On the Go
Your Guide to Mobile Devices
eDirectGlass Upgraded for Compatibility with Mobile Devices
eDirectGlass has launched a new version of its software and support for
the Apple® iPhone™, RIM BlackBerry® and Google Android mobile
“The new version of eDirectGlass Mobile Edition now includes real-time
technician tracking, turn-by-turn job routing; AGRSS safety data recording
including automatic current and historic weather conditions; enhanced
custom pricing catalogue and NAGS lookup; and supplier cost and quantity
on-hand for parts and supplies through select vendors.
eDirectGlass Mobile Edition also has many other features that allow the
mobile technician to create and complete work orders, process payments
and receive new work without having to go back to the office to collect
paperwork or additional information.
“By allowing the mobile technician access to critical information such
as supplier cost and availability, the glass shop will realize immediate
gains in productivity and revenue,” adds Hart. “The ability to capture
the replacement installation information for the AGRSS safety standards,
while on the job site, ensures the data is being recorded timely and correctly.
Additionally, the overall benefits from the Mobile Edition will allow
glass shops to invoice more jobs on a daily basis and in most cases, increase
their daily capacity for new work.” www.edirectglass.com
GlassMate™ 6.0 to Feature Mobile Integration Capability
The latest version of GlassMate™ available from Mitchell International
will feature an enhanced user interface, as well on-the-go mobile integration
capability. Scheduled to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2009, GlassMate
6.0 will provide technicians to access NAGS® vehicles and parts information
along with work order schedule information via smart phones such as Blackberry®
and the Apple® iPhone™.
“Everyday, more customers rely on mobile technology to access the information
critical to running an efficient business, which is why we are committed
to continuing to further streamlining the glass repair and replacement
process through innovations in desktop, mobile and web applications,”
says James Patterson, director of glass product management. http://glass.mitchell.com
Take Quest on the Road
Quest Software’s new GlassQuote Enterprise software is designed to allow
glass shop owners and operators to receive instant glass pricing and ordering
capabilities automatically. Likewise, it’s designed to prevent technicians
from having to call a service center, or visit multiple websites, to price
The system, which can be utilized online anywhere with Internet access,
includes the ability to retrieve quotes and order parts from Pilkington
North America, Mygrant, Pittsburgh Glass Works and all suppliers working
on a Glaxis platform.
Rob Rust, national sales manager for Quest, says he finds customers using
this technology while in the field more and more.
“What our software allows you to do is, with a laptop in your vehicle
and an Internet connection, it allows anyone from anywhere at any location
to access the point-of-sale software, and the point-of-sale software will
allow you to query your suppliers and order your glass, and do all those
things without ever having to call a supplier,” says Rust.
He is finding this option to be popular among mobile businesses especially.
“The smaller shops definitely don’t have to wait until they get home to
work on their invoices,” he adds. “They can do everything on the road
… These guys with a couple of shops or trucks can get a laptop, a power
inverter, a portable printer and an Internet air card and they’re good
to go.” www.questsoftware.com
Get There with
The TomTom ONE 130S portable GPS system is an affordable option for small
businesses and comes with pre-loaded base maps of the United States and
Canada. It also features programmable waypoints to help you arrive at
your destination and text-to-speech technology so you can keep your eyes
on the road while driving.
Other features include a 3.5-inch color LCD touch-screen with 320x240
resolution; a 1 GB of flash memory for use of expansion packs for additional
map routes; both 2D and 3D map views; and works with an optional traffic
receiver to alert you to possible traffic jams in the area.
TomTom also features downloadable voices to customize your GPS use. The
company also offers fleet-tracking systems and TomTom software that is
compatible with various smart phones. www.tomtom.com
and Fuel Costs “OnTrack” with Telogis System
The OnTrack 6.1 system from Telogis is designed to help owners and managers
track their fleets in an effort to optimize operations and fleet performance.
The system also is designed to help improve fuel efficiency.
OnTrack 6.1 provides real-time access to on-board diagnostics of individual
vehicles, giving business owners immediate access to mpg data, fuel tank
levels and other data. The system also offers drive time optimization
and turn-by-turn directions, two-way messaging and advanced maintenance
reports, along with the integration of high-resolution satellite imagery
and an easy way to track vehicle maintenance. It also can help monitor
on-time/late arrivals, idling time and speeding concerns.
“It gives you real-time tracking, reports and many other options,” says
one industry representative who uses the system. “It is a great option
and it will pay for itself.” www.telogis.com
A to B: Choosing a GPS Unit
Michael Preston, a Safelite Auto Glass technician in Fayetteville, N.C.,
spends his days driving the back roads of North Carolina. Though he’s
familiar with much of his area, he often finds himself heading to rural
jobs off the beaten path. And, though Safelite equips its technicians
with BlackBerry® phones through which jobs are even dispatched, sometimes
the maps are small and difficult to read.
So, about a year ago, Preston set out in search of a global positioning
“I’d never used a GPS before, and I had to consider my budget obviously,”
says Preston. “I didn’t want to get into all the bells and whistles. I
started checking into what was available and what features were available
at what price and what features would actually be useful to me.”
Preston chose a Garmin nüvi 200, which at the time was the company’s
baseline model. He finds that the baseline model is perfect for his needs.
“The baseline models have so much information—I needed to find my way
from Point A to Point B,” he says. “I use it to get from one job to the
next. I’ve even used it to find restaurants while on the road at lunchtime.”
The simplicity of having a GPS—and only a GPS—also was important to Preston.
“I didn’t need Blue Tooth™ connectivity or MP3 capability,” he says.
Though Preston eventually chose a Garmin, he’s quick to note that all
the brands have baseline models with similar, basic features.
“They all have great features to them,” says Preston.
The Latest iPhone: the 3GS
Just this June, Apple® introduced its latest iPhone™, the 3GS, which
it says is affordable but also the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet.
The company touts its long battery life, a high-quality 3-megapixel camera,
easy-to-use video and audio recording abilities as some of its best features.
While the system comes equipped with a variety of functions, it also has
available a number of applications to help you conduct business from the
field. Along with its compatibility with the new eDirectGlass software
system (see related story on page 50) and upcoming Mitchell system, another
popular application available, ProcessAway, allows you to process credit
card payments anywhere you can access the Internet. Other companies, such
as Innerfence, also offer similar applications for iPhone.
For those who wish to purchase a GPS system and phone in one, the iPhone
offers a built-in digital compass for instant navigation and mapping capability.
RIM Introduces the BlackBerry Tour Smartphone
Research In Motion (RIM) recently introduced the BlackBerry® Tour™—a
new 3G smartphone that features a built-in GPS system and advanced multimedia
capabilities designed for those conducting business on the go. The BlackBerry
Tour features a large, highly tactile, full keyboard for fast and easy
typing in the field. In addition, the device includes a 3.2-megapixel
camera that includes video recording; a full HTML web browser; 256 MB
of flash memory; a low-distortion speakerphone for calls received on the
road; Bluetooth support for hands-free use; pre-loaded Data Viz® Documents
to Go®, which allows users to load Excel files onto the handset for
tracking business expenses and more; and support for BlackBerry App World™,
which includes a variety of applications to help the small business owner
or technician in the field.
Several applications also are available for processing credit cars via
the BlackBerry Tour, and ready e-mail and web access allows you to keep
in touch with customers who might contact you via your website even when
conducting mobile work.
Safelite Equips Techs with Mobile Technology Solution
Safelite AutoGlass recently introduced a Mobile Resource Management (MRM)
technology for use by all of its mobile technicians. The MRM tool, first
deployed to a handful of markets in 2006 with the national rollout in
2008, allows the company’s field-based vehicle glass technicians to download
work orders using BlackBerry technology. The technology also provides
turn-by-turn directions and job-site credit card processing, real-time
schedule updates, receipt printing and signature capture. The application
utilizes Bluetooth technology by pairing a wireless printer and signature
capture device directly to the phone.
The company’s MRM wireless printers utilize a smaller, 4-inch roll of
paper and the technician only produces two printouts per work order.
Taking Your POS on the Road
For those businesses that wish to equip technicians with the ability to
function on the road, but aren’t ready to take the smart phone plunge—and
find that full-fledge laptops are a bit pricy, Mark Haeck of Mainstreet
Computers suggests investing in “netbooks.” Netbooks, which have just
made their way into the U.S. market in the last year, are laptop computers
with limited capability and functionality that are mainly designed to
provide users with Internet access.
“You can pick these up for a couple hundred bucks now,” says Haeck. “It’s
helping the industry to re-address web interface issues for mobility.”
With Mainstreet’s GlasAvenue 8.0 software and its usability via the Internet,
this solution can be ideal for mobile technicians.
“Some [laptops and smart phones] are very expensive, but when you can
go out and buy a netbook with Internet access for $200, you can fully
utilize the point-of-sale system from the road,” Haeck says.
“It’s the growing thing,” he adds. “We’re finding more and more businesses
going to this.”
In addition, with portable printers, the possibilities are endless.
“There are some businesses that will even get portable printers very cheap,
and if they did want to print an invoice or receipt in the field, they
can,” Haeck says.
© Copyright 2009 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.