What is it about software that excites contractors? Plenty! Contractors are always checking out what's new in the area of contractor services and software. They are always looking for ways to boost their business in one way or another. Still, most retain a healthy skepticism when it comes to manufacturer claims.

Having said that, one could conclude that the contractor-judges felt that the two winning companies in the Contractor Services & Software category in The News' first-ever Dealer Design Awards put together some excellent products.

The Right Proposal Plus Module from Wrightsoft Corp. (Lexington, Mass.) - the gold medalist in the category - is designed to enable contractors to link costs, program calculations, and digital images into what the company calls "an easy-to-use format, controlled by a powerful programmable word processor built into the software."

The company said this technology is designed to allow contractors to increase productivity "by creating automated and fully customized sales proposals in less time."

The Luxaire® Business Analyzer from York Unitary Products Group (Norman, Okla.) - the silver medalist - is actually a subscription service, available only to Luxaire Liberties™ dealers. It is designed to collect a company's business and financial data, analyze it, and generate a variety of reports and recommendations, all designed to assist a contractor with his/her financial decisions.

It's not hard to see why The News' contractor-judges gave high marks to this Web-based business-consulting tool.

The Right Proposal Plus Module from Wrightsoft Corp. is a proposal generator designed to offer fast proposals.

Gold Winner

"Great package."

"Looks and sounds great."

Wrightsoft must have had the contractor in mind in the creation of the Right Proposal Plus Module to get judges' comments like those.

"Right Proposal Plus enhances the automated HVAC design system, by producing accurate sales proposals and presentations," said Lisa Skoczylas, marketing communications manager for Wrightsoft Corp.

The program's Hotlinkedâ„¢ technology "automatically links the customized data throughout Right Suite," she explained. "Through a customizable word programming interface, Right Proposal Plus further extends this innovation to link to your custom parts and assemblies, detailed customer information, and automatically adjust to updates made within the other connected modules within the suite."

The software is designed to supply contractors with "high-quality sales proposals and presentations," the company said.

The product's templates can be used for service, replacement, and new construction. The company said a contractor can use these templates or create his/her own templates, "in order to save time and reduce costs."

The key, pointed out Skoczylas, is the product's powerful word processor.

It is designed to provide easy placement of a contractor's logo, tables, and embedded Right Suite variables such as assemblies and parts, she said.

"The innovation of this product will allow contractors to increase their productivity and closing ratios, and reduce costs by providing the customer with all the information needed to make a decision, in a convenient and professional package," noted Skoczylas.

"The addition of Right Proposal Plus makes Right-Suite Residential a complete software package, eliminating the need for additional products."

For more information, visit www.wrightsoft.com.

The Luxaire Business Analyzer (pictured above and below) is a Web-based consulting tool for Luxaire Liberties™ contractors.

Silver Winner

The raves are in, and many of them go to the Luxaire Business Analyzer. Here are actual remarks from the contractor-judges' score sheets:

  • "Could be a very valuable benchmarking tool to compare your business to."

  • "Looks like a great resource for any contractor."

  • "Good tool for any contractor. It helps him work ‘on' the business, instead of ‘in' the business."

    Luxaire Brand Marketing Director Doug Widenmann is more than happy to expound on his company's product.

    "Business Analyzer does not require contractors to install or learn any software or new business techniques or principles," he said.

    According to Widenmann, "The interface is user friendly and can be accessed through the Web at any time, allowing Luxaire Liberties dealers to use the tool at their own convenience. The information submitted online is encrypted and completely confidential."

    Widenmann said the Business Analyzer is a one-of-a-kind tool designed to produce comprehensive business consultation support for contractors.

    It "will help contractors create their own balance sheets and profit-and-loss statements, if they do not already have them," he said.

    "Once a contractor's company-specific information has been entered, Business Analyzer will examine and compare financial ratios, calculate overhead, provide pricing assistance and strategies, and generate a consultant's report that provides actionable advice," he concluded.

    Business Analyzer subscribers also receive access to Collier Consulting, a consulting firm in the HVAC industry.

    The Business Analyzer is offered exclusively to Luxaire Liberties dealers as part of their Performance Partnership.

    For more information on the Luxaire Business Analyzer, visit www.luxaire.com.

    Publication date: 07/19/2004