Project Administration Integration and CRM

Integrating Project Management with Contact Management and Quotation System

Verif-i work with major oil and gas producers, contractors and manufacturers around the world, maximising seismic data value through quality control. They provide seismic crew consultants, technical auditing, advanced software and hardware solutions.

The Problem

The existing software had been built in-house. As the business expanded the more complex requirements for the system had exceeded the technical expertise of the developer.

The system had evolved from a number of sources such as standard Access templates and Excel spreadsheets. Areas covered included contact management, project administration, proposals and opportunities (quotations), order processing, stock control (with dongle management), licence renewals, project management, time and billing, invoicing plus management information.

Although they had a functioning system, a number of manual processes were required as the developer had not been able to link the different aspects of the program effectively. The system was not always reliable. In addition, the developer was not able to work on the system without incurring downtime, as the front and back end databases had not been separated.

Finally, Verif-i had long standing requirements that they had not yet been able to incorporate.

The Solution

On closer examination there were a number of problems with the underlying data model which needed to be addressed. Quite often in this situation we need to rebuild the database from scratch. In this case, whilst the data model might not have been perfect, it was sufficiently structured for us to make significant improvements with minor amendments.

Having stabilised the data model we were able to build a framework which seamlessly integrates each of the business areas for complete project management. For instance, if a quotation is converted to a live project all relevant information is automatically transferred, whereas previously this had been keyed in again manually. Pertinent contacts are readily available and easily managed thereby facilitating client relationship management (CRM).

We improved the navigation by standardising the look and feel throughout. "Add New" dialogs were introduced as an intuitive way to enter data, with validation as well as prompts for essential information.

We incorporated the business rules into the system, so they were no longer reliant on their staff to manually synchronise the different parts of the data.

With a fully integrated and stable database we were ready to incorporate the requirements that our client had wanted to address for some time:

  • Re-organising the links between forms to make it easy for staff to see the trail of each project from start to finish
  • Incorporating better search facilities via customised dialogues.
  • Developing a new section to handle the renewal of software licenses via dongles. By linking this automatically to the existing order processing system it provides an effective mechanism for the stock control of dongles
  • Adding functionality to track equipment assets that had been loaned to consultants.

We have continued to build on the system, providing more functionality as required. Now with more information easily accessible in the database we have developed an online "cloud based" view for consultants.

We are finding the new features you added to the database invaluable, especially the much improved information search buttons and the equipment tracking.

The database helps us to manage our projects all the way from proposals to invoices. Thank you for your help with this.

We are looking forward to going live with the new QC webapp you have developed for us shortly

Chris Woodward, Technical Director, Verif-i Limited