Is Microsoft Access Dead?

I did an Internet search for “is Microsoft Access dead?” and found lots of conflicting information on this topic. This seems to be a hot topic in the database world with all kinds of people chiming in, some of whom by the comments they’ve made, don’t know much about Access or relational databases. I read in my search that Access is useless, a “toy”, Excel can do anything Access can do, stuff like that.

Since I’m an Access database developer, I guess you could say I have a bias. However, let’s look at the facts. Read More

How to Spend More Time Doing What You Love

Little ShopSide Note: Because I sign non-disclosure agreements with my clients and I respect their privacy and trade secrets, I can’t name names or get into details.

This may sound corny but one of the things I love about my job is helping people. I’ve helped many small businesses over the years get organized, more efficient, and consequently improve their sales and services. I take pride in the ability to sit with a new client, learn what they do and need and then build a solution to that need.

Recently, I did a job for a small organization that’s in the business of helping people. They had someone develop an Access database for them a few years back that tracked client activity. They need to report totals of this activity to various agencies on a regular basis. The database they were using was not done very well. It could not be used from year to year and had some other serious flaws. The client knew this. The client was spending way too much time on this reporting and not enough time on doing what they love, which is helping their clients. Read More

Database Design for Landscape Companies

Problems/Solutions chalkboard

The other day I was talking to a friend in the landscape business in Bucks County, PA. He told me he was spending hours putting together job requirements, and employee and maintenance schedules. It was getting to the point where he was spending almost as much time on paperwork as he was running his business. He’d looked at off the shelf software and it was never quite right for his needs. He was surprised at how inexpensively he could get database software designed that fit his needs exactly.

Then he asked what the process of designing a database would be like.  I’ll share my answer to him with you today since it’s a good example of what’s involved in database design. I told him:  Read More

How a Database Saves Time and Money

Save time and money

Today I want to share a case study from an actual client of mine.

Side Note: Because I sign non-disclosure agreements with my clients and I respect their privacy and trade secrets, I can’t name names or get into details.

A recent client (I’ll call him Jim) told me about his manual process for finding new customers. He received a list of potential customers from an outside source and manually went through the list to find possible customers. He then emailed those potential customers to see if they were interested in his services. Jim was spending hours and hours weeding through the lists to find the people he could help. He knew automating his process would save him lots of time.

Jim already owned Microsoft Access and thought that a database could be the tool to cut down on the grunt work. He had read my book, Microsoft Access 2013 for Dummies, and attempted to build a database himself.  Read More

6 Ways to Improve Your Sales

Improve your sales

Here are 6 ways to improve your sales with a database:

  • Track customer data. The more you know about your customer, the better you can meet his or her needs.  Meet customer needs to improve your sales. You can easily stay in touch with your customers with email.
  • Track employee data. Which employees get results and which do not? Are your employees compliant with local, state, and federal requirements for your industry? A database can help you sort this out.
  • Track what sells. Determine how much inventory to carry or materials to purchase.

Read More