mix of software solutions | Service provider

EDS load calculator Software (energy design systems, www.eds.tech, 877/EDS-TECH) is a residential heat loss/heat gain block load calculator designed to be used both as a tool in the sales process and to firm up block load calculations in internal. The solution, which works on all devices, uses data from Google Earth, Zillow and real estate databases along with a series of algorithms and equations to size home equipment and verify a flow of adequate air.

How it works: The contractor using the software makes basic assumptions about factors that can be entered prior to a site visit, based on information from Google Earth and the proprietary interface to postcode-based third-party online resources from the house, these entrances requiring checking and adjustments with on-site internal measurements to arrive at the accurate block load.

Once you enter the address of the house and google it, you see an image of the house and weather data and building protocols on the screen (no software application to download ).

With the software, user can design and configure multiple design conditions (e.g. indoor design temperature in summer, outdoor design temperature in summer, design temperature in winter, outdoor design temperature in winter, humidity difference Grain, Resident Count, Duct Loss, Duct Gain, Cooling Infiltration Rate, Heating Infiltration Rate) and can configure and set attic, wall and glass measurements.

Calculations are displayed in a clear, easy-to-digest format suitable for client presentation as well as internal records. Each time a change is made in the software, the load adjusts live.

Once the calculations are complete, you can email, download and print a load report. There are two types of reports: a contractor’s report and an owner’s report, each displaying information in the form of tables, graphs and details of heating and cooling loads. The contractor’s report will contain details of the calculations while the owner’s report will contain additional documentation and marketing material.

Pricing: annual or monthly/per user fee, 14-day free trial

Orcatec Software for Home Service Contractors (orcatec.com, 858/284-4310) offers both web cloud functionality and a mobile app for iOS and Android.

Web-based features include the ability to generate professional-looking and customizable proposals and estimates, field staff scheduling, dispatching technicians to the field, as well as generating invoices and accepting payments.

The mobile app allows field workers to view and manage their time-slot schedules, as well as the details of each task/job; generate proposals for new work in the field; and process credit card payments.

Optional modules include ordering equipment using an integrated equipment database with your own price lists and uploaded parts; the ability to create and track recurring appointments and tasks, including service contracts; GPS tracking and technicians and optimization of mapped routes; and accounting with tracking of expenses by job, working hours and profits.

Pricing: free for one user, price/month for each additional user. Optional modules incur additional costs.

Vague invoicing software for small businesses, available for free (www.waveapps.com), provides unlimited customizable business invoicing with the choice of templates and send frequency (e.g. once or recurring). By enabling Wave Payment, customers can click Pay now on invoice and pay instantly by credit card or secure bank payment (ACH/EFT, with fees per transaction).

The solution allows users to check the status of invoices (sent, viewed, paid, overdue), record and track payments, and send receipts and reminders. All billing and payment information is automatically synced with the free Wave accounting software included in a company’s account.

Businesses can also send invoices in the field with Wave’s free invoicing apps for iOS and Android (downloadable from the Apple Store and Google Play).

Also available:

Wave payments (Pay Per Use) implements a way for business owners to get paid faster for better cash flow (as fast as 1-2 business days) via bank deposit, credit card and Apply Pay for as low as 1% per transaction.

Wave Payroll (monthly fee) provides business owners with an automated payroll solution to make it easy to pay themselves, their employees, and contractors while helping stay compliant.

CraftJack (www.craftjack.com866/332-7134), is a third-party lead generation service for

contractors who find owners with specific real estate project needs and match those service requests with contractors in their network who have signed up to receive leads for those particular services and in the owners’ service request locations. Every entrepreneur has a personal account manager to help you build a profile and get leads rolling in at your preferred pace.

The CraftJack Pro app (downloadable from the App Store and Google Play) allows entrepreneurs to manage their lead flow on the go. They are notified when leads arrive and can contact owners directly from the app. Contractors can request reviews from owners they’ve worked with and respond to them in the app as well. All leads are verified over the phone and screened for quality.

CraftJack finds its leads on more than 35 service category-specific websites, including LocalJunkRemovalQuotes.com, LocalLandscapingQuotes.com, LocalHandymanQuotes.com, and Local HVAC Quotes.com. Homeowners submit their applications on these websites, and they are then verified by phone before being matched with up to four contractors registered with CraftJack or within the CraftJack Partner Network. Owners are usually contacted within 24 hours.

Pricing: per lead, varies by task and service area and a discount per lead is given to contractors who respond within 30 minutes. CraftJack also offers a no-hassle credit policy for “bad” leads.

Patti Feldman writes articles and web content for trade magazines and building product manufacturers. She can be reached at [email protected]