kamikaziechameleon wrote:Hey all. If you've been through one of my threads before you may recall I was a Industrial Design/manufacturing engineer that did way too many things. Well I've left that life behind... relatively speaking. At any rate I'm now a new sales rep (inside and outside if you must know) for a small company that is desperately in need of not only an IT person but also a database. They currently have Access, but they don't have any idea what to really do with it. 2/3 of their business is still 100 percent on paper. I'm pushing the move to all digital simply so I can better data mine each and every customer to develope instructional statistics for our different products and businesses. I'm soon going to be the only sales rep in my department as the other one is retiring so... TMI, sorry.
At any rate this is not my forte but being ignorant is no excuse so I reach out to you guys. What would be a good couple of softwares and tutorials or articles for me to read, try, mess around with to calibrate my mind to understand
1. What is really possible.
2. What is the true time investment in building such a system.
3. What are other unforeseen benefits might I get back besides data for marketing and easier to track file systems.
Thanks in advanced guys.
Scrotos wrote:A company I worked at used Access 97 and 2000 for many years with special front-ends and apps that interfaced with the backend. For a starter system, that'd work if you knew VB or learned that kinda stuff.
But yeah, we had a programmer in-house. If you don't have that expertise, either hire someone (not likely if you don't even have an IT guy) or buy a system like Arvald suggested.
kamikaziechameleon wrote:I essentially want to make a method for documenting, linking, indexing and aggregating all of our sales data, from early quotes and estimates all the way to invoices.
Who will put in the data, and who will maintain the database are a series of VERY good questions. How important is tracking who does this, how accessible do i need it to be? Should I be able to tap in when travelling? I don't know any of these things. I need to sit down with management and outline a more comprehensive path for development. What do we want it to do and what don't we want it to do.
kamikaziechameleon wrote:@Captain Ned
I see and have been personally witnessed to this at a prior job so I know what you are talking about. Anything Instructive though, say an article I can read to better shape my understanding of Databases?
kamikaziechameleon wrote:The electrical engineer in house is a big fan of filemaker pro, its what they had where he used to work. Any thoughts???
Flatland_Spider wrote:It really depends on what you want to do. "What about Linux?" is a broad question, and the answer can be complicated depending on what it is you're specifically looking at replacing. Me discuss, and probably other people, are willing to discuss it, but you'd have to be more specific.
Alternativeto.net is a good place to look for alterntives to software.
OSAlt.com is another good one, but not as comprehensive.
kamikaziechameleon wrote:I only mean that your data is essentially tied to the platform is it not. A paid for platform then has you hostage.
Its an expensive ongoing cost for a smaller company to take on. I don't know enough about the financial viability of this company to know what they can comfortably do ya know.
just brew it! wrote:The downside of hosting a business critical application locally is that someone in-house needs to ensure that the system is reliable and that there are proper disaster recovery procedures in place. UPS for the server, RAID for the disks, regular backups (including off-site) of all of the data, spare hardware in case a critical component in the server breaks, etc.
just brew it! wrote:this will end up being an *enormous* amount of work by the time the dust settles