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Over a period of several years we have provided customized solutions for clients in all of the categories listed above. Sometimes the solution provided in a given category differs considerably from other solutions in the same category.
For example some clients want Pricing tied to Bids and Proposals. In some of these we provide a laundry list of items offered for sale (sometimes with an image of each item), and the sales person simply checks off the selected items and indicates quantities for each order. The application then automatically produces a quotation, complete with taxes, shipping charge, etc. Or in some cases the application produces a full proposal showing the selected items, their descriptions, unit prices, totals, etc. along with paragraphs that further describe the selected items, their benefits, etc. together with a template that describes the company, its capabilities, service policies and the like.
Another option is to provide a cost analysis for the selected items along with profit and profit margin for internal consumption by the selling organization. Also in some cases the application computes the distance and other shipping parameters and presents shipping price based on these parameters as well as shipping cost based on the same parameters. Taxes also vary by location, and this computation can be included in the application.
In some cases the catalog of items, prices, descriptions, images, etc. are stored in a database such as Microsoft Access, often on a shared server. In other cases the product information is listed on an Excel spreadsheet in the same application that includes input and output sheets and the visual basic code that drives the application.
A popular type of application we provide many clients involves tracking sales and sales commissions. The applications often track sales over a period, usually by month, and generate customer statements at the end of the period. Calculations usually involve revolving balances, payments, credits, overdue charges, etc. We also have applications that track sales commissions for internal and external sales staff and support personnel. Usually these are maintained over a period of time such as by week or by month, and commission statements are produced for the individual sales persons. This often includes tracking sales by group or department and providing reports for management that may include various types of summaries, charts, comparisons to previous periods, etc. all within the same application. Dashboard reporting for management use is sometimes included, both for local management and sometimes for senior management, including reports to the board of directors.
We have clients that require breakdown of long lists of addresses into manageable segments that are physically grouped near each other. These are plotted on printable maps and arranged in efficient routing sequences for sales persons to follow for making sales calls. Other optimized routing applications and mapping of these routes can also be provided. Another class of clients use our applications to analyze coverage areas by zip codes for efficient advertising such as radio coverage from existing transmission points. These analyses use geocoding which is included in the applications, and they are used for such things as soliciting advertisers based on demographics.
Medicare and Medicaid have recently converted from the standard 4010 format for electronic claims filing to the new 5010 format. We provide a translator program to convert from the old format to the new 5010 format. The converter is much less expensive than switching to a completely new system for handling the new format and it allows our clients to continue to use familiar processing while meeting the new format requirements.
Another popular application is tracking inventory for large numbers of items such as spare parts or small accessories. The application provides for ordering, receiving, picking items. Information about the items is usually stored in a large database that may be shared by a number of individuals. Provision is made for reporting on a periodic basic, including overages and shortages, inventory adjustments, reorder notices and the like. Reorder reports and notices are sometimes based on budgeting and historical usage, all calculated within the application. Customer orders may be captured electronically and parts picking reports produced by the application program.
In some cases clients have asked us to provide financial reporting with our customized software, usually in conjunction with other applications. This includes the standard financial reports such as Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, etc. Others have asked for Payroll computation, especially for small businesses with only a few employees. The application computes hours worked, overtime premium, special advances and assessments, commissions, social security and tax withholding, etc., ready for writing payroll checks. Some of our custom applications have interfaced with QuickBooks and various types of shared databases to provide an integrated system approach.
Sometimes management requires summary reporting on various aspects of their businesses. Dashboard displays provide a convenient and succinct method of summarizing performance and operating parameter measurements. Various display techniques are used such as different types of charts to convey the information in an easy to recognize format.
Various forms are used to report expenses, and most of them require calculations to finish filling in portions of the form such as mileage rates, expense limits, totals, etc. Our applications provide these reports as required, usually in conjunction with other applications.
We have provided several types of real estate analyses to meet various requirements. In some cases our applications are programmed to pick up real estate data from the Internet or existing databases and analyze it. In other cases the information is provided in spreadsheets is analyzed to determine which opportunity is best, based on various tests and parameters provided by the client. These applications are generally built in a form that allows them to be used for a large number of potential opportunities. Some instances of tracking rental properties on a continuing basis and producing periodic tracking and management reports have been developed. Others use our custom software to track partner/investor real estate investments for buying and selling properties.
Some of the many types of investment analyses we have provided for clients include the following:
We have both built custom databases and accessed existing data bases over internal networks or via the Internet. Often the database applications are married with other Office applications such as Excel and Word. The Excel component is used to process and analyze the data collected from the database as well as provide updates and new records to be stored in the database. Word is sometimes used to build reports, proposals and the like from the processed Excel output.
Recently we have acquired clients who consolidate large numbers of health insurance claims, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. These claims have to be reported according to government rules which have recently been changed. Our applications convert and translate traditional claims from various health providers to meet new and more stringent claim reporting requirements and combine them for electronic data transmission to the paying organizations.
In some cases clients want certain applications to run at specific times during the day or to run at the same time every day. We have provided applications that include cron jobs of this type for clients. These timed jobs can be turned on or off with the click of a button.