We have built and upgraded systems to support many business functions, including:
- Quoting and estimating
- Job costing, and margin control
- Sales Order processing
- Inventory management
- Telesales support
- Customer Service and after-sales support
- Workflow management
- Contact Management
- Business intelligence and Management Information
We have also created systems to manage very specific requirements, such as booking clinic appointments for mobile optical services, and managing the calibration and servicing of scientific instruments.
Some more detail about some specific projects can be found below. All screenshots have been anonymised.
UPDATED: Case studies on three quote-building projects – download PDF here:
Quotation System Case Studies – David Hardstaff!
Supplier Auditing and Compliance
This simple database keeps track of regulatory testing of suppliers (called vendors in this business). Many are based overseas, and the process of keeping track of these tests was arduous over several hundred vendors.
Vendors can be retrieved by one of three methods, by name, and by their reference numbers in either of the two line of business applications, BAAN and SAP.
Company details are held, along with information about the test cycle, and the due date of the next test. Results can be entered, and the box at the bottom of the screen shows a full test history for that vendor.
Event Management Application
This application is a full-featured event management solution, allowing the maintenance of clients, venues, courses and modules, as well as controlling events, attendees, equipment and handouts, and finally managing post-course activities such as certificates and feedback analysis.
This system replaces a number of spreadsheets that were being used in the business to manage the process. There was significant duplication and double-handling of information between these spreadsheets as is often the case.
Project Management Application
This company required a simple project management solution to keep track of the basic tasks and activities that needed to be carried out, as well as tracking time spent against budget, and generating the invoicing for the client.
This is the main project screen, where all the tasks are shown against the allocated resource and also the due dates of the critical path. From this screen, it is possible to view more detail on the task, or to add a timesheet entry, and so on.
Critical Path Application
This application is a project management tool designed to help a manufacturer of packaging materials for large supermarket clients manage the supply chain.
This screenshot shows the critical path for the various tasks that have to be carried out before the materials are ready to go instore. Completed and overdue items are colour coded to make it very easy to see which tasks are needing action, and which are complete, but were completed late.
In addition to the functionality shown here, there is a facility to send artwork information to the studio, in the form of a versioned set of briefs. Also vendor enquiries are automated, so the original manual process of contacting a supplier for information about an item is now automated.
More detailed case studies of specific projects can be found below
Retailer Management Information
This client runs a series of jewellery shops, and was manually generating management information using Excel spreadsheets, largely manually assembled from data extracted from the store point-of-sale systems. Although we were unable to gain direct access to the database (for business, not technical, reasons) we created an export/import process to transfer data across each day – this was still a significant time-saving for the business, and meant that full information was quickly available each morning, up to the close of business the previous day.