I have a distribution company in Swaziland and deliver on a daily basis newspapers to shops around the country. During delivery my delivery teams collect unsold copies and then charge for all copies sold. Presently this is done manually and invariably causes mistakes from time to time. It is also a fairly tedious process and results in all transactions created in the field being double checked back at the office. Furthermore all data collected in the field has then to be re-captured into our MS Access database that we use for forecasting sales and calculating new supplies.
It would be ideal if we could have a PDA solution that firstly prevents calculation errors in the field and secondly, avoids us having to re-capture all the data to our database when the teams return to the office.
We currently have three delivery teams that go out each day to deliver new issues and collect the old issues.
At present we do not have any PDAs or PDA infrastructure set-up. Our database runs on a stand alone PC though we copy it from PC to PC depending on who needs to use it. 3 people use it over the week and it would probably be better if it were set-up on 1 PC and have the other PC’s access it over the network, the only reason this hasn’t been done is because we lack the skill to perform this.
Initially I am looking for some feedback from you on what the basic hardware requirements would be (I have no preference and would go along with your suggestions on this). I would require a PDA that lasts up to 8 hours in the field and that can print to a portable (small) printer in the field. Operating system is not important as long as the data can sync with our current database. Syncing would need to be performed at the start and end of each day from the PDAs to the main database.
I have attached a trimmed down version of our database (I deleted all records prior to 2008 and all queries as otherwise the Database is 60mb large).Also attached is a PDF document detailing the basics of what I need to be performed on the PDA.
I would require some sort of idea of the cost involved in software development before we start, so that I can determine whether we can fit the costs into our budget.
I await your initial feedback and hope that we can create a viable PDA solution