Keeping track of your clients' product selections can be an organizational nightmare. Change orders, faxes, and invoices bury you like a paper avalanche. Important information gets lost, and it hurts the bottom line.

Selection Master, a recently developed Web-based application, is designed to organize, track, and share product information. Essentially an online file cabinet, Selection Master provides a central location for storing all the loose bits of information about the products you're installing on a project.

Everything is stored on a Web site that contractors and their subs and clients can access with a unique password. There are four levels of access.

Selection Master organizes information by project and ties product selections to homeowner information. For each project, products are organized by category, with entry fields for price, manufacturer, and model number. You can attach notes and photos to individual products and store warranty information, walk-through notes, notes for subs, and change orders for each product category.

Users have to manually enter all data, but for an additional fee, the program can be configured to store scanned documents.

Installation costs vary but generally run to about $2,000, including training and support. Users also pay a $10 per project monthly service fee. When you complete a project, the software maker will burn a CD for your clients containing that project's data.

Marion McGrath of Jack McGrath Construction, Longwood, Fla., bought the software to help track change orders but has yet to use it extensively. She says the program is user-friendly but notes that it's not tailored for remodelers and was actually designed for multi-unit new-home builders.

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