Updated on: November 21st, 2023
Since I work with a team full of field engineers we noticed that there were a few gaps in the information and data we were bringing back to the company from the field, mainly the ability to retain word-of-mouth feedback from customers and sales people alike.
Ultimately this required a custom solution as our typical sales based CRM system did not have the reporting requirements and technical information that we required in order to provide usable feedback to our internal stakeholders. This project started in Microsoft Access with a very bare-bones data entry form screen and very limited data set which functioned closer to an excel table than a database.
One of the main constraints was designing a system that would be easily usable via mobile phone since everyone in the team is in the field and has quicker access to their cell phone than a computer. Since this is an internal system the design isn’t as important so I employed Bootstrap to expedite the outline and organization process.
The system uses standard hashed passwords for each field engineer and all database entries are handled through prepared statements to eliminate the possibility of unwanted SQL injection
Another goal for the project was to create a single “hub” for all field engineers to enter anything that needs to be tracked and recorded. Ease of access and reducing the friction of creating records is important for continued use – and also for easily remembering where to go. Here we have a FEVR entry (market visit report), phone calls (notes to be taken during regular contacts with sales colleagues), weekly summaries – which should be redundant soon as the FEVR entry and phone calls cover our basic needs, and training entries to track what trainings we are administering in the market.