Upgrading a Construction Firm’s Outdated Quoting System

Case Study: Custom Quoting System

Service: Custom Software Development, Custom Database Development

Industry: Construction

Company TypePrivate

Background:

A construction firm that installs and services a wide range of construction specialty products was experiencing inefficiencies with its quoting system. To create, track, and manage quotes, the company had previously built a custom system in-house on Microsoft Access 1997. In order to maintain compatibility with Microsoft Access 1997, the company was unable to upgrade users’ computers or their accounting software. Users also experienced frequent crashes and performance issues, which in turn led to inefficiencies and loss of productivity. While this outdated system served some of the company’s needs, it was also causing inefficiencies.

In order to improve efficiency and better meet current needs, the company sought to upgrade to a web-based custom quoting system. As part of this initiative, they reached out to Aciron for help with developing the upgraded quoting system.

How We Added Value:

Aciron conducted in-depth user interviews and discussions with key stakeholders to define the specifications of the new system. Aciron looked at the client’s current quoting system to evaluate whether it was properly aligned with the company’s strategic business goals and mission.

While discussing the client’s current quoting process, Aciron and the client discussed desired features and functionality for the new system. These discussions underscored the importance of making the system accessible remotely. As a result, users can access it while on off-site jobs. Based on the client’s requirements, goals, and vision, Aciron presented actionable recommendations for developing an optimized quoting system.

Aciron created storyboards to define the look and feel of the application, as well as process diagrams to map out the system’s workflows. Once the client was satisfied with the plans for the new system, it was developed according to the documentation. Then, the system was thoroughly tested by both the Aciron team and the client. User acceptance testing (“UAT”) allowed the client to ensure the application met users’ specific needs. Additionally, it provided the client with an opportunity to identify and request any desired tweaks or modifications to the system.

Once testing was completed, Aciron designed the updated system while keeping key findings and the client’s feedback in mind. The system was then deployed to the client’s production environment.

Results:

Aciron developed a database-driven, web-based quoting system that enables users to efficiently create, track, and manage quotes. The system’s proposal entry system allows users to add and search for quotes. Powerful search functionality provides users with a rapid, accurate, and efficient means to access quotes. Authorized users can easily create, edit, and complete quotes via a user-friendly multi-stage form. Therefore, allowing for quick and efficient data entry. Based on the input, the system performs automated quote calculations for accurate and effective pricing estimation.

With the system’s call log module, the company’s sales team can easily track client communication. Authorized users can generate pre-configured reports that display detailed call log information for quotes.

The custom quoting system also integrates with the client’s accounting system. Users are able to import quotes and other relevant information into the accounting system when quotes are won and become jobs. By pulling information from the accounting system, the quoting system can generate a report that tracks when materials are ordered and received. This integration enables the client to effortlessly get a comprehensive view of their business operations.

The client’s new quoting system easily adapts to their evolving business needs. Additionally, it sets the client up for long-term, sustainable success. Upon completion of the quoting system, the client was so happy with the results that they asked Aciron to help them develop a second application to streamline their scheduling process.

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