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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Unanswered: Is Access right for what I want to do?

    Hey I'm trying to set up an Access database for a small company that I work for and I'm just wondering if Access can do what I think it can do and if Access is right for what we want.

    Let me describe the situation:
    Basically, the managers at this company would like to keep track of all their active clients (clients meaning companies), all their prospective clients and all the potential clients that they have went for but failed to get (Existing, Prospective, and Lost) and on top of that, keep track of all the basic info about the client (contact person, phone number, address etc.) The second thing they would like to keep track of are their salespeople and which client each sales person is working on so other sales people do not go for another's client.

    My vision right now is to have a few separate tables.
    The first being a "Master List" that the managers will mainly use. This table will have a column for client name, status (existing, prospective, lost), yes/no for active contract, type of contract, start/end date, and sales person assigned.

    The second table will be "client information", so company name, phone number, contact person, email, address etc.

    Third table will be "salesperson information", name, address, phone etc.

    Now this is when I'm wondering about the functionality of Access and if it will work the way I think it will work. How I imagine the flow would be is that a salesperson will open up a "client information" form, fill out all the information about a prospective/client they just signed, (so contact names, address etc) and on the form they will also indicate that they are the salesperson assigned, and when they save that record, some of the information will create a new record and autofill in the "Master List". Should we be doing it that way? I know there is something about not entering the same data more than once since "Master list" will also have a column showing which sales person is assigned. Should the sales people just give us a list and we enter the information ourselves. Does access allow autofill into other tables?

    Sorry that is a lot of information at once. Thanks and I look forward to hearing your feedback guys!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Yes. database is appropriate but, your design is less than ideal.

    One table should be of clients, regardless of their status. Their contact info belongs here, not it a separate table.
    Then a table of status types. Right now, Existing, Prospective, and Lost.
    A third join table that relates the different clients to their status.

    This is a better design because adding statuses is just another entry in the Status Type Table. Mayeb they want to add "Negotiating." It's a breeze and doesn't require reprogramming any subsequent reports. The report will see this new relationship and report on it.

    Do the same for sales people. A table of sales people with a join table relating the client to their sales person.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    The Bottom of The Barrel
    Provided Answers: 1
    Well... my first question is have you evaluated off-the-shelf CRM's (some of them are free and/or opensource) to see if they get you where you want to go?

    If you have, what features did you need that you couldn't find ready to go? That will help outline the system requirements if you have to go home brew.
    oh yeah... documentation... I have heard of that.

    *** What Do You Want In The MS Access Forum? ***

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Richmond, Virginia USA
    Provided Answers: 19
    My thinking on this is along the same lines as Teddy, which is to say that there is an abundance of off-the-shelf CRM software out there, many of which are shareware or freeware. Development of this kind of thing is quite complex and time-consuming, even for a seasoned Access developer.

    The fact that you even have to ask

    "Is Access right for what I want to do?"

    suggests that you are not such a developer, and because of this, an app that you have to purchase is very likely going to be a bargain, when compared to the time and expense of developing your own app for this project.

    The only reason I would ever consider doing this kind of thing, rather than using an off-the-shelf app, would be if there were a large number of highly specialized requirements that were unique to your organization, which does not appear to be the case here.

    Linq ;0)>
    Hope this helps!

    The problem with making anything that fools are so darn ingenious!

    All posts/responses based on Access 2003/2007

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Thanks for your insight guys. Cost is a little bit of an issue. Would any of you be able to recommend some opensource crm software for me to look at?

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