Apologies to Paul Simon, but when I looked at the long list of design ideas I compiled while at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, I thought I’d try to mention 50 of them—a nice round num
On My Desktop
Busy building 120 homes a year for revenues of $30 million, West Linn, Oregon builder Randy Sebastian doesn’t spend that much time sitting at his computer.
Busy building 120 homes a year for revenues of $30 million, West Linn, Oregon builder Randy Sebastian doesn’t spend that much time sitting at his computer. What’s important to him is using the items on his desktop to help him -- and his business -- work better.
Two accounting programs work together to fulfill both micro and macro-accounting needs, while Microsoft Project keeps track of projects every step of the way.
"I use my Palm Pilot to keep track of all my appointments, task lists and notes from the job site," says Sebastian. HotSync allows him to exchange information between his Palm and computer, lets his secretary update his schedule and helps him keep in sync with the rest of his staff.
ProHome: On the macro end, ProHome helps Sebastian keep track of all purchase orders and scheduling with a spreadsheet-style data entry grid and custom-designed database fields.
Timberline: Sebastian uses Timberline for computing job and equipment costs. It also offers invoice tracking, accounts payable and a general ledger that stores a complete financial activities history.
Microsoft Project: Sebastian uses this to plan and follow the progress of a project and determine if the timeline and costs are on target. Workgroup features allow all team members, from staff to subs, to communicate via e-mail or the Web.
HotSync: Calling it his "electronic brain," Sebastian’s Palm Pilot allows him to keep track of things out in the field and exchange information with his PC back at the office using HotSync.