ANAHEIM, Calif. - Several manufacturers featured new computer software products at the 2004 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo).

Autodesk Inc. ( introduced Autodesk Building Systems 2005. The company said the software adds new capabilities for building engineering analysis through links to third-party applications.

According to the company, the new program "boasts ease of use and data sharing, ease of implementation and greater flexibility. It will also be much easier for facility managers to track problems and flaws within a building for maintenance and replacement."

Data-Basics Inc. ( launched CSRAnywhere and QuoteMaster. The company said these tools, which automate the entire sales process through management-by-exception, are integrated with Data-Basics' core SAM Pro Enterprise solution.

CSRAnywhere is designed to help companies automate and manage the sales lead process through a Web client interface. When a lead is received through the call center, an outside salesperson is automatically notified via page or e-mail and can view the details online. CSRAnywhere guides the salesperson through the cycle by using the Escalation Manager tool, which will automatically trigger preset alarms via e-mail or fax if the salesperson fails to make a follow-up call, explained the company. The salesperson may also attach pertinent documents and notes to the account.

QuoteMaster, which may be used in conjunction with CSRAnywhere, is designed to allow companies to generate multi-option quotes and then create work orders without duplicate data entry.

Additionally, technicians may add quotes to the original if a customer requires more work than originally expected.

Pending approval of one or all options, QuoteMaster is designed to automatically generate work orders and purchase orders with the quote data, labor, and materials itemized. The company added that Escalation Manager also enhances QuoteMaster's efficiency, as a sales manager will receive a reminder if a quote sits past a predetermined deadline.

Solaronics Inc. ( introduces its new Evalu-Heat software, designed to analyze heat loss for a given building and forecast anticipated annual fuel costs.

"With Evalu-Heat software, architects, engineers, and HVAC professionals can effectively analyze the heating need for any building and determine appropriate heater selections," said Tom Lester, Solaronics' vice president of sales and marketing. "The software guides the user through the process. A professional report for the client is generated that can be output in printed form or e-mailed."

As an added feature, the Evalu-Heat software compares the fuel cost savings of the company's gas infrared heaters with units just blowing warm air. According to Lester, this is good to know since natural gas prices are on the rise.

"But the good news is Solaronics heaters save up to 75 percent of energy costs in new commercial and industrial buildings, as well as when the heaters are specified for upgrading or replacing existing buildings' heating systems," he said.

The free Solaronics Evalu-Heat software CD also contains case histories, technical specifications, and product photos on the complete line of the company's heaters, including low intensity Suntube models.

Publication date: 03/01/2004