FAST WENT THROUGH SO MANY MANAGEMENT changes in the past few years that it's nice to finally see the company making some development headway. The enterprise, resource, and planning software maker received some positive reviews on the 2.0 version of Pocket FAST it released in 2004. Builders use Pocket FAST to update schedules in the field as well as pay bills after a super signs off that a job is complete.

David Appleman, Brookfield Homes Southland's director of operating systems, says 2.0 offers much better response times, and since it's compatible with the new Palm operating systems, his people can use Pocket FAST on Tungsten 3 devices that offer larger screen spaces and color graphics.

“The speed of clicking was one of the complaints from the field,” says Appleman. “People felt it was too slow, that it wasn't keeping up with their clicks ... but with the latest version, we definitely have a higher percentage of adoption.”

Robert Rockwell, vice president of information systems at Village Homes, says the synchronization speed is much better. Rockwell says Village uses Pocket FAST mainly to update schedules in tandem with the company's extranet.

“All our trade contractors can log on and get near–real-time schedule information,” says Rockwell.

Brookfield uses the auto pay feature now, while Village says it will roll out auto pay later this year. On the other hand, Appleman notes that Village is ahead with its extranet, a tech feature Appleman says Brookfield is developing.