Case Study: Manufacturing Intake Form

Need

Our client is a manufacturing company specializing in the reconditioning of industrial parts.

Their reconditioning process is broken down into two steps:

  1. Part intake, evaluation, and repair estimates
  2. Part repair

Once an estimate is made and repair is approved, our client uses an ERP system to track the repair through their plant.  However, the intake step was being managed with paper forms.  That proved to be very inefficient and our client did not have a good way to track parts that were on-site but not yet approved for repair.

They were looking for a software solution that would:

  • make the intake process more efficient and streamlined
  • ensure the data was captured electronically
  • generate PDFs in place of the paper forms
  • offer data validation and error checking
  • set the stage for data integration with the ERP at a later date

Solution

We worked with the client to review the paper forms and understand what steps were actually taken during the intake process.  Unsurprisingly, the actual intake process in use had outgrown what the paper forms reflected.  We then built a custom web application with a multi-page form that would do everything the paper form did and more.

Features of this application included:

  • Mobile optimized for primary use by tablets in the shop area
  • The intake form is dynamic and certain fields are hidden or shown depending on the part type to make filling out the necessary fields as easy as possible
  • Fields that track roller measurements automatically convert standard to metric for easy reference and validation
  • Common part form factor schematics are stored in the system and, when chosen, show the user which measurements need to be taken
  • Multiple pictures can be taken right from the tablet’s camera and included with the form for easy reference
  • Once submitted, the data is formatted, converted to a PDF, and emailed to the office
  • All data is saved in a database so it will be available for additional phases of this project

Stats

  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Size: < $25K
  • Time Frame: 2-3 months
  • Skills/Technologies:
    • Python: including Django, Weasyprint (for PDFs), pillow, coverage, PyQuery
    • HTML5, Bootstrap
    • Ansible for provisioning and deployment
    • Ubuntu Linux OS
    • PostgreSQL database
    • Nginx + uwsgi web server stack
    • 3rd Party Services: CircleCI, CodCov, Sentry, Mailgun