By Tom Smith. Crosswinds Communities, a $200-million home builder and land developer based in Novi, Mich., is poised to save as much as $400,000 per year on business travel costs by conducting videoconferences over the Internet. That's because once video signals hit the Internet, there's no assurance of a consistent amount of network capacity on an end-to-end basis, meaning video quality and performance can degrade.
It wasn't long ago when a Centex Homes administrator would print out a purchase order, fax it to one of the company's vendors, then call to notify the supplier the order was on its way. Purchase orders are automatically moved from the company's estimating and purchasing system to a freshly minted Web portal called Build With Centex (www.buildwithcentex.com), which allows individual vendors to view information that's only applicable to them.