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I am considering moving over to HIP from 3D. One of the components that HIP is missing is the client / office manager. HIP encourages users to use Inspector Support Network (ISN). But ISN charges $4 per client entry. The first price break is at 50 entries (in a month) so with my current forecast is going to cost me $1,000 plus a year.

I am looking at alternatives and wonder what other inspectors are using to track clients and reports?

//Rick

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I've used a Window Access database for years but it is not mine to pass on.

I use it for accounting, enter revenues and expenditures, it does the math and generates report sheets for year end. A fellow inspector wrote it up in his spare time.

But for tracking past inspections, Access is great. Name the street, I can search for that street and find all the inspections I've done there. Name the client, search, and his inspections pop up. Anyone with Access savvy can write a database program for you.

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World Domination sounds good.

Kogel has the right idea; get a database solution. My best recommendation, though, is don't even start with Access; it's a mess. Trying to put together a simple query is mind numbing.

FileMaker Pro. I can do all the usual client and contact stuff, search reports to find percentages of incidence on anything, or otherwise track each and every detail of the biz in as fine tuned a manner as anyone could ever want. Which, honestly, I don't want.

I look to see where I'm doing the most jobs, fees, referral source, and occasionally I'll do a look to see how many (insert defect here) I find within a defined parameter.

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World Domination sounds good.

Kogel has the right idea; get a database solution. My best recommendation, though, is don't even start with Access; it's a mess. Trying to put together a simple query is mind numbing.

FileMaker Pro. I can do all the usual client and contact stuff, search reports to find percentages of incidence on anything, or otherwise track each and every detail of the biz in as fine tuned a manner as anyone could ever want. Which, honestly, I don't want.

I look to see where I'm doing the most jobs, fees, referral source, and occasionally I'll do a look to see how many (insert defect here) I find within a defined parameter.

Kurt,

There you go ... bundle your Filemaker Pro package and sell it as an app ... for the inspector to run on his purchased Filemaker {rp program. ??/ !!!

A side job ... so to speak [?]

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Wow they still make Filemaker Pro?

I am currently using 3D which includes a client DB, reporting, merge capability (create contracts) and scheduling (which I don't use). I am looking at moving away from 3D, so looking at small business DB apps etc.

I thought I would cast the net to other HI's to see what they are using.

I will settle for dominating the Pacific NW. If healthcare comes with world domination then I may aim for that!

//Rick

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I once kept all records on an open-source database for several years. Made my own input/output forms from scratch. Like Kurt suggested, it worked beautifully...until malware attacked my laptop.

Been pondering starting another one but this time it'll be FileMaker.

Marc

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I use Excel. I have columns for name, address, fees, referral source, millage, etc. I have separate sheets for other things such as monthly totals, radon test, etc. I can sort it however I want if I'm looking for a specific piece of data. I use quickbooks to track income and expenses that easily generates a year end report for tax purposes.

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Spreadsheets can work, but they're inefficient and limiting. FM Pro has a cool feature where, if you drag the db file over the xl file, it'll convert it. But, it's kind of a "so what" feature; db is where you want to be.

FM Pro is sure "still available". It's used by dozens of Fortune 500 companies to manage major divisions of their business. I think there's something like 75 million registered users, a whole development environment, and it's way, way powerful. I think the most current version can hold and manage 3-4 TERRABYTES of info. That's about a half dozen Library of Congress.

It's the most amazing piece of software lots of home inspectors just don't seem to know about. If I showed you what I can do with mine, you'd want it.

Nolan...I've thought about it, but my worst nightmare would be trying to support a bunch of HI's stumbling around in their softwar The coolest thing would be to give it away to a dedicated crew and have a closed development group.

In a single piece of software, I have a graphic library that can accommodate video, any pic format, pdf's, tiff's, gif's, whatever, form letters, word processing, and an extremely robust image management and presentation system.

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Something is goofy, I couldn't edit the previous post.....

and billing, invoicing, contact management, and comment library both word and sub topic searchable, etc., etc.

The interface is designed by a home inspector (me). Very few "moving parts", no wasted motion.

I've been building it for almost 20 years. It's gotten mildly sophisticated.

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