Two Stories, One Search Screen, and an Invitation to Tender
Dear Subscribers,
You never know what might happen when you listen to your subscribers.
Maybe a new Contracts search screen, for starters.
Our story begins several weeks ago, when a brand-new U.S. customer brought a request to his DACIS account rep, Bill Burton. "Bill," he said, "We love the service, but we'd like a way to search for contract awards by state. The thing is, our sales force assigns territories geographically, and we'd like to give our people a tool that makes their jobs easier."
So for this lucky subscriber we created a new pull-down search menu, named "State (U.S.)". (And we sincerely hope his company gets good use from it.)
While we were working on this capability, serendipity came calling. An international client of long standing asked his DACIS account rep, Mick McManus, whether he might be able to search for contract award information by county in England. "Funny you should ask," I told Mick. I then informed him of what we were doing for our U.S. customer. Mick suggested that we do the same for U.K. counties, and that we throw in Australian states and Canadian provinces for good measure. And Mick's involvement was only beginning: he became a sort of U.K./British Empire gazetteer for the project, making sure that we unschooled Yanks got it right. The result is the new pull-down search menu named "Province/State/Counties (Int'l)".
We could have simply added the two new pull-down menus to our Contracts search screen and called it good enough (and by this time the idea had a strong appeal). But we decided to redesign the entire screen first, and we think you'll like the result. (We hope so, because the other search screens will be getting the same treatment in the bye-and-bye.)
One final item that deserves mentioning... we added a couple Lookup links which will make it easier for you to look up Company Codes and Customer Codes. Clicking "Lookup" will open a new window where you can search for codes. Once you're done, close the window, and you're back on your original window, ready to enter the codes.
We hope the foregoing story gives you a taste for how we work around here. If you've been sitting on a good idea... please, call your InfoBase account rep, or call me personally. Good ideas are our bread and butter. Good ideas are the fun part. Let's hear yours!
Best regards,

Stuart McCutchan
InfoBase Publishers, Inc.
January 19, 2006
Jan 19, 2006