Bespoke MS Excel Application: Programme Planning Tool
Our client runs a number of large programmes, involving the allocation of resources across various phases, milestones and deadlines. Originally, MS Project was used, but due to variable levels of experience within the planning team, it was quite common for programmes to be incorrect, unfinished or sometimes not even produced at all.
We developed a simpler programme management tool using MS Excel and VBA, that leveraged userforms, sheet protection and macros to give the user a very easy-to-use and guided application, significantly reducing the time it took to produce programmes. Validation was used to prevent erroneous values coming in and producing printable or PDF versions could now be done at the click of a button.
MS Excel Automation: Breach Analysis Tool
Our client uses a timesheet application to allow them to record the hours that their employees are working. Due to new legislation, it was important to ensure that their employees were having enough rest periods in-between shifts. The rules for how these rest periods are calculated are relatively complicated, and therefore it was taking our client significant amounts of time to manually check this every day.
We developed a MS Excel spreadsheet that used VBA to import the daily CSV file produced by the timesheet application; perform five different checks to ensure compliance on each employee, and also produce a report at office, site and individual level, showing where breaches have occurred. This has saved significant amounts of time for our client.
MS Access Database: Rebuild and Enhance
Our client was reliant on a bespoke MS Access database that had been developed over a decade ago, which was no longer supported. After such a long period of time, it was inevitable that the database could no longer keep up with the new ways of working that have been implemented over the years. As the database was business-critical it was essential to preserve the existing functionality, add new essential features and minimise downtime.
Although we considered re-developing the database as a web-application, we mutually agreed that the best approach was to rebuild and optimise the MS Access database using modern development practices. By preserving the UI, re-training was kept to a minimum, but by using MS SQL as the back end and refactoring the code base, the database is easier to maintain going forward.