Started with a call from an independent commercial real estate broker. His contacts database is no longer supported, but he likes everything about it. Concerned that he could lose everything, he seems willing to make a considerable investment to migrate his 10+ years of data into a new system.
We ask, So what happens if your computer crashes right now?
Turns out he make two backups every week and puts one in a safe-deposit box. And he has the original program and system disks for his computer.
So the worst that can happen is that he loses a few days worth of data, a risk says he can live with.
We say keep making backups and focus on real estate.
Next, a call from a local graphic arts shop that purchased an off-the-shelf estimating and invoicing program six months ago. They like it, but it runs slow over the network and crashes if more than one user opens it up.
Were not surprised. The system has 45 databases, way too many for the tasks at hand. The main Quotes file has over 1200 fields, 500 of which are calculations, ten times the numbers of any system weve ever seen. Records are duplicated when a calculation would do, so it bloats up over time.
We contacted the developer. He asserts that other clients dont have performance problems. Hes convinced that the system isnt configured correctly on the network.
So, were in the process of reviewing the configuration. More importantly, were contacting other users of this system to see if theyre having similar problems. Well let you know what happens.
And then theres this company with an old DOS database they want to migrate to a modern Windows system. Theyve even offered to pay us to evaluate the system to ensure that our proposal is thorough and fair to both sides.
The creators of this DOS database have a Windows version, but the prospect has heard negative things about it. We get clearance to contact them directly.
Theyre very responsive, and have an established process of evaluating such migrations that culminate in a turnkey proposal to recreate the functionality of the old system. Turns out its been a couple of years since our prospect has considered hiring them for this project. Were working with them on the proposal, at no charge.
All of this activity reinforces one of our basic tenets: Just because it can be done doesnt mean it should be done. Wed rather focus on the problem and suggest all possible solutions, regardless of their impact on our bottom line.
Take care of your prospects and clients, and the bottom line will take care of itself.
Weve posted a few screen shots on our Web site. See them at www.pm-solutions.net/screens.htm.
There are examples of our documentation techniques, Job Jackets, Reports, Estimates and even a Change Order. (Anyone ever asked you to make revisions? Thought so )
If you like what you see, youll really be impressed with a live demonstration of these automated custom database systems. Send us a postcard, drop us a line
My favorite is Redneck, but it reads more like Hillbilly to me. We were delighted with its translation of our online essay, frivolously titled The Chicken Bone Syndrome. For starters, it changed every occurrence of chicken to possum. It mysteriously changed amiable to varmintable.
Lets all be well, do good work, and keep in touch.