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Thread: PDA Devices

  1. #1

    PDA Devices

    Does anyone have experience with PDA devices in the field for your techs?
    This seems to be getting more and more popular as several software companies have integrated the technology with websites and dispatch boards.
    Any feedback would be appreciated...

    How does it work so far (good value for the price?)
    Did it take long for the guys to adapt?
    Does it save dispatch time?
    Quicker billing turn time?
    Save money on gas (tech's don't have to come in to get work orders)?
    Do your customers like the idea of going to your website instead of calling?

    These seem to be the pro's of the system, any cons?


    C-spackle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    7,756
    I have carried a Treo Palm 6540 for a few years now and it's better than my old laptop, which I sold.

    I'm also connected to the internet, have a full customer list, mapping if I need it but I don't use it for billing - I carry invoices - or any other technical dispatching because with most anything high tech these day these things can start running you in place of you running it. I keep it very simple and it works great.

    I'm sure there are better and faster products other than my Palm Treo 650 so I'm interested to see what some of the others use as well.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    933
    I have a Palm Visor (last centuries technology to some people) I sync it with Outlook which I use for scheduling and record keeping I have all my customers in a contact list with notes of what I have done for them, by date and invoice $. model and serial #, quote figures, I also keep their phone number address stuff in there also, this is updated in the feild with the pda and then synced to my office pc at the end of the day, all the numbers are in my cell phone also. I like having 2 seperate devices, although a treo would do all. including syncing on the go via the internet, cool but mo money for a bigger outfit I would consider it
    Still learning opinions welcome.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Valdosta Ga
    Posts
    847
    You might want to checkinto Labview this is there web sight http://www.ni.com/swf/presentation/us/labview/lvpda/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    4,622
    I've been thinking seriously about the same thing. I am not much interested in a laptop, had one and didn't like it much.

    Since I do all my quotes in Excel from my homebase with my own formula, would a PDA with Windows Mobile 6 Professional allow me to do them on the road? Also, are they compatible with mobile printers so I could complete written service quotes and contracts on site?

    Thanks.
    Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2¢.
    My competition are my best salespeople!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Valdosta Ga
    Posts
    847
    I now use the pocket pc for customer address ,Celsius to Fahrenheit calculator,and a service assistant calculator (Honeywell) I guess it could be use to take credit cards and checks with a phone or cell link.
    For folks that have the palm OS they want the Pocket PC OS for now my palm os is the only thing that will move my customers to Vista. If I had office 2007 it might be different the Ipaq 3115 is older technology and there still my not be support.
    Pocket excel works great for my blood pressure sugar the internal Wifi works great on the road for map quest at a restaurant or hotel that may have it the internal bluetooth is a little tricky to set up Vista sync makes it easer.
    The one problem I have is the Pocket Pc does not like heat it does not like to be left alone in the truck on a hot day so it gets left at home a lot

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    north east
    Posts
    40
    I have a HP,haven't been real happy with it.Probably user error.I'm just wondering does any one know of a inventory program for truck stock.Something that would subtract from inventory when clicked on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,933
    My latest Palm is a Palm T/X. I have been using Palm PDA's since they came out. Started out using a Panasonic brand of PDA that just did not do what it claimed it would do. The Palm units have been really good for me though.

    More so then other tools, PDA's are only good if you use them regularly and keep up on the input data from your day to day operations. I can bring up every customer I have visited, when I visited them and what was discussed during that visit. Before calling on a potential contractor I don't see on a regular basis, I can bring up what brand of equipment they use, who the principals of the company are and what kind of donuts they prefer.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    toledo, ohio
    Posts
    179
    I have an htc mogul smart phone thru sprint. Its a personal phone but i use it for work sometimes. I don't call anyone on the phone i mostly use it to get email and internet. I have unlimited internet axcess thru the phone, its evdo rev-a so for the most part it is pretty quick. the phone also has wifi. This phone is the cats butt. the only downfall is the phone looks like it can break easly.

    My coworker was trying to download some files i set hime from my home pc on his teathered laptop. I was able to forward the email i set him to our office and download the files to my phone in about 30 seconds. This was over 150 pages of a few trane manuals. Wheni was done he was still downloading the files to his computer.

    I havent taken the time to put in costomers info yet but i plane to. I can modify word files sent to me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    530
    Quote Originally Posted by gruntly View Post
    I've been thinking seriously about the same thing. I am not much interested in a laptop, had one and didn't like it much.

    Since I do all my quotes in Excel from my homebase with my own formula, would a PDA with Windows Mobile 6 Professional allow me to do them on the road? Also, are they compatible with mobile printers so I could complete written service quotes and contracts on site?

    Thanks.
    palm treo 700 wx is what i use and love it -check it out

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    5,460
    Quote Originally Posted by cold in alberta View Post
    palm treo 700 wx is what i use and love it -check it out
    Yup I had a Palm 650. Almost indestructable until I put a pry bar into it's screen! So I then got a 700wx. Gawd I use the phone constantly!
    It's usually playing internet radio through my headphones as I work on all day P.M.'s.


    It has WM5 in it and you can add programs and hack it as well. The Palm OS can't do all that the WM5 and WM6 can. And the nice thing is programs that work on a Palm with WM5 can work on a HTC, blackberry, etc.


    I keep my commercial account lists in there with info like filter and belt counts. It does have excel but I never use that. It has word and can open pdf files which is GREAT because I download and keep pdf type manuals in the phone. I also have a 4 Gig SDHC card in it so I can keep lots and lots of files.


    I have a few videos of me using it on youtube. And you know how I like youtube...


    This one is more of how I use the Palm as a modem for my laptop...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jgq0aiGGFLI



    Or this one.
    Which is more how I use the Palm itself...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRMJf58YzH0&feature=user

    Them videos are kind of old now. I do even more with the phone now.

    I use a laptop as well. The phone has EVDO on it and I "tether" it to my laptop. WiFi is worthless and there is no reason to get it on a phone. If you are at home with your own WiFi you would rather use a laptop or PC with a full sized screen anyway.

    I connect my Treo to the internet and it works all the way from Phoenix to Tucson, and from Phoenix to Yuma.
    Go look that up on some maps. That's 2 to 3 hour drives staying conencted to the internet!
    Last edited by PaysonHVAC; 04-26-2008 at 01:20 PM.
    True Heavy Metal Geek

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    159
    Have used HP iPac's for almost 4 years now for myself and employees. Wireless works okay, but the battery doesn't last so we sync to the network with a cradle instead. Used this way the battery has never been a problem.

    Syncs with Quick Books and Outlook so all the customer information is right there when it's needed - Billing works great - no duplicate entries. The iPac's also have a camera we use for job photo's.

    Don't use Word at all, Excel rarely. E-mail everyday.

    And occasionally in a pinch, I use the screen as a flashlight.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    4,622
    You guys are amazing with this stuff! Thanks!
    Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2¢.
    My competition are my best salespeople!

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