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Work problem... solution Required!!!!

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Asterix, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    Hey Guys,
    I have recently started with a company and feel the current process in place is inadaqate and can be vastly improved! the current process involves me wasting time every day for no reason, so hopefully can reduce this and also give me, my time to shine :P
    The scenario:
    There are 13 branches who all do standard morning IT checks -> these checks are individually emailed to me on the service desk -> once i have received all these documents i then compile them into 1 Excel document and redistribute to all branches. The documents i receive are in all different formats and use several diferent programs so the process is extrememly time comsuming just getting the data and formatting correct. I have spoken with my manager who agrees that this is an issue.

    Solution:
    We have a company network across all sites and can easily get a folder setup for a new process. I am not a developer and think the easiest solution for me to impliment would be to get them all branches to individually save their documents into a folder (under a defined name) and create an Excel document (with some flashy buttons) to open these documents when selected/Clicked.

    Just really wanted to bounce this idea off a few of you guys really. i havent looked into this in a great depth and just wanted a few opinions to whether this would be the best way of going about this??
    Any suggestions would be openly welcomed.
     
  2. dazza786

    dazza786 Megabyte Poster

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    Not too much detail in that post really, but sounds like with a little bit of web/db development, those tasks in your role would disappear, freeing your time up for other things..

    like.. Intranet based checklist form
     
    Certifications: MCP (271, 272, 270, 290, 291, 621, 681, 685), MCDST, MCTS, MCITP, MCSA, Security+, CCA(XA6.5)
  3. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    If you have to compile them into 1 document then why dont you design an excel sheet with all the fields for the information that you require. Then you can distribute it to the branches so they have a standard template to fill in. When that's done they put it in the relevant folder and you can have another excel sheet with a few macros to pull the information into one sheet.

    The idea is if they all have a standard template to fill out, firstly it's more consistant across the branches and secondly it's easier using macros to compile the information.
     
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  4. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    What are the checks mate? Chances are there will be an off the shelf product that could pay for itself from the time you would save.
     
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    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  5. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    What i was trying to suggest as a solution is exactly what 'nugget' suggested!
    I have never been an end user on MS applications, so although this sounds a Piece-of-cake this could be interesting and also very effective!
    One question i do have regarding using macros in excel to import information is:
    What identifying method is used to select the corresponding form for each branch and differentiate between the others in the same folder? the filenames?
    hopefuly the above question makes some sort of sense
    I have no prior experience with MS access although it is on the company build so would be feasable, would it be more benefitial to use Access rather that Excel to display the data imported from the excel forms (from each branch)? what would be the pros and cons?
    Thanks,
     
  6. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    I see Infopath would give functionallity to create a standard template in XML that can be imported into Excel (although formating is removed). This seems pretty good so far but has there is no formatting. can this be output to a HTML file with formatting? Im trying to figure that out ATM but unsure if this is possible!
     
  7. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    I used to use HoundDog to monitor customer sites, produce reports etc.

    It's not that expensive and gets cheaper the more you monitor. If you have the budget you could try requesting a trial first and see how you get on.
     
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  8. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    Any additional software will not be approved! this would have to be done with office suite unfortunatly. anyone used Infopath software for any similar function?
     
  9. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Might be worth costing something no? When you look at the saved hours the software pays for itself.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    There might be something in sharepoint you could use, sharepoint services is free after all. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  11. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    thanks sparky, ill look into it, i thought that this may have been a much easier task to create 13 standard templated documents and import them into one file which could then be accessed via a link
     
  12. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Last place I worked had something similar for desktop upgrade purchase requests.

    I think it was sharepoint and infopath based so looks like you're on the right route.

    COTS solution might be cheaper though as mentioned if you're not a developer.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH

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