Case Studies

Please get in touch if you would like more detail about any of the projects listed below, which are only briefly summarised to give an idea of the type of projects undertaken.

Within the contraints of client confidentiality, I would be happy to share as much as I can if you have a similar requirement to any of the below.

This client uses an industry-specific system, but required a more comprehensive estimating tool than was available, as well as some complex sales and performance to target analysis.

Microsoft Access is used to create the front-ends, and the data is held in SQL Server. The system also links to the industry software to pick up transactions that can provide the budget to actual reporting, and the rest of the sales analysis.

This project revolved around Microsoft PowerBI, and the creation of dashboards to report real-time sales results and performance against target data to the field sales force.

Previously this information had been shared manually by spreadsheet, and involved time-consuming administration each day. Now the data is simply imported from the financial system, and the sales reports are updated to the representatives' mobile phones, giving them full visibility of performance to the close of business the previous day, and the administration is a matter of ten or fifteen minutes each morning now.

This client required a change of provider but was concerned that they lacked the technical expertise to make the right choices, so we performed some business analysis, created a specification, and prepared an invitation to tender.

Having identified some potential providers, we then supported the client through the selection process and found a new company with whom they have been working successfully for a number of years now.

This project involved the pulling together of over a dozen different Microsoft Access databases, all of which were being used by relatively experienced users to generate their own datasets and queries. The issue was one of the time all of this took, and also not being confident that data was undamaged, or that the latest datasets were being used.

Certain datasets were being copied and duplicated for new projects, and there was little control beyond the experience of the users in ensuring that the right material was being used.

The data was moved into a SQL Server database, so that there was only one place in which it was stored. It was also federated by year, enabling the simple comparison of one year against another, and also preventing any doubt as to which year's data was being used.

Queries and reports were automated, and high-quality outputs were created automating to a large extent the reports that were provided to the firm's clients.

This client recycled cartridges in aid of a range of charities, and had a significant problem in determining how many had been received for each particular charity – it was a heavily manual process, further complicated by the fact that they had just moved the business to SAP Business One – a powerful enterprise system.

We were able to build a data warehouse that could be interrogated with relative ease, and the administrative saving was enormous. The project used an open source Business Intelligence tool called Pentaho.

This client maintains a series of formulas or recipes for their products, and an inventory of ingredients. All of this was being manually maintained and managed via spreadsheets, so is another example of outgrowing that medium and being ready for a database.

We built a solution in Microsoft Access which maintains the recipes and the inventory, and allocates ingredients to the production batches and manages the stock accordingly.

This client does a lot of work laying cables and fibre on the railways, and there is a complex shift requirement, as well as compliance and safety certifications in a highly regulated environment.

We built a shift management system for this client, which replaced manual timesheets, and eliminated the delay in obtaining management information that had previously been caused by the length of time it took to process the data by hand.

Data can be updated onsite by the shift or project managers, and is immediately available in the central database (the database here is hosted on the internet, and the user interfaces are written in Microsoft Access.

This client works extensively for insurance companies conducting building repairs and renovations. A key part of the system is tracking response times and dates, so that Service Level Agreements can be met.

The system we have built is MS Access-based with a SQL Server back-end, and replaces an older Access solution. it manages not only the dates and SLAs, but the purchasing and labour costs and the invoicing, so that a margin can readily be produced for each job, and projects at various phases are easily identified.

This client was managing materials and labour budgets for large construction projects using a series of spreadsheets, and the generation of purchase orders was taking hours at a time.

Using a Microsoft Access user interface and a SQL Azure hosted database we built a budget tool, which allowed the creation of a "shopping list" against which the site managers could request materials, and purchase orders could then be raised. Deliveries are then logged, and invoices logged for payment.

We built a complete sales order processing system for this client, who deals in topsoil and loam. Previously orders were manually processed through a number of different channels and we were able to simplify this process, and bring marketing and sales together into one system, dealing with quotes, orders and supplier purchase orders.

The solution is written in Microsoft Access with a SQL Server database behind it.

This metal fabricating client had a complex method of manually assembling quotes, often by “gut instinct”. We built a custom quote generator, that allowed them to build items up from the simplest component, and retain total control over the margins generated.
This client places candidates with client businesses on temporary contracts, and was managing the payments and receipts via a complicated Excel spreadsheet which contained some automation.

By moving everything into a database, we have eliminated a lot of duplication, and have also been able to simplify the administrative process quite considerably.

We have been able to take advantage of the ability of a database to "push" information to the user, whereas with a spreadsheet you have to filter it and go looking for the information you need, making it much harder to endure that everything has been covered.

This project involves linking to the client's website to pull orders down - these were previously being manually transferred. It also involves the redesign and simplification of an existing Access database that has been in use for a few years.

As well as the redesign, we have reformatted and migrated all the order data across for continuity.

This client required a database development project, which was our initial point of contact, but it became apparent that the requirement was unclear, and the client had received several widely differing quotations from potential providers.

We stepped aside from the development project and undertook an analysis project, drawing up a specification and preparing an invitation to tender.

This enabled the client to collect a new batch of estimates, all much more in line with each other, and this enabled the client to engage a provider and move on with the development project.