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Bilbrey Microsoft Access Case Study

Microsoft Access Programming Case Study

Business Situation:

WSI was originally hired to convert a completely paper, manual system into an automated paperless based system that Bilbrey Insurance Services, Inc. (BISI) would use to run the day-to-day operations of their company.

Major Goals:

  • Develop a system that would allow BISI personnel to perform their jobs efficiently.
  • Automate as many processes as possible to eliminate and reduce the number of repetitive tasks that personnel performed.
  • Push as many data entry tasks as possible back to BISI's clients allowing BISI personnel to focus on business tasks.
  • Develop a system that would reduce the number of personnel necessary to run the business operations.

Solution:

WSI set out to create an environment that would allow BISI to accomplish the goals that they wished to achieve. As the exclusive architects for this transformation, WSI had the major say in the solution that was created throughout the entire process.

It was determined early on that the majority of BISI's goals would be best accomplished by a phased approach. This was determined to be the best route due to the large expense that the entire project would cost. By using a phased approach, this would allow that cost to be spread out over a period of time. In addition, the phased approach was determined to be the best approach so that the system could be built, tested and actually see results quickly rather than having to wait until the entire system was built. This also allowed for freedom and flexibility in the design process that allowed for changes to be made as any unforeseen problems were encountered.

BISI first identified those business tasks that they felt would give them the most return from being put into a system. As part of this process, WSI sat down with BISI and helped them weed out those tasks that were too aggressive or didn't seem to present a good return to be included in the first phase. WSI then developed an application for these business tasks.

After completion of the first phase, a series of additional phases were begun and completed, that either enhanced or added a whole new business process to the BISI application. After completion of these first few phases, BISI staff began to see some real efficiencies and automation that allowed them to grow their business significantly without having to take on any additional staff.

The next goal to be attacked was that of pushing as much data entry responsibility back to BISI's clients, thus allowing BISI personnel to focus on business tasks and not data entry. It was determined that this goal could be best accomplished by building a web based application. This would allow BISI's clients to perform data entry tasks that they normally did on paper forms and mailed into BISI. These data entry tasks would then go directly into BISI's production database where instead of having to re-key paper forms, BISI personnel would inspect the data that was being submitted and approve or reject the entry. This allowed BISI to save a significant amount of time on a task that was vital to business.

The next goal that BISI had was to make life with their vendors as efficient as possible. To this extent, BISI has begun developing an extranet system to enhance data sharing and business processing with it vendors. This includes sharing of data, reports and business decisions.

At this time, BISI continues to examine their current business processes for any additional tasks that need to be put into the application.

Benefits:

BISI is in the process of automating all processes resulting in the ability to grow their business without taking on additional staff and even not having to replace staff who leave the company. Relationships with clients and vendors have been enhanced due to the increased functionality that they both encompass.

Technical Information:

Business Application - This application was originally developed in Microsoft Access 2.0 using DAO as the data access method. The application has since been converted to an Access 97 format.

Database - When the application was originally built, an Access database was used to store all data. As the database continued to grow all data was transferred into a SQL Server 7.0 database that has since been migrated to a SQL Server 2000 database.

Internet/Extranet Systems - Running on an IIS Server, all pages were developed using Microsoft Visual InterDev.

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