A few years ago, employees at Meadowview Construction, in Georgetown, Mass., told owner David West that it would be helpful to have standard forms available to take home.
So, about a year ago, West created a section on the company's Web site, www.mvconstruction.com, that employees can enter with a user ID and password to access work-related forms and information including timecards and the employee manual, as well as the holiday calendar, subcontractor list, job log, letterhead, and change order, reimbursement, and daily schedule forms.
West says this has been particularly useful for lead carpenters who do not return to the office after leaving a project. It allows them to print forms from the Web site or fill out and turn in timecards from home. West says the next step is to install a live calendar where employees can request time off and vacations.
West has also improved his company's Web site performance by limiting the number of photographs on it. Instead, he uses an image-hosting company, ImageEvent. “I can store all the photos off-site and have them quickly and easily accessible without slowing down our Web site,” he says.
West maintains a small portfolio of about 30 photos on Meadowview Construction's site, but has 2,600 images on ImageEvent, which he can edit, add, delete, and update without having to go through his Web site administrator. A link on the home page allows visitors direct access to the Image-Event site. “I have set it up so it appears as if it is part of our Web site,” West says.
ImageEvent charges about $25 a year to host up to 1,500 megabytes of storage and $65 a year for unlimited storage.
“I think that having that many photos can be really impressive to clients,” West says. “[It] shows that we do lots of projects and that we have been doing them for a long time. And clients can usually find a project that is similar to theirs.”