I have a relatively simple project that entails two sections. It is a specialized estimating system that will allow the workers of a sheet metal fabrication shop to enter dimensions of specific types of sheet metal enclosures and ducts, and then have the program calculate amounts of sheet metal required, cost per unit dependent upon the gauge/thickness/type of the metal, and add in a factor for labour, and the option to add in a couple other variable factors per type of shape.
(Imagine a series of duct shapes... a "Y"-shaped vent, a curved right-angle bend, a reducing channel... all fairly standard shapes in the HVAC industry. However, a contractor will bring in specific dimensions, usually in inches, of how large the openings will be, how wide, tall and deep a component will be, etc. THERE is where the dimensions need to be entered into a subprogram for each type of shape, then the factors calculated to come up with a final cost.)
The above mentioned part is relatively easy, actually, and I would do it myself in Excel, except the resultant quote results (and this is the second part of the project) must be stored in a format that can be brought over into a quotation/invoicing structure that can be stored like any typical sales/estimating/quoting system.
The girl at the front of the shop must be able to bring up the data in its quoted form, confirm with the customer all the details, then save that as a purchase order to that customer and later, an invoice that will be stored.
Typical post-processing, in terms of end-of-month sales reporting, lookups, etc., must be possible from such a system.
Either side of this type of processing is not terribly difficult; however, I have been unable to find a commercial package that will do such a task relatively economically... the ones who CAN do the estimating part are massive, expensive programs with long learning curves, offering so many features that the needed estimation part is less than a tenth of all that is offered; hence, much of the remaining application is never used and wasted.
Companies with estimating/quoting/records-retrieval systems are a dime-a-dozen, but cannot do the variable-shape-dimensioning type of quoting required.
Does this sound like a project you could undertake in relatively short order?
If you can, I would be prepared to send you diagrams and flowcharts and information as to what types of data must be compiled, and how the screens should look, etc.
I would have done the project myself, but two limiting factors apply:
1) My MS-Access knowledge is rusty... somewhat over 10 years old. I am, however, very experienced in Excel and a range of other applications.
2) I have several other projects on the go, some technical, some programming and some investment, that prevent me from applying the proper amount of time required to do this in a timely manner.
I would hope a programming task such as this could be accomplished in less than a week or two, with follow-up adjustments as required. If it would take more than 3 or 4 weeks to complete the main body of programming, this may not be feasible. Please advise accordingly.
I await your response. Please respond with any clarifications you require. Thank you for your consideration.