giantLEAP. When Patricia Keljik lost her high-tech job in the dot-com implosion of 1999, a friend suggested she work with him selling windows at a big box retailer. She resisted, until he told her something shocking: The huge replacement window industry was still paper based at the onset of the new millennium. Intrigued, Keljik took the job and paid attention to the unique needs of the window sales force. After six months, she put together a development team, and they created SalesBuddy, a software program that records specifications at the point of sale on a Pocket PC, allowing the salesperson or installer to record observations, enter measurements, and select different product lines at the client's home. The point-and-click interface is easy to use and makes changing options and generating multiple cost estimates simple. Salespeople can print final estimates and work orders at the customer's home, along with 3-D graphical representations of the products ordered. The software ensures that salespeople ask the essential questions about the product options and installation details to provide an accurate, error-free estimate. “The idea is to eliminate all the errors and mistakes and give a level of professionalism to the industry that I don't think exists today,” Keljik says. SalesBuddy will be available in late January. 800.677.0541. www.giantleapinc.com.
LP Specialty Products. SmartSide smooth trim and fascia products complement the company's SmartSide siding. The engineered wood trim comes in nominal 4/4-inch and 5/4-inch thicknesses in 16-foot lengths and a number of widths. It can be cross-cut or mitered to fit and is pre-primed for easy painting. The SmartGuard process treats the trim with a borate-based additive to protect against termites and fungal decay. 800.648.6893. www.smartsideonline.com.
L.B. Plastics. Meeting the need for more refined railing looks, the Sheerline 3000 railing series is now the smallest that the company offers. The UV-stabilized PVC railing has a top width of 3 inches and is ideal for smaller walkways, balconies, and other settings. Available in beige, white, and gray, the railings are easy to maintain, according to the maker. 704.663.1543. www.lbplastics.com.
Wobble Light. The Wobble Light wobbles but it won't fall down. Its counter-weighted design ensures that it will right itself when pushed or knocked over, and its durable plastic housing and polycarbonate dome protect it from breakage. A floating shock system is employed to prevent the bulb from jarring and striking. A side power outlet means you can connect a power tool or another light. 847.230.3640. www.wobblelight.com.
Nana Wall Systems. Constructed with engineered panels and designed to look like a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass, the folding glass wall opens the home to outdoor vistas while protecting against harsh weather. The SL72 model is certified to Miami/Dade County hurricane standards. The wall's locking system ensures security, says the maker. 888.411.6262. www.nanawall.com.
Knaack. The diamond-plate aluminum Weather Guard deep saddle box is designed to fit compact pickup trucks with short beds and wheel wells located to the front of the bed. Available in clear coat or black powder coat, the box offers 8.9 cubic feet of storage and an exclusive “one-touch” latch system that allows one-handed opening from either side of the truck. 800.456.7865. www.knaack.com.
Werner Ladder. Telescoping design and a variety of styles makes the new family of Multiladders a versatile addition to any contractor's arsenal. Each can convert into a number of different positions. The MT Series Multiladder can be used as a twin stepladder, extension ladder, and stairway stepladder, or as two scaffolding bases. It boasts a 300-pound load capacity and exceeds both OSHA and ANSI standards. 888.523.3370. www.wernerladder.com.