Laroque’s first project was a charting application for an international pharmaceuticals company. The application imported data from the plant’s SAP process control system, shaped it, charted it, and presented it in a collection of reports.
Many of the charts trended measured reagent concentrations at critical points in the plant’s flow. By watching trends, it was possible for engineers to predict the best time for resetting reagent levels. As resetting operations often required flow to be closed down, the application made it possible for the engineers to find efficiency gains. SAP did not at that time have sufficiently adaptable charting add-ins.
Our next project was a scheduling tool for Microcentre’s training department in Glasgow. The department ran commercial applications training courses which took the form of two-day training sessions run at the company’s Glasgow or Edinburgh offices. The scheduling tool allowed courses to be scheduled on a calendar, allowed sales staff to book delegates onto courses and administrative staff to schedule trainers. It also made it easy to print letters to delegates, course manuals, invoices, and a quantity of other course related documents.
Front of House Staff Scheduler
The Front of House Office (FHO) at a major Glasgow performance venue manages a large team of part-time front of house staff. One of the chief tasks of the FHO is to collect part-timer availability and prepare the monthly duty roster. The system we developed was devised to make collecting availability as easy as possible, generate the rosters, print a diary page for each member of staff, a separate diary report for each of the team leaders, and a set of management reports for Front of House managers. The application was a considerable time saver. It was developed relatively quickly over three months and further features were added over succeeding years.
Access Development Projects
Laroque has developed many Access projects, the most relevant is the Key Performance Indicator we built for a major firm of personal injury lawyers. The application produces a series of reports, one for each fee earner, a summary report for each department, and a further summary for the firm. The reports show fees earned, cases opened over the last 13 months, cases raised in court, and several further measures which allow partners to monitor the progress of fee earners, departments and the firm. The PDFs are regenerated every hour.
The application imports time recording and case-holding data from the firm’s data warehouse. It also imports financial data from a cube tailored to the partnership’s accounting application. The data is shaped, charted, printed to PostScript then converted to PDF. Using Microsoft Access allowed us to complete the project in a very short timescale.