He calls it his “crackberry” —that's how addicted Anthony Cucciniello is to his Black-Berry. He's never without it, and he has given the handheld wireless device to each of his project managers, lead carpenters, and office staff. “It's an unbelievable product,” says the owner of 4V Construction, in New Rochelle, N.Y. “It saves time. We're more productive, and very quick to respond to clients and prospects.” About a year ago, Cucciniello switched from using a cell phone and Palm Pilot PDA to the wireless BlackBerry, which combines the functions of a cell phone, a PDA, e-mail, a Web browser, and SMS (short message service or text message). He uses a lot of technology with his clients — particularly with younger clients who feel comfortable with high-tech tools. “Before, with the cell phone,” Cucciniello says, “if there was a change the client would say, ‘Let me find out and I'll call you.' And then they would be busy, and you'd be waiting for a response — they'd get back to you at their leisure. Or maybe the plan for where a wall is to go isn't working. You have your crew waiting, and they need to know what to do about it …. It wasn't productive.” He says the BlackBerry saves time and makes it easy to connect with other industries and vendors as well as with clients. It also helps with scheduling and time management.
The BlackBerry allows Cucciniello to send text messages to a phone or a computer, and all his incoming messages are received in the BlackBerry and his e-mail. “Everything I do on it is documented; there are no misinterpretations,” he says. All the information goes into a database that interacts with ACT software. “It carries my notes and history, and holds an unlimited number of contacts.” And if he loses this cache of information? “I'm not worried,” he says. “It's synchronized with my computer.”