The Web sites that really succeed are those that are different from others in their industry. For example, the corporate-facility construction business doesn't seem rich with online business opportunities, but DPR Construction, in Redwood City, Calif., found otherwise. The $600,000 contractor created a section on its Web site and called it the Project Collaboration Center. Behind a whimsical "Admit One" icon resides a password-protected area where the company handles most aspects of online project management for selected clients.
The idea is to give a project's participants - customers, architects, engineers, subcontractors, and even licensing agencies - online capability to share drawings, estimates, schedules, and other work flow - related materials.
And, whenever an unanticipated problem or question arises at a construction site ("What's this steel beam doing in the air vent?"), workers simply post a digital photo. It doesn't take long for the correct party to answer.