Do I Need a Pro?
Why would I hire an "Excel expert" when I know Excel and I can do
this myself? Or "…when one of my IT guys could probably do this?"
Think about hiring a professional Excel developer as
you would think about hiring any other type of professional. Consider
your needs and whether or not they warrant professional grade work.
Did I hire a professional carpenter to build some shelves in my
basement? No. I could do that myself. Did I hire a plumber to install a new toilet
or a flooring specialist when I tore out the carpeting in my dining room and replaced
it with Pergo (inlaid laminate) flooring? No. I bought books and watched videos online and figured it out for myself.
But, if I were going to build an addition to my house, would I hire
professional help? You bet! Even if I had the time to figure out
how to do it, I don't have the experience to know all the little
places things could go wrong (which was one of the many lessons I learned doing that flooring job).
Not to mention that I don't have all the tools needed to
do a really first-rate job.
It's the same when you are trying to develop a business
solution in Excel or Access. Ask yourself:
- Is the project small enough that I have time (or the person to
whom I would delegate it has time) to do it on top of my daily
- If I don't already have the skills needed to develop the quality
of solution I want, am I willing to put in the time and effort to
learn those skills?
- What are the consequences of a little mistake here or there?
Are they going to be severe?
If your answers were "Yes", "Yes" and "No" then by all means go for
it! I love it when folks get better and better at Excel!
But sometimes you just don't have that time. Or sometimes the risks
associated with getting it wrong are just too great. Or maybe you
gave it a shot only to find that there was a whole lot more to it than
you first imagined. In that case you should probably consider reaching
out for some help. A professional Excel developer should be able to help
your business or institution get to a solution that is well designed and
What Can I Expect if I Hire GabrAria?
To help your business or institution get that well designed and
well executed solution, I am going to ask you about deployment. I
am going to ask you about your long-term
support plan. I am going to ask you about scalability requirements.
I code to a high
standard with an architecture that makes my code easy to support going
by GabrAria or by
your own staff if you have those capabilities. This may cost a bit
more at the beginning, but it keeps your future costs very low. In all honesty,
after we work together to get the final solution deployed, I rarely get
calls from customers needing additional support.
I already have tools developed to
allow me to rapidly develop a professional solution that includes things
- Custom User Interfaces (ribbon tabs and controls, user forms, etc.)
- Administrative Panels for Configuring Key Application Options
- Centralized Error Handling and Error
- Performance Logging on Key Processes. This allows me to do performance testing on code blocks that handle
key processes to see if there are bottlenecks that need to be
addressed. We don't want users to have to go get a cup of coffee
every time they need to "run the macro" if we can avoid it.
I could go on and on (I do love talking about Excel!),
but I'll stop there. If you'd like more information, please look
over the development & consulting page
or the past projects page.
Another concern might be "would an outsider know enough about our
business? Or would we have to spend a significant amount of time
teaching him the business?" I have a lot of variety in my business
background with particular emphasis on logistics, marketing, customer
service and foreign trade which helps me understand most business
requirements fairly quickly. However, if there is some very
industry-specific or company-specific knowledge that you think is key to
being able to design a solution, then be sure to bring that up and we can
take a look at it.
So, do you need a pro? That's your call. If you think you
might, then I would also highly recommend you check out Dick
Kusleika's really great blog entry:
Excel Consulting Buyer's Guide. Once you've read that, come on
back and visit either our
quote request page which will describe
the process of hiring GabrAria. If you look over the quote
request page but still have questions then just visit our contact page
and let me know your questions. I'd love
to help you solve whatever Excel or Access problem is troubling you!