The Total Solution. It's not enough to design the perfect application. The
application must be integrated into your operation. This means keeping in mind the
hardware you will be using, installing the system, doing data conversion if necessary,
ensuring that the system will be backed up on a regular basis, training your staff
and providing ongoing support.
How we proceed. The first step in approaching a new application is gaining
an understanding of the organization it is meant to serve. It is also useful to
know something about the personnel that will be using it, their level of skill with
computers and their working environment. We will meet with you to get an overview
of the project and ask questions to tease out any details or ramifications that
may have been missed. Often we will make suggestions as to other features that could
be added to improve an application's usefulness.
Working together we create a wish list of features for a project. I encourage clients
to think "pie in the sky". Talk is cheap. Now is the time to get all of the ideas
out on the table. With the rapid advance of technology features that would have
been prohibitively expensive, too resource hungry or just plain impossible suddenly
become reasonable. This is also a good time to think about how the application may
grow in the future and how it relates to other aspects of your organization.
Once we have our wish list we decide what portion should be tackled immediately.
Not everything you have imagined needs to or should be created at once. Some applications
benefit greatly by being creating in several phases. This can save money and reduce
the stress of introducing too many changes to an organization all at once. Also,
what features will give you the most bang for the buck? What can be created at a
reasonable cost that promises the biggest payoff? We will work with you to decide
which features to include in your project.
At this point we can usually ballpark the resources required by the proposed application
and the cost of creating it. If the ballpark estimate meets with your approval we
will iron out the details more precisely and set an exact price. On large projects
we may go into a more extensive design phase and prepare a detailed specification
before we can set the final price. On smaller jobs (two days or less) we may just
come to a verbal agreement with a client and jump in immediately. There are also
times when it makes more sense to work on a time and materials basis depending on
the needs of the client.
How We Work. We often perform much of our work on-site. This provides many
advantages including the ability to get questions answered quickly, get a better
feel for your organization and tailor our work directly to the people using it.
It also saves time, which saves you money. In cases where this is not an option
we will prepare our work offsite and come in only to install it and train users.
There are times where we may need to halt production or deny users access to portions
of the network. This is most evident when converting existing data and installing
new applications. We will always work to minimize this down time. In short we will
work closely with you to ensure the best fit and to minimize the impact.
Our Library. Over the years we have created an extensive library of code
and programming objects. We utilize these tools to give us a head start on projects.
This standardizes aspects of our applications making them easier to support. They
have the additional benefit of being thoroughly tested. PC-FM owns the code library
and grants its clients an unlimited use license to utilize the code throughout their
organization. We only ask that the code not be distributed outside of your organization
or resold either separately or as part of an application. One additional promise:
No slide rules, no geeks, no know-it-alls, digital divas, programming primadonnas
and so on. You will only work with personable, professional people who have a love
for this work and have your best interests at heart. We appreciate your business
and will earn it on an ongoing basis.