A windows installation company (nothing to do with MicroSoft) called Pro-Fit were tracking contracts and jobs on spreadsheets. One spreadsheet was a contract. Each row was one property and each row had dozens (and dozens) of fields, starting on the left with name, address1, address2, etc… working it’s way through the process; surveyor, date booked, date surveyed, windows ordered, etc, etc. Right through to signed off and completed. With fields for broken glass, defective workmanship, householders out… A nightmare to use. The progress chasers spent most of there time scrolling left and right, struggling to toggle between past, current and future jobs in different spreadsheets and finding associated documentation.
Within a few weeks those spreadsheets had been replaced with a relational database.
- Properties were entered on one screen in list view.
- Individual property details were in a separate screen found one click away. With the majority of fields having pre-defined lists to choose from and/or conditional entries.
- All documents associated with that property (survey sheets, customer sign offs etc) were scanned and placed in container fields. With full size views available at a click.
- Simple finds, filters and sorts collated relevant information. This took seconds to search across all jobs, all properties and all contracts.
- No longer were multiple spreadsheets laid out on a desk and coloured by markers.
- Queries from householders could be dealt with in real time and actioned whilst they were still on the phone.
- Daily status reports could be generated and fed back to clients.
- As more issues come to mind, more features are added.
- Like auto import of property lists.
- Availability for Surveyors to enter data via iPads.
- Real time info for Directors.
One user summed up the transformation by saying “chuffed as nuts!” What better recommendation can you have!