#apps

Posted by Charles Edge on December 9th, 2015

Bushel is a software startup that provides better ways to setup and secure Apple devices. We don’t have a brick and mortar retail location. But my first job was managing retail POS systems back in the 90s and I’ve had a lot of friends who had retail locations over the years. And they’ve taught me some things. These things may or may not be appropriate for your organization, but they’re worth checking out!

  • Start Now! You might be doing all of the things that we discuss in this article. You might have thought about some, but we trigger a reminder. You also might be thinking of new strategies for the first time. Wherever you are, the quicker you get started implementing, the more beneficial and purposeful your strategies will seem. 53% of holiday shoppers will be done shopping by December 10th!
  • Check out the latest holiday trends. In your market, or micro-market, what are people shopping for? This might mean visiting your competition, window shopping at the big box stores, checking out what categories Amazon is really pushing, or even watching the dreaded commercials you’ve been skipping since the Tivo era. Of course, we should always go with our gut on what to stock, sell, and promote. But seeing what everyone else is doing might help to fortify your position (after all, it’s important to stand out), or it could make you think of something new to add to your inventory, promoted in your own way of course!
  • Small Business Saturday has come and passed but Bushel encourages you to go ahead and mark your calendar for November 26th, 2016 and November 25th, 2017. As a small business, this is your time to shine. American Express and a number of other organizations can help to drive business your way. And of course, the point of the thing is all about you!
  • Take any old form of payment. Chipped cards, American Express, Discover, cash. Don’t limit your business because you don’t take a certain form of payment. Within reason, of course! There are so many vendors supplying credit card options including Square, PayPal Here, QuickBooks GoPayment, and so many others, that accepting credit cards is simple these days. The worlds wide open for online sales as well, allowing you to take about any old credit card.
  • Get a Loyalty Program. If you haven’t already found a way to incentivize your customers, check out Belly. Belly is a loyalty rewards program that can appeal to businesses and consumers alike. For more on Belly, check out https://www.bellycard.com! You can also use the good, old fashioned punch cards and stamps on cards. You know, buy ten, get one free type of stuff. The great thing about a program like Belly though, is you get an online presence driving business your way.
  • If you are brick and mortar, sell online. I talk to a lot of people who have managed to successfully take a traditional brick and mortar into 7 figures worth of new business opportunities by selling inventory online. Most would have already explored this. And options range from getting listed as an Amazon seller, posting items to eBay, or even building your own shopping cart using a myriad of available tools. Building your own solution isn’t nearly as expensive or complicated as it used to be. Getting help with that is about as competitive as one of those intersections with a matress store on all 4 corners. It can be as simple as getting a store on a site like Etsy. And if you’re an online seller, get a brick and mortar partner (or location, but partner is much simpler).
  • Personalize the customer experience. Would Norm have kept showing up at Cheers if they didn’t know his name? Maybe. But they did. Personalizing a customer experience can be as simple as actually remembering a customers name and preferences. 86% of customers are willing to spend 25% more for a more customized experience. If you have a site, it can also be as simple as remembering what they like to shop for or putting nice things for people on your site. Nordstrom, Ikea, Target (think Cartwheel), even Walgreens are into this kind of thing. There are companies like Umbel who are revolutionizing this industry. But it doesn’t have to be expensive. Look for someone who fits with the look, feel, and size of your organization. If a price makes you balk, then by all means, keep looking for a solution to help you automate this. Or at least, do so once you can’t remember everyone’s name any more. But do make sure to tell everyone happy holidays. As a consumer I’m sure you love that too!
  • Partner up with a non-profit. When I read Louis Gerstner’s iconic Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance, one of my favorite parts was at the very end when Gerstner covered how he transformed the ways that IBM gave to help the community. He was a great CEO for his time, and he had a much more mature outlook on giving back than many. He wanted IBM staff to be in the community, involved, transforming the community no only with cash from the company, but also with the expertise they brought to the table. Many of their outreach programs from his tenure at IBM in the early 90s are alive and well today, continuing to impact communities across the world. If you are a small retailer, consider partnering with a local non-profit, rather than the easy choice of working with a large non-profit. Partnering with an organization with similar values is great. I prefer not to think about something like this driving business to me. It’s about community. But during the holiday season, retailers have so little time that many of these efforts end up getting mixed up. The easy way to get involved here, is to tithe a certain percentage of profits for a limited time to a non-profit. Another way is to get out there and do something meaningful. Yet another is a food or collection drive at your location. It’s all great stuff, and whatever cause you choose to support is likely to be happy to have the help and attention you can bring.
  • Gift cards are a great way to let your loyal customers help you find more customers. 83% of companies use employee incentives and those customers can return, not to mention they’ll spend money. Gift cards also drive more than $100 billion in revenue annually. Overall, gift cards can drive business your way and getting relationships with companies can be a great way to make some quick revenue! Consider gift card discounts, and using them to promote bundles. A great way to get started with gift cards is Clover. And Clover gives you access to Gyft, a great way to leverage another organization’s gift card selection to drive business your way.
  • Promotions. I’ve never been a huge fan of sales. Some types of businesses need to use them. I get that. But I typically figure that if something is on sale, I can always get it at that price, because I now know the margin the vendor has. Promotions don’t mean the same thing as sales, or discounts. Promotions might mean that you have Santa Claus in your store and are giving away free prints of photos. Or a promotion might mean that you’re giving double the loyalty points for a limited period of time. By taking an actual price reduction off the table and providing more services using a given code, you’re bound to provide a better experience to your customer and give you a good reason to post something on a site like Retail Me Not or Coupons.com.

Keep in mind that getting listed with sites like Gyft, Coupons.com, Retail Me Not, Etsy, Belly, and many other great sites will drive long-term business your way. How? Well, those links to your site makes it easier for search engines to find ya’! Most excellent.

Good luck this holiday season. So much you can do, so little time. Prioritize what makes the most sense to you. And kill it this holiday season. If you found this article, you darn well deserve it!

And of course, whatever apps you load up to help your business succeed. Make it easier to maintain them and keep them secure with Bushel.

Posted by Brittany Vogel on May 11th, 2015

Today we rolled out a new feature! You now have the ability to deploy and remove an app from a single device. Here’s a guide on how to deploy an app to a single device.

1. Log in to your Bushel account at login.bushel.com

2. Click on the device you would like to deploy your app to.

3. Under the device name, click on the Manage Apps tab.

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4. You will now see a list of the apps both on and off of the device. To deploy an app to this device, click on the grey button with three dots to the right of the app and select Install on this device.

You can also deploy to a single device in the Apps section of Bushel. When you click on an app to show details, you will see a list of all of your devices and whether or not the app is installed. As before, click on the grey button with three dots and select Install on this device.

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Posted by Brittany Vogel on May 11th, 2015

I’ve had my Watch for eighteen days now. Everyday I learn something new, and everyday the Watch becomes more apart of my everyday life. It keeps me on time for my meetings, has me connect to my friends on a more personal level, and it made me realize I need to cut out the large amount of caffeine I rely on. We put together a list of 18 features we have found to be useful that maybe you haven’t seen before!

1. Dismissing Notifications by Swiping Left or Force Touch

A few days after tapping on each notification to dismiss them, I finally stumbled across two easier ways to remove them.

Swiping to the left on your notification will give you the option to clear it.

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Force Touch on the display in the notifications window will allow you to clear all.

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2. The Outlook Mail app will send you notification.

If you use the Outlook Mail app, you will not only get a notification, you will get the option to Archive, Mark as Read, Delete, or Schedule for Later.

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3. You can change the color for your Digital Touch drawing.

Drawing in Digital Touch is pretty fun, especially if you have a wide variety of colors. Tap and hold on a color until the chroma wheel comes up.

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4. You can change your preset replies in Messages.

In the Watch app on your iPhone, if you navigate to Message, you can find the Default Replies and tap on them to change them.

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5. Handoff between Watch and iPhone lets you handoff your calls.

If you answer a call on your Watch and want to switch to your iPhone, you can use handoff to switch over. Look at the bottom left corner of your iPhone lock screen, swipe up on the phone icon to switch your call over.

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6. Change to Day view in Calendar.

You can switch between List and Day view in Calendar by using Force Touch in the Calendar app.

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7. You can control your Apple TV with the remote app.

You can add your Apple TV to the Remote app by opening the app and on your Apple TV opening the Remote settings.

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8. Take a screenshot.

Press both the digital crown and side button simultaneously.

9. Force Power-Off

Is your Watch not responding? Force Power Off by pressing and holding the digital crown and side button simultaneously.

10. Removing Pay from your Watch if it is lost or stolen.

Need to remove your cards from Pay? Log into iCloud.com and find your Watch in settings. You can remove all cards from there.

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11. Can’t find your iPhone? Ping it!

If you are like me, you seem to misplace your iPhone in the couch cushions. Good news, you can send a ping to your iPhone to play a sound.

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12. Send your location in a message.

In a message, use Force Touch to send your location.

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13. Delete, Flag, or Mark as Unread a Mail message.

While in a message in Mail, Force Touch the screen.

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14. Choose Mailboxes you want on your Watch.

If you have more than one mail account, you can set custom settings in the mail settings for Watch.

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15. Turn by Turn with Taptic.

This may be my favorite feature. I have a horrible internal compass and looking at my iPhone while driving is too distracting. Start your turn by turn directions on your watch or iPhone and you will receive a taptic response when you are near your next turn or exit.

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16. Change audio source in the Music app.

Need to change from listening to your music on your iPhone to your bluetooth speaker? Force Touch the screen while in the music app to change the source.

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17. Switch to the last opened app.

Need to get back to your previous app? Double tap the digital crown!

18. Change emoji colors.

Sick of red hearts or the yellow smiley face? Use Force touch to change the color!

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Posted by Charles Edge on May 8th, 2015

Giving an iPad to your employees is a great step to increasing their productivity. But loading those devices up with apps that increase their productivity is a must. But what apps should they get? That’s often a question best answered by first looking at your industry and the job function of those employees. Luckily, we have a lot of construction companies using Bushel and we can help guide you to a common set of tools that many are using.

PlanGrid

PlanGrid is a pretty handy app that allows you to upload PDFs, version data, link to callouts, annotate, etc. It includes punchless, estimating  and photos to track status (which you can then pin to your blueprints). Overall, PlanGrid is probably the most versatile app for Construction companies on the market. There are certainly simpler apps, but more complex ones as well.

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Procore Construction Management Software

Procore is similar in many ways to PlanGrid. You can annotate blueprints, add projects, do some estimating, some change control and even assign issues to users. You can also choose users that get updates to parts of a project plan. Both tools allow you to manage RFIs and Procure also allows for timecard entry from the field and accessing schedules. I would definitely recommend putting both through a trial as their approaches are different enough that you might like one much more than the other.

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Construction Manager

Another tool that can manage various aspects of the business is Construction Manager. Construction Manager comes with a lot more finely grained tools for estimating, such as room size, concrete and pain calculators. You can also track daily activity on projects and eliminate paper in the estimating process. Construction Manager isn’t really meant for more complex punch down list uses, but can do time sheets, maintenance logs and milestones.

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Joist

Joist is a much more robust estimating tool, with none of the DIM/blueprint options. It’s great for managing estimates, integrates with contacts and even allows you to track payment information.

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Corecon

Corecon is a tool for tracking various business aspects of a construction business. You can update RFIs, schedule tasks, track expenses, get alerts and track time. There’s also a list (and a punch list) that helps you stay on top of tasks, as well as data synchronization back to the CoreCon cloud.

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AutoCad 360

AutoCad 360 is the gold standard for making CAD drawings on computers. The mobile app is pretty darn rad as well.

Construction Master Pro (CMPro)

It’s a bird, no, it’s a plane, no, it’s a calculator. And more! This is a little swiss army knife of an app. You can complete layouts, plans, bids, some estimation option, all the trigonometric goodness you missed in grade school, figure square-ups and slopes, calculate feet-inch-fractions, decimal feet, work in metric and even figure out those annoying crown angles and wacky polygons. Overall, it’s a great little tool that fills some gaps.

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iBlueprint

Simple app to make blueprints right on your iPad. You can drag and drop elements, enter measurements and then export. This allows you to import into other apps that also allow you to annotate and create punch lists.

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Aconex

Aconex is a project management tool. There’s a good bit of feature overlap with some of the other apps on this list, but Aconex is really good at the project management aspect of construction and engineering projects. If you make a blueprint using iBlueprint for a job you bid using Joist then it makes for a good fit. Keep in mind that some of these apps that only address one part of the whole business are better at that aspect (and therefore sometimes worth the expense) than using options built into an app that tries to do everything.

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iHandy Carpenter

This is a great little app that measures, does angles, has a level, etc. But the app isn’t as important as the concept. If you pour concrete, you’re gonna’ want an app to help figure out the right mix. This app doesn’t do that. But there is an app for that. For the types of tasks that your people are doing, a few cheap apps might replace a bunch of tools they have to carry. And especially for estimators, keeping them from going back and forth to their truck to grab a tool can keep customers happy and engaged while allowing them to be more efficient!

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Bushel

And of course a bonus is Bushel, which makes for a great way to distribute these apps to your devices, while protecting the content that’s out on the devices!

Posted by Brittany Vogel on April 29th, 2015

Bushel uses Apple’s Volume Purchase Program to help you manage and purchase apps for your business. You can sign up for a VPP account at vpp.itunes.apple.com.

After you have gone through the sign up process and have your VPP token,  you can now add it to Bushel.

1. Login to your Bushel account at login.bushel.com.

2. Click on Account in the blue side bar on the left.

3. Once under your Account page, click on the VPP tab at the top of the page.

Adding a VPP Token to Bushel

4. Scroll to the bottom and click on the grey button to Upload your VPP Service Token.

Upload VPP Service Token

5. Navigate to the VPP token you downloaded from Apple. Select the file and click on Choose.

6.  Your VPP token will now upload to your Bushel account. Once uploaded, you will see the code along with a green checkmark above the Upload button.