The NEWS’seventh annual Dealer Design Awards’ Contractor Services and Software category winners have added new fuel to the digital business fire. No longer content with triplicate receipts and large filing cabinets, these products ask the contractor to conduct business more simply and efficiently. To help contractors reach their goals in the digital business arena, Online-Access Inc., Goodman Manufacturing Co., and Ridgid have stepped up to the challenge with their products BoastHost, Mobile Smart Contractor, and RIDGIDConnect™, respectively.

GOLD WINNER: Online-Access Inc.’s BoastHost allows technicians to record feedback in the field.


BoastHost is a product that lets contractors easily add customer enthusiasm to their HVAC company website. Created by the program is an automated system that proactively lets contractors capture, organize, and publish compliments and testimonials from the field with very little effort to the company’s or any other website.

When a technician hears a customer complimenting him, the company, or his service, he simply needs to ask if they would mind if he captured their comment for his boss to hear and potentially to use on his company’s website. When the customer agrees, the technician uses his cell phone to connect to the company’s BoastHost phone number. Handing the phone to the customer to repeat their comment/testimonial instantly captures, stores, and converts to an Internet friendly format, instantly ready to be added to any web page.

When the customer’s testimonial has been converted and stored on the BoastHost servers, BoastHost notifies the contractor via e-mail that new testimonials are waiting for approval. When reading BoastHost e-mail, contractors need only click the link within the e-mail to open up BoastHost where they will see a list of all unposted testimonial files. Clicking on any of the captured testimonials will allow the user to listen to the recording. Labeling it in the system and telling the system which playlist it should appear on will appropriately post the new testimony to their website.

The system comes with a two-week, no-obligation trial that allows contractors to test the system. Live support is available to answer any questions.

SILVER WINNER: Goodman Manufacturing Co.’s Mobile Smart Contractor provides warranty information and distributor location.


Goodman Manufacturing Co.’s Mobile Smart Contractor allows an HVAC technician to determine warranty information, compressor information, and much more by simply using a telephone that can connect to the Internet or from a computer connected to the Internet. No downloading or special connections are needed. Simply go to and enter the serial number for any Goodman or Amana brand product.

By entering the serial number of a Goodman or Amana brand product, the HVAC technician can locate immediately the limited warranty that may or may not be associated with the product. In addition, by entering the serial number a compressor lookup is available. Under the Distributor Locator, an HVAC technician inputs the zip code closest to the unit and a listing of all nearby distributors is viewable. All technical literature support documents are viewable as well by using the Info Finder on this application.

In situations where the current homeowner may or may not know if the unit is covered by a factory warranty or extended service plan, this web-based application provides the information. In addition, any product revisions, enhancements, or changes made to the specific product can be identified without having to call or physically drive to a distributor’s location to learn more about the product.

There is no cost involved to use this web-based application. It is functional with all Goodman and Amana brand products.

BRONZE WINNER: RIDGIDConnect™ is a subscription-based, online business tool designed for service professionals and contractors.


RIDGIDConnect™ is a subscription-based, online business tool designed for service professionals and contractors who create or use digital information. According to Ridgid, this first-of-its-kind platform provides the ability to share and store digital assets such as diagnostic jobsite photos and videos, job reports and histories, maintenance records, customer lists, and other business files, which in turn simplifies external and internal communication, as well as the recordkeeping process.

The share aspect of RIDGIDConnect allows professionals to overcome communication challenges previously associated with digital media assets. The services subscribers have the ability to prepare and send detailed, professional job reports that include notes and customer details to multiple recipients; edit and narrate digital media (videos and photos) to provide concise, easy-to-follow explanations; and control recipients’ access privileges. The service stores and protects a professional’s digital assets on a secure and continually backed-up system, including these items: detailed customer lists and job histories; uploaded digital media from inspection tools (any manufacturer) and digital recording devices; and all business files and records.

It also helps bridge the technology gaps by eliminating the need to burn DVDs, CDs, or thumb drives; lessening the back-and-forth explanation between clients and/or co-workers; providing around-the-clock access to records from any location; and utilizing RIDGIDConnect mobile to conduct business in the field via smartphone. RIDGIDConnect is available in four subscription plans to suit the needs of businesses and organizations of various sizes. Payments are made on a monthly basis. A free 30-day trial is available.


Gold Winner:
Online-Access Inc.

Silver Winner:
Goodman Manufacturing Co., L.P.
Goodman Mobile Smart Contractor

Bronze Winner:
RIDGIDConnect online business tool

Honorable Mentions:
Emerson Power Transmission
Browning V-Belt Efficiency Calculator


Publication date:07/12/2010