When Tech Help Ltd first set up shop, we used a series of paper forms to track customers, services and hardware details. This worked well but had several downsides. Most importantly It was difficult to look up past services. Also, tracking current ‘work on the bench’ required physical checks which proved to be prone to errors.
In order to solve this I created a basic database system using HTML, PHP and MySQL running on our central server. Initially this was almost a straight electronic copy of the paper system we originally used but I developed it over time to show statistics, allow searching by various criteria and display the current ‘work on bench’ in a colour-coded format. This meant that checking work progress was as simple as visiting any workstation and glancing at a page. Notes could be added at any time to centralise information for each job – no more losing hastily scribbled paper scraps.
The implementation of this system had the knock on effect of saving time, paper and ink. The quick retrieval of information and professional print-outs often impressed customers who were often used to less organised systems seen in other establishments.