Case Study – Communications Company

The Situation

This client is a communications company, whose business consists largely of laying and maintaining fibre cables and similar activities, often on the railways.

Because there were many jobs, shifts and locations involved, the existing method of processing timesheets at a central location was becoming onerous, so the client wanted a solution that was simple, adaptable and portable.

Our Approach

Because of the mobility required, it made sense to use a web-based database, so that all that was required to utilise the system was internet access.  That way project managers could complete their timesheets in hotel rooms, or out on site, or wherever they happened to be.

We therefore implemented a database in MySQL and placed it on a webserver, and developed a front-end for it using MS Access.

The Solution

The requirement was relatively straightforward, allowing a hierarchical structure under the job of both multiple job elements and multiple shifts.  Each shift can consist of multiple activities, and the various team members on site for the shift are recorded along with their times.

capture

This anonymised screenshot shows the layout of the main shift screen, from where users can add activities and team members and, with the relevant administrative access, can also manage employees, plant and client information.

The Outcome

The client has been able to significantly reduce paperwork and administration, while at the same time having a fast way of accessing information about a particular shift.

A new project is in place (2016) to add the ability to input basic shift data via a mobile phone or a tablet, by developing a simple Android front-end for the same database.