Another category of software projects has been the development of project management data base software. One project was an “application” for a Customer Service Department”.
The Customer Service Representatives took orders over the phone and entered the information into the custom Data Base Application. The application would then automatically generate “requests for estimates” for the 16 various trade groups, (ie. plumbers, electricians etc.). When the estimates were completed, they were entered back into the system. The representatives could then obtain the approval from their customers and would set a priority and schedule for the work to be done. Every morning, the program would automatically printout a prioritized lists of “orders” for each of the trade groups. Then, as the work was performed, the program interrogated the companies time card system and applied these costs against each project. The material costs were also entered against each of the work orders. The data allowed the program to generate a number of reports for the cost and schedule for each project.
A special custom report system was also developed that greatly helped the customer service department manage the trade groups as well as provide information to management in a timely manner. This system successfully helped the customer service group be successful and it helped identify opportunities for improvement.
The above application was installed on a mini-LAN with a Unix operating system. Besides designing and developing the application, support for the project was also provided which included training the system administrator for the Unix system.
Other project management type applications have been successfully developed.