Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I’m not sure how to begin the customization process?

The start of the process begins with a free initial meeting to find out what the key data-points are that are attempting to be tracked. We’ll go through all the ways you are tracking data from spreadsheets to word processing documents. We can do this in-person or online.

Question: What types of businesses can utilize a custom system?

Service First Consulting has worked with dozens of companies across all industries. Some of these include construction to finance to training systems, etc.  All types of industries and companies can benefit from a custom system.

Question: We’re a smaller company with a limited budget.

The new system does not have to manage all data points. Depending on the data tracked, most systems can be created under 40 hours of work.

Question: How does a custom system price differ from an off the shelf program?

Typically, the expense for the custom system is in the first 60 days of the project. There is an upfront amount, but it will not exceed the statement of work amount. Licensing fees for an off the shelf program may seem less, but over time these fees add up and are even more with multiple users.

Question: What will my database look like visually?

We first review the flow of information. The data points will be extracted from spreadsheets for example.  We then design your system around your datapoints.  For example, we’ll map out all data points that track your customer’s. Once the new system is about to go online, you will be very familiar with the overall database elements. See our website for examples.

Question: I have an existing database that needs modifications?

Service First can assist you with any existing database.

Question: Will I still utilize spreadsheets with the new system?

There are many options available. The new database system can also utilize Excel by exporting data from the database into any spreadsheet. Graphing of data can also be done inside a Microsoft Access database

Question: How can I access my database?

There are many options to pick from. A typical setup is that the database can reside on a standard server and be accessed within an office or remotely via a terminal server connection. All security elements that protect all company files can also protect the database from malicious activity.  The database is composed as a file, exactly like Excel.

Question: Can multiple people access the system simultaneously?

Up to 250 users can access the file at the same time, but most likely it will be no more than 15 users.

Question: Will reporting be an option with the new system?

Every report created will be customized to your immediate needs. Customer lists, customer proposals, aging reports, invoice reports to name a few.

Question: What if we want to make changes to the system?

Microsoft Access is an open-source program that allows any type of customization. We’ll train you in the new system and you will be able to make changes as company processes evolve.

Question: Are there hidden costs or fees with the system?

Once the system is completed, the only ongoing cost is the Microsoft Office license fee, which will be needed for the other office applications anyway.

Question: Who owns the license to the system?

You own all rights to the system and there are no hidden or repeated monthly or yearly fees.