rate of the human body. In this manner, the technology calculates a temperature and HVAC system output level that can simultaneously achieve optimal occupant comfort and system efficiency.

All system tables and rules are initially entered by the mechanical contractor via a standard web browser that provides easily navigated point-and-click menus. The env system uses one or more analog-digital I/O blocks for acquiring data and controlling all HVAC devices.

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Coleman® Heating and Air Conditioning introduces the new Coleman In Home Selling Tool. Available to Coleman Liberties™ Plus dealers, this professional, interactive program is designed to help dealers prescribe solutions to best fit the comfort needs of their customers.

The In Home Selling Tool features an interactive questionnaire that runs from a dealer’s laptop, so it can be completed by the homeowner during an in-home sales or service call. Questions examine information about the house and the existing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, help identify homeowner needs and ask the homeowner to rate preferences for home comfort systems – things like consistent comfort, sound, warranty, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), and more. Additionally, homeowners can view short videos that provide more information about the benefits of a specific home comfort topic using clear language that is easy for a homeowner to understand.

According to Coleman spokespersons, dealers who encourage homeowners to complete the questionnaire will be better equipped to provide the best possible home comfort solution and achieve sell-up opportunities in the process.
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ExactCharge Industries, Inc.

The ExactCharge Calculator calculates superheat and subcooling for 28 refrigerants and other pressure and temperature correlations, and displays the required suction or liquid line temperature. It can be used as a ductsizing calculator, with readouts for round, rectangular, and flex ducts.

Designed for mobile field application, it can be loaded onto handheld computers or SmartPhones. The software can aid the technician to properly charge the system as well as assist in diagnostics and analysis.

ExactCharge Industrie’s Systems Data Report software, can be used with the calculator for logging equipment performance, searching customer data, and emailing systems data information as well as additional recommendations to the customer for increased revenue generation from the contractor’s customer base. By using this report over time on the same system, a performance baseline is logged.

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Greenheck’s AMCA Certified Computer Aided Product Selection Program (CAPS) includes product descriptions, application information, dimensional drawings, detailed product performance for all products and CAD drawings for many products. CAPS provides complete menudriven support for Greenheck’s fans and ventilators, centrifugal and vane axial fans, energy recovery ventilators, make-up air units, kitchen ventilation systems, dampers, and louvers. Greenheck’s CAPS program may be downloaded from

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Intac International, Inc.
Intac International, Inc., maker of the Wintac Pro business management software for service and installation contractors, announces the release of the Wintac Web Portal. The product is an optional web-based extension to Wintac that provides Internet access for customers and field service staff.

Described by Intac sources as a true web-based application, the Wintac Web Portal works with any internet-capable computer or PDA device, requires no proprietary hardware, and provides unlimited real-time access with no subscription fees.

Customers can have access to account history, including invoices and payments, pending work schedules, service logs, and details of installed equipment through remote Internet access. Customers can also be set up to self-schedule service and instantly give feedback on customer satisfaction.

Service staff can now be provided with remote Internet access to job schedules, work orders, service history, and details of installed equipment. They can also be enabled to update job statuses, itemize material and labor, apply customer payments, and self-schedule future service.

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Johnson Controls/York®

Johnson Controls recently introduced a new DVD video and software for Windows set for the York® Affinity™ 33-in single-stage gas furnace. The set is the fourth in the ProficienTECH series of media-based technical training from the Unitary Products division of Johnson Controls.

With an emphasis placed on the furnace sequence of operation, the 42-minute DVD covers each furnace component to give the viewer a thorough comprehension of component operation within the system. Startup and troubleshooting information is provided, including diagnosis of various components in the system.

The accompanying software for Windows incorporates a library of services, including installation instructions, technical guides, a user’s guide, parts lists, troubleshooting flowcharts and startup sheets. An interactive theater plays video clips and a step-by-step tutorial on the electrical operation of the 33-in single-stage gas furnace. The software is designed for Windows PCs, and includes an automatic update feature to keep the latest product information on the user’s Windows desktop.

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Maxwell Systems
Maxwell Systems offers complete estimating solutions for electrical, mechanical, plumbing and HVAC contractors. By tying together estimates, labor needs and cost analysis, Maxwell Systems software helps contractors bid more accurately. It also saves time on paperwork, which means greater overall efficiency and cost savings according to company spokespersons.

Maxwell Systems gives you all the benefits of integrated business systems without changing the way you conduct business. Maxwell systems instantly connect contractors to the information they need, allowing them to automatically share data among various applications. The result is maximum efficiency with minimal data entry and increased profit margins.

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NITEK Software

Nitek Software announced the release of LoadWizard Platinum, the latest version of its HVAC sizing tools suite. According to company spokesperson, the system now can be run in well under 30 seconds on a simple single story structure.

In addition to the residential wholehouse calculation, C5/Nitek announced that the LoadWizard Platinum tools suite also includes a room-by-room calculator, a commercial calculator, and a newly added “One-Room” calculator that can be used to size minisplit ductless system. The suite also includes a newly created “photo gallery” for the management and printing of digital job photographs, accommodating up to 24 separate photos for each customer file. Company spokespersons say they have included a gas-pipe sizing tool, an exhaust and combustion air sizing tool, and a forced air duct and grill sizing to make this the most complete and powerful sales/sizing suite in the industry. Nitek is also including a comprehensive training video library with the software.

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Rover Data

Tustin, CA-based Rover Data Systems’ Millennium III application is a customizable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system, that includes modules for sales and marketing management, finance, engineering, manufacturing and production management, CRM, and inventory control.

According to Rover Data spokespersons, one of the more cost-saving things that the Millennium III system does is to employ a classification of inventory locations to identify exactly where inventory is at all times. While enabling improved inventory control, at minimal expense, the modularity of this system also helps manufacturers meet future business needs by permitting customization in response to changes in the market.

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Sawin Mobile

The Sawin Mobile software program can be deployed with a laptop, tablet PC, PDA, or a hybrid of these devices, giving the contractor the flexibility to outfit customers with the right device based on their specific field requirements.

Company sources say Sawin Mobile gives the consumer the ability to see the recommended repairs with subsequent pricing on screen for review and authorization by signature capture. Once authorized, the technician can complete the work order, swipe a credit card from the customer for instant authorization, and either email the invoice directly from the device or print a copy on the spot.

Sawin is paperless and allows the technician to track his time and materials cost in relation to the flat rate price. The technician can also review and update the equipment logs on the device, review service history, PM contracts, and make recommendations for the salesmen.

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Shop Data Systems

Shop Data Systems, Inc. has released its newest version of Quickduct CAD. The new version offers improved editing functions.

According to company spokespersons, Quickduct CAD 2008 supplies the sheet metal detailer with all the necessary tools to produce shop drawings and 3D coordination drawings. The most complete rectangle, round and flat oval fitting library in the industry gives the detailer every tool needed to design and draw the most complex jobs.

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A recent upgrade from SuccessWare allows users to measure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) right from the dispatch board. These numbers include such statistics as billable hour efficiency, average sale, money tasks sold per job, agreement sale closing rate and many more. There are 56 different key performance indicators that can be measured.

By having the numbers at their fingertips, the dispatcher can motivate the technicians throughout the entire day.

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Team Management Systems, Inc.
Team Management Systems, Inc.’s ACOTRUCK Mobile Work Order is an electronic version of a paper work order that allows technician’s to invoice customers in the field and upload all of the information back to their office server software.

Company spokespersons say, the technician simply enters dispatch times, material used, equipment serviced, and what was done to resolve the problem on one easy to navigate screen that looks like a standard paper work order. Sell prices are automatically calculated based on the customer’s billing rates and a professional looking invoice is generated for the customer to sign right on the computer screen. A copy of the signed invoice can be printed for the customer and all of the information is automatically uploaded back to the office, including a PDF copy of the signed invoice, eliminating the need for manual entry and filing. In addition to Time and Material billing, the Mobile Work Order also handles Flat Rate and As Agreed invoices as well as printed work orders for invoices that will be sent from the office.

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Trade Service

Trade Service introduces the TRA-SER Premier software program. TRA-SER Premier can be used for looking up material pricing on plumbing/HVAC and mechanical items. With a 1.5 millionitem database containing more than 600 manufacturers, the user can quote and prepare bids and submittals easily, according to company spokesperson. Pricing is updated weekly, so the information is timely.

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Wrightsoft’s award winning Right-N® software module incorporates the latest Manual N 5th edition requirements for energy, comfort, and ventilation. Wrightsoft sources say contractors can be assured that they are using the most up to date ACCA calculation standard for their high-end homes or light commercial projects. As part of the Right-Suite® Universal software package, this module provides the fastest way to produce Manual N load calculations and complete HVAC system designs.

According to company spokespersons, contractors can save even more time and simplify their energy code compliance process by linking their complete commercial design directly to COMcheckTM without having to leave Right-Suite Universal. When used with Right- Draw® and other Right- Suite Universal modules, contractors can use the dragand- drop HVAC ShapesTM to create the floor plan of their project, then select the Right-N method and have the Manual N worksheet automatically populate to determine the load breakdown, generate standardized reports, zone the system and select equipment.

Contractors can compare the results of Right-N to ACCA Manual J and ASHRAE load calculations as well as use the Right-N module with either ACCA Manual D or ASHRAE duct calculation methods and the parts takeoff, system comparison, radiant and high-velocity design, sales and proposal modules.

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Xora GPS TimeTrack™ provides companies with the ability to use a GPS-enabled mobile phone as a locationaware time clock. Companies can collect employee time and job data from the field in real-time, and transfer the data into an accounting, payroll, ERP or other back office system.

Managers use a mobile phone to collect employee time card and job data. The system stamps each shift or job event with a location, so that employees know when and where technicians are clocking in and out of shifts and/or jobs.

Xora sources say time and job information captured by GPS TimeTrack can be seamlessly transferred to existing back office systems. 4Web services API or ODBC connector enables the electronic exchange of data 4Customizable FlexFields™ allow for the collection of specific job data via the phone, which can be sent to back office systems in real-time.

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