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Interaction PHP - Office products

P: 3
Hi all,

I would like to create a web-based application (PHP and MySQL) to control data about companies, persons and offers that have been made for these persons (at those companies).

The offers that will be made for the persons will be in both Word as Excel being Word the written offer (that later will be exported to PDF to send to the customer as non-editable) and Excel an overview of the offer with quantities, name of the product, salesprices, purchaseprices, margins, etc...

The goal of the Excel-sheets is that from another Excel-sheet, a query will run to discover all outstanding offers from all customers so an always up to date funnel can easily be made for the Salesmanager.

I've discussed this yesterday with the person that will create this website for me and he told me the webbrowser cannot automatically create, open or save a Word or Excel-file on a specific place. He will always ask for OPEN or SAVE AS... and I only want those files to be saved and opened (for editing) automatically in the correct directories. For example for customer X I want this offer automatically be placed in C:\customers\X and called x0801.xls (08: year, 01: first offer for this year). The next offer should get the name x0802.xls, etc...
The same for other customers in other folders: C:\customers\Y\y0801.xls etc...

Anyone an idea on how we can solve this?

Many thanks in advance!

Nico
Feb 8 '08 #1
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5 Replies


dlite922
Expert 100+
P: 1,584
Hi all,

I would like to create a web-based application (PHP and MySQL) to control data about companies, persons and offers that have been made for these persons (at those companies).

The offers that will be made for the persons will be in both Word as Excel being Word the written offer (that later will be exported to PDF to send to the customer as non-editable) and Excel an overview of the offer with quantities, name of the product, salesprices, purchaseprices, margins, etc...

The goal of the Excel-sheets is that from another Excel-sheet, a query will run to discover all outstanding offers from all customers so an always up to date funnel can easily be made for the Salesmanager.

I've discussed this yesterday with the person that will create this website for me and he told me the webbrowser cannot automatically create, open or save a Word or Excel-file on a specific place. He will always ask for OPEN or SAVE AS... and I only want those files to be saved and opened (for editing) automatically in the correct directories. For example for customer X I want this offer automatically be placed in C:\customers\X and called x0801.xls (08: year, 01: first offer for this year). The next offer should get the name x0802.xls, etc...
The same for other customers in other folders: C:\customers\Y\y0801.xls etc...

Anyone an idea on how we can solve this?

Many thanks in advance!

Nico
Why use Word and Excel? Why can't your developer store this in a database, and develop a web application per your requirements.

It seems you're working like the 90's.

With a custom web application (or open source, don't know your entire process) You manage customers, offers, letters/emails sent to them. It can create a page where they can see their offer from you (can be secured)

My advice? quit expecting miracles from mediocre web developer and consult a real one who can sit down with you on your needs and developer an efficient, extensible, cost effective solution.

Good luck.
Feb 12 '08 #2

Markus
Expert 5K+
P: 6,050
Why use Word and Excel? Why can't your developer store this in a database, and develop a web application per your requirements.

It seems you're working like the 90's.

With a custom web application (or open source, don't know your entire process) You manage customers, offers, letters/emails sent to them. It can create a page where they can see their offer from you (can be secured)

My advice? quit expecting miracles from mediocre web developer and consult a real one who can sit down with you on your needs and developer an efficient, extensible, cost effective solution.

Good luck.
Amen to that ma brother!
Feb 12 '08 #3

P: 3
Hi,

To be honest about the Excel and Word-thought: I started from this idea because I was using such a self-developed CRM-tool at my previous employer and this worked very well for me there. Over there it worked fine, since they had a template Excel and Word-offer with all products and services in there and it was adapted each week by an internal sales with the new prices from the suppliers. After that, it was very easy for the external sales if they had to make an offer for their customers: they only had to copy-paste a block of Word / Excel in the specific Word / Excel-offer for that customer and it was ready.

For my new employer it's far more complex, since we offer a lot more products from a lot more suppliers and we don't have an internal sales that can update the "template xls or doc-offer" (or database) on a regular base.

This is how they work now:

- Customer sends a mail to us to receive prices about a product (can be all formats)
- We send this request to our supplier(s)
- They send us a response (can be a response on the mail of the customer, can be in xls, can be pdf, word, ...)
- We send this response to the customer with the end-user prices
- They confirm if they want us to order it
- And then the manual process starts again...

I'm thinking about a faster way of working in this proces and was thinking to give the suppliers access to our webpages to fill out the request of the customers in our database, but I'm afraid they might not be willing to do this 'extra work' for them that could save us time.

Do you have any ideas on how we could optimize?
I'm very willing to give up the Word/Excel-idea if you could give me some good alternatives.

Thanks,

Nico
Feb 12 '08 #4

dlite922
Expert 100+
P: 1,584
Hi,

To be honest about the Excel and Word-thought: I started from this idea because I was using such a self-developed CRM-tool at my previous employer and this worked very well for me there. Over there it worked fine, since they had a template Excel and Word-offer with all products and services in there and it was adapted each week by an internal sales with the new prices from the suppliers. After that, it was very easy for the external sales if they had to make an offer for their customers: they only had to copy-paste a block of Word / Excel in the specific Word / Excel-offer for that customer and it was ready.

For my new employer it's far more complex, since we offer a lot more products from a lot more suppliers and we don't have an internal sales that can update the "template xls or doc-offer" (or database) on a regular base.

This is how they work now:

- Customer sends a mail to us to receive prices about a product (can be all formats)
- We send this request to our supplier(s)
- They send us a response (can be a response on the mail of the customer, can be in xls, can be pdf, word, ...)
- We send this response to the customer with the end-user prices
- They confirm if they want us to order it
- And then the manual process starts again...

I'm thinking about a faster way of working in this proces and was thinking to give the suppliers access to our webpages to fill out the request of the customers in our database, but I'm afraid they might not be willing to do this 'extra work' for them that could save us time.

Do you have any ideas on how we could optimize?
I'm very willing to give up the Word/Excel-idea if you could give me some good alternatives.

Thanks,

Nico

Oh pfft!!! this is easy peasy!!

You have a program that keeps track of all these orders for you. I believe their called o... let me see:

Quotes/Estimates -> Orders -> Invoices!!!

Part of everybody business that sells a product or service.

Develop an application that you can enter requests into. and collect information such as Customer Info, and Product(s) Info.

Ideally you wanna get your customers to "fill this out" on your site or an easy to use interface (request) form. So they can request even without email. If they choose to email, Past their email yourself and create this request yourself.

The requests will of course go into a database where the supplier can get them in two ways.
1. They can be emailed to them (they'll like the fact that its now more uniform)
2. They can log in and see this site and all the requests and reply to them.

Once this reply is recieved, either via email or better, they use your site, the status of the process changes to "Quote Recieved"

From your interface you should be able to sort, search, on all these requests in one easy interface.

You go in, Choose to show all the ones that have a "Quote Recieved" status. You mark up the price (or change the price in the message) and email it back to the customer.

----------------------------------------------

Alot of vendors already do this. They have a customer side, they have an internal side (what you see) and they have a supplier side (what the vendor sees)

Ingram Micro, Synnex, Tech Data, CDW. Customers either, log on, call or email requests that get responses.

Ideally you have your products online and customers with a log in can go online and see the prices and products without wasting a rep's time.

They can also see the quotes, orders they've placed, status of them and their previous history.

If this is right up your alley, i would Definetly google for already made products. if its expensive have a developer build a "mini" version to save costs.

Ask the other experts about how much time a mini-version of what i just talked about would take IN BILLABLE HOURS. I won't say anything cuz i'll always low-ball it.

If you know the average hours it would take, you can then shop around for a developer.

Good luck!
Feb 14 '08 #5

P: 3
Oh pfft!!! this is easy peasy!!

You have a program that keeps track of all these orders for you. I believe their called o... let me see:

Quotes/Estimates -> Orders -> Invoices!!!

Part of everybody business that sells a product or service.

Develop an application that you can enter requests into. and collect information such as Customer Info, and Product(s) Info.

Ideally you wanna get your customers to "fill this out" on your site or an easy to use interface (request) form. So they can request even without email. If they choose to email, Past their email yourself and create this request yourself.

The requests will of course go into a database where the supplier can get them in two ways.
1. They can be emailed to them (they'll like the fact that its now more uniform)
2. They can log in and see this site and all the requests and reply to them.

Once this reply is recieved, either via email or better, they use your site, the status of the process changes to "Quote Recieved"

From your interface you should be able to sort, search, on all these requests in one easy interface.

You go in, Choose to show all the ones that have a "Quote Recieved" status. You mark up the price (or change the price in the message) and email it back to the customer.

----------------------------------------------

Alot of vendors already do this. They have a customer side, they have an internal side (what you see) and they have a supplier side (what the vendor sees)

Ingram Micro, Synnex, Tech Data, CDW. Customers either, log on, call or email requests that get responses.

Ideally you have your products online and customers with a log in can go online and see the prices and products without wasting a rep's time.

They can also see the quotes, orders they've placed, status of them and their previous history.

If this is right up your alley, i would Definetly google for already made products. if its expensive have a developer build a "mini" version to save costs.

Ask the other experts about how much time a mini-version of what i just talked about would take IN BILLABLE HOURS. I won't say anything cuz i'll always low-ball it.

If you know the average hours it would take, you can then shop around for a developer.

Good luck!
Great feedback, thanks a lot! I'll give it a thought how we could handle this for my current project. We can't really make the webshop, because we are only resellers of a lot of products, impossible to keep an up to date database of all of the products we can sell. But however, thanks for your comments!

Nico
Feb 14 '08 #6

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