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Case Studies

To give you a better idea of what we can do for you, we’ve put together these case studies of how we have helped our clients.

Case Study 1

builderClient: A Christchurch-based building company
Industry: Construction

This Christchurch building company needed a new set of Word templates for their day-to-day correspondence with clients and sub-contractors. We built the templates then added an Access database which automatically inserts the information needed in the documents.

As almost all of the documents are sent by email, the system also generates the emails and attaches the documents to them. Emails and documents to be sent to 50 sub-contractors will take around one minute to generate.

The system generates Excel-based project management GANTT charts showing tasks, subcontractors, contact details, task start and finish dates, etc. A typical chart, showing a year-long project with 50 sub-contractors, can be generated in about 10 seconds. The GANTT spreadsheet has various facilities for showing or hiding columns so that only immediately relevant data is presented.

We designed this system around the way our clients work; they have had complete control over the content and formatting of the documents and emails it produces. They have also had continual oversight of the system’s development and their feedback has always been taken into account.

Case Study 2

Client: Rapid Results
Industry: Professional Training Services

Rapid Results is a highly successful Staff Training and Development company based in Auckland. They offer clients customised courses consisting of modules written by Rapid Results’ own trainers. Over time, a considerable library of modules has been accumulated.

Assembling and formatting the course modules into a complete course document can be a time-consuming task, so Rapid Results approached us to see if we could help. We started by rebuilding their Course Module template and incorporating a few modifications to make it easier to use. Then we created a new Course Document template which would be compatible with the modules; styles and layouts would have to match to ensure that little or no reformatting would be needed after the course document had been built.

The final stage was to build a Microsoft Word-based system which would enable the user to select the modules required for a new course, and which would then assemble them automatically into a complete course document. A typical document, consisting of 10 or so modules, can now be assembled and ready for print in around 30 seconds.

Case Study 3

Client: iScope NZ Ltd (http://www.iscopenz.co.nz/)
Industry: Property Surveying

iScope surveys properties for vendors and potential purchasers. The surveys are very comprehensive, and the results are summarised in detailed Property and Earthquake Assessment Reports which include comments, supporting photographs and a largely graphical Condition Report. iScope were looking for ways to reduce the effort required to produce each report.

We looked at iScope’s Report template and identified a number of areas where we could automate the processes of selecting and inserting comments, photographs, and cross-references. The Condition Report received special attention as it required considerable time to complete the tables which make it up and to insert the cross-references and comments which are required for some of the table entries.

A typical report may contain 20 to 30 photographs, or more if the surveyor thinks necessary. We have automated the process of importing, sizing and formatting the photographs; the user can also select captions for the photographs from pre-defined lists.

As the project developed, it became obvious that we could extend its capabilities by storing the user’s selections and entries in a database and then using the database to drive the Word template. This has been carried out successfully, and iScope now has a system which is not only very much faster than the original Word template but which also has records of the surveys. The records can be queried to provide all sorts of summaries and statistics.

Case Study 4

Client: Colliers International Ltd
Industry: Property Surveying

Colliers International asked us to build an MS Word Audit template for one of their major clients. Since one audit operation might comprise several different types of audit, we decided that the best approach would be to store the elements of each type of audit – around 180 for each type – in an MS Access database, and to program the database to build the audit documents as required. This development was carried out over two months.

The next phase of the project will see us extracting the data from the completed audit documents and inserting it into the Access database – automatically, of course. The database will then make it possible to compare audits from year to year and to produce various other statistics.
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