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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

My name is Alex, I am new to Contractor Talk and I'm looking to learn from you professionals within the contracting industry.

I have been working with a local stamped concrete organization out of Madison, WI for a few years now handling their marketing efforts, however as of recently I am looking to build software for those within the contracting industry to make your business more efficient, profitable, and ultimately more fun, giving you more time to spend with you family.

So my question to you then, what are some of the biggest problems, pain points, or difficulties that you experience as a contractor on a day-to-day basis?

Feedback would be greatly appreciated! And, together if we are able to determine some pain points that are serious enough and common across the industry then hopefully we can draft up a solution to these problems.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Clients not making decisions. Waiting for a paint color right now. Not really holding me up...yet. Sometimes it takes a few days to get the custom colors made. Then she'll be calling me asking where's her vanity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Leo, how often would you say clients are indecisive during projects? Is their inability to make decisions during projects hurting you financially?

Lastly, when a client is not making a decision within a time frame to suits your needs, how are you able to speed up your clients or how do you entice them to pick a choice?

Thanks!
 

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however as of recently I am looking to build software for those within the contracting industry to make your business more efficient, profitable, and ultimately more fun, giving you more time to spend with you family.
i'm sorry but you sound like an idiot

everyone thinks they have some "cure" for the contracting industry, ask angies list home advisor blah blah blah, you cannot create a computer program and solve the problems that exist in the contracting business, or make is BETTER

contracting is a hands on person to person business with each job comes a different set of problems, obsticals, and scope of work

you can come up with all kinds of computer bs, programs, this and that, but what matters the most is YOUR ABLITY TO SOLVE PROBLEMS COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY AND WORK HARD
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks fred for your sophisticated bash of a response. However, this is a serious conversation where I'm trying to find problems in your industry and see how some of them can be resolved through software development.

Even though your industry is very hands on most professionals use software to handle some of their more time consuming tasks, like Quickbooks for your taxes and accounting.

However, I respect if your not interested in providing serious feedback to this thread, but please keep your bashing aside. If you do not want to address some problems and ultimate solutions you experience in your profession that fine, but again, please act like the professional you are and keep your negative comments to yourself.
 

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I would like some software I could use to create personalized project catalogs for my clients. Right now I just do it on Word and keep a notebook of products I've liked in the past.

I don't typically give a bathroom client the whole Kohler book, for example. I'll give them a packet with three or four Kohler products and three or four from each of 2 or 3 other manufacturers.

Basically I'm customizing a catalog for the client to shop from for their project. It's less overwhelming for the client and I have more control over which products go into my projects.

I'd love to have a program where I could compile my own database of preferred products for customers to choose from (including my own descriptions) select them from the program, and have a quick and simple customized catalog ready in PDF form.

Maybe it already exists, I just started thinking about this today.
 

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I agree with fast Fred on a computer not being able to solve most of our problems, but I certainly admire your try. I believe individuals such as yourself though maybe naive to our day to day problems may be able to offer a fresh set of eyes on something we have overlooked.
Thank You for your interest in trying to make the world a better place.
 

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Accounting software for the accounting illiterate. Most accounting software that I am aware of its great, but it's also geared more towards someone with accounting knowledge.

An Accounting Software for Dummies - that's what I need
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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One thing that would be useful for me is a picture taking app for my tablet and smart phone that lets me type text right on the front of it while saving it all together as one picture. It would also have a custom keyboard that only includes the characters that I need so that I would have larger keys to type from.

Like if I am working from a set of architectural drawings in a commercial building, each device that I wire up and install on the wall has a specific location number. When I go back and verify that my work has been completed, or if there is an issue, I'd like to be able to take a picture of it while typing text across of the front of it saying "LB5-SA3" so that when I send it out, the recipient(s) know exactly what they are looking at the moment they pull it up or print it.

It would also be good to have presets in it so that if I am doing multiple houses or apartments, I can select "Master Bedroom" or "Master Bath" from a menu to be stamped on the front of the photo.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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But to answer the OP's question, I would have to say that one of my biggest problems is when a technical consultant or someone similar isn't capable of solving my problem. So rather than admitting it, they are determined to give me what they want to give me rather than what I ask for.
 

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tedanderson said:
One thing that would be useful for me is a picture taking app for my tablet and smart phone that lets me type text right on the front of it while saving it all together as one picture. It would also have a custom keyboard that only includes the characters that I need so that I would have larger keys to type from. Like if I am working from a set of architectural drawings in a commercial building, each device that I wire up and install on the wall has a specific location number. When I go back and verify that my work has been completed, or if there is an issue, I'd like to be able to take a picture of it while typing text across of the front of it saying "LB5-SA3" so that when I send it out, the recipient(s) know exactly what they are looking at the moment they pull it up or print it. It would also be good to have presets in it so that if I am doing multiple houses or apartments, I can select "Master Bedroom" or "Master Bath" from a menu to be stamped on the front of the photo.
image-1927303346.jpg image-3607321777.jpg You mean like the above? https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photo-editor/id546821797?mt=8 It's called photo editor by Axiem Systems it was free.
 

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Most contractors repeat the same types of work---remodeling bathrooms ,for example--

A spread sheet coupled with a word processing program would be helpful---

I would like to be able to run through a check list and have these items priced ---then compiled into a written scope of work----the pricing of individual phases would aid in coming up with a job cost---

I do all of that using paper now---real easy to miss something ----and time consuming to research the man hours and product costs---
 

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One thing that would be useful for me is a picture taking app for my tablet and smart phone that lets me type text right on the front of it while saving it all together as one picture. It would also have a custom keyboard that only includes the characters that I need so that I would have larger keys to type from.

Like if I am working from a set of architectural drawings in a commercial building, each device that I wire up and install on the wall has a specific location number. When I go back and verify that my work has been completed, or if there is an issue, I'd like to be able to take a picture of it while typing text across of the front of it saying "LB5-SA3" so that when I send it out, the recipient(s) know exactly what they are looking at the moment they pull it up or print it.

It would also be good to have presets in it so that if I am doing multiple houses or apartments, I can select "Master Bedroom" or "Master Bath" from a menu to be stamped on the front of the photo.
There's an app for that, it's called a photo editor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Most contractors repeat the same types of work---remodeling bathrooms ,for example--

A spread sheet coupled with a word processing program would be helpful---

I would like to be able to run through a check list and have these items priced ---then compiled into a written scope of work----the pricing of individual phases would aid in coming up with a job cost---

I do all of that using paper now---real easy to miss something ----and time consuming to research the man hours and product costs---
Mike Woods, thank you for your response. What you are talking about is a way to find profit/loss per individual jobs and at specific points of the job? May it be importing the amount and cost of materials, number of employees at the hours they worked and price per hour, along with additional information to track throughout the project?

Also, thank you to every who has contributed feedback. Yes a lot of the "heavy lifting" of your profession cannot be resolved through tech, however if it could save you a few hours a day that could either amount to more income for your company or more time relaxing.

Please keep the feedback rolling, again, what are some of the biggest, mundane problems you face throughout your work day?
 

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The majority of problems contractor have is a lack of discipline(financially) and the lack of understanding of how to operate an actual company, like an experienced ceo might.

Its what I struggle with anyhow. Doing the work monkeys might be able to do.

The traffic around 5 makes my blood boil at times as well.
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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You mean like the above?
Close, but not quite. Does the app allow me to shoot and edit on the fly? If so, that would save me a couple of steps in the process but I want to take the picture, then have the keyboard instantly pop up allowing me to type in the device number or grid coordinates, then I hit "DONE" and its saved.
 

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tedanderson said:
Close, but not quite. Does the app allow me to shoot and edit on the fly? If so, that would save me a couple of steps in the process but I want to take the picture, then have the keyboard instantly pop up allowing me to type in the device number or grid coordinates, then I hit "DONE" and its saved.
It does. With the app open take a picture click use photo, hit the text button and BAM...A KEYBOARD,!!! :) you should try it.
 
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