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Pro Painter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know many of you have laptops to be able to provide a full estimate on site and strike while the iron is hot. For me, I have to take measurements, return to my computer at home and do the estimate. Then, I have to go through another appointment with customer to deliver my estimate and contract.

How do those of you without laptops handle your mobile estimating? I guess I'm going to have to set up some contracts, and do estimates by hand on site if I want to provide one right then and there, but the amount of time it will take writing it out by hand will take forever.....Can anyone help to make this process more efficient?
 

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Painting Contractor
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1,881 Posts
AAPaint said:
I know many of you have laptops to be able to provide a full estimate on site and strike while the iron is hot. For me, I have to take measurements, return to my computer at home and do the estimate. Then, I have to go through another appointment with customer to deliver my estimate and contract.

How do those of you without laptops handle your mobile estimating? I guess I'm going to have to set up some contracts, and do estimates by hand on site if I want to provide one right then and there, but the amount of time it will take writing it out by hand will take forever.....Can anyone help to make this process more efficient?
ProWall guy, Are you listening?
 

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...jammin
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5,234 Posts
AAPaint said:
For me, I have to take measurements, return to my computer at home and do the estimate. Then, I have to go through another appointment with customer to deliver my estimate and contract.
Me too
It's also a PITA for billing
I'd much rather have the abilty to print a bill right then and there
I get paid much quicker that way
I find I often "..am in the area and can drop off the invoice" because if I e-mail or mail it, it sits in a pile of bills for a few weeks
PWG set me straight on the Mobile Office, and the laptop and printer are next on the equipment investment list
 

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I don't use a mobile printer because they cost to much and the ink on them runs out to fast. I use a HP printer/copier that I got for $70 at Sams Club.



Then I plug that into a power inverter $13 @ Sams:


The copy function on the printer is nice for credit card sales.
I have an excel spread sheet to do my estimates but you could easily use Quickbooks if you had it loaded on a laptop.

Measure, Print, and Sign (hopefully)
The whole estimate takes anywhere from 20mins - 1 hour depending on the client and how much talking they want to do.

I print out a final payment form and give it to the crew along with a summary of work and color selection. They pick up final payment and have the client sign the final payment form before they leave the job.

Works for us... I would NEVER go back to deliever and estimate or email an estimate. Leaves too much time for the customer to find someone else.
 

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...jammin
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5,234 Posts
Nathan said:
... I would NEVER go back to deliever and estimate or email an estimate. Leaves too much time for the customer to find someone else.
Exactly
The Mobile Office lets you print out a profesional estimate in the driveway while they're still looking at color chips
 

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Pro Painter
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2,314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hah, I have that printer! Looks like I may have just found a laptop too, talk about lucky. Now I guess I just need a power inverter.

However, what about those just starting out that don't have these things? Did any of you hand write out estimates in order to strike while the iron is hot? Did you keep a folder full of typed contracts, change orders, etc?
 

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Deck Designer/Builder
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2,430 Posts
AAPaint said:
Hah, I have that printer! Looks like I may have just found a laptop too, talk about lucky. Now I guess I just need a power inverter.

However, what about those just starting out that don't have these things? Did any of you hand write out estimates in order to strike while the iron is hot? Did you keep a folder full of typed contracts, change orders, etc?
I haven't gotten around to setting up my "mobile" office yet but I've got some ideas for making a shelf system for the Club Cab/rear seat of my truck. It's on my list of "to do's" once things slow down over the winter. Something to hold a small printer, my laptop, paper etc.

In the mean time, I always carry blank contracts in my portfolio for when the need arises.
 

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i drive a single cab truck and i have the laptop and printer ( not the mobile printer though) and i have been using the mobile office and it works awesome. my only problem is space. everything takes up too much space. and ideas for shelves or something for a single cab truck?
 

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...jammin
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5,234 Posts
I'm diggin' this stuff:




Images courtesy of (and products available at) the Duluth Trading Company
 

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Custom Builder
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4,406 Posts
I do laptops, as some of us already know. Right now I have a few IBM T20, 21, and 22s ready for a new home.

What kinda top did ya get AA?

Bob
 

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Anyone ever tried one of those Panasonic Toughbooks?
Product Output device Technology Electronic device Personal computer
The inspectors around here have them along with a Sprint wireless card. Pretty cool! They have touch screens and will fold down so you can write on the screen as well.

Anyone know where you can order those laptop braces for your car?
 

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...jammin
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5,234 Posts
Whoa...love the twisty screen
Figured I'd be using the laptop to show customers product info, pics, etc...
that looks pretty convenient
 

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Custom Builder
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Here is one I already have on.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6819924920&ru=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.ebay.com%3A80%2F%2Fsearch%2Fsearch.dll%3Ffrom%3DR40%26satitle%3D6819924920%2B%2B%26fvi%3D1

Most of what I have are just under a ghz. I have a few between 1 and 2 ghz, but I'm searching for parts.

I normally get between 300 and 400, sometimes a little more for the faster ones.

I buy them off corp lease, test them out, replace any broken parts, then resale.

Tell me more about your compaq, speed, screen size, etc.

Bob
 

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Pro Painter
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2,314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I couldn't tell ya much now because I sent him back with it. I did get the bag it came in though which has turned into my mobile setup for now with things like my planner, fan decks, contracts, etc, etc.

I'm interested in one of those above 1ghz...could you let me know when you have one that's complete?
 

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Nathan said:
Anyone ever tried one of those <img> The inspectors around here have them along with a Sprint wireless card. Pretty cool! They have touch screens and will fold down so you can write on the screen as well.

Anyone know where you can order those laptop braces for your car?
Nathan I do not have a panisonic but I do have the compaq version of it. It's a tablet pc, there are quite a few tablet manufacturers on the market.

The twisty screen is a nice feature when presenting to customers. Mine acutally removes from the keyboard in addition to twisting. To be honest the handwriting recognition and other touch screen features I haven't used too often and the wireless cards can be installed in any laptop. My next laptop might be a regular laptop instead of a tablet PC, but I looove hoe small and tiny this thing really is.

As far as mounts go for your vehicle google or ebay the word "jotto" jotto makes very nice mounts.
 
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