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Some Advice On Ways To Improve The Systems At Work database management

#1 User is offline   Rahr 

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  Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

Ok. So i started a new job at aberdeen airpark this week. The company has been running for a good few years now but i think they may be stuck in their ways when it comes to organisation as they expanded. There is in-house software that keeps track of a customers car, where it is, what flight they are due to go out on and what flight they are due to return on. So when requested to collect a car ready for a customer coming back we know where to go get the car.

At the moment there are 3 car parks available but for the most part we use two. here is a rough layout of the site

http://imageshack.us/a/img16/6651/overallkj.png


And a slightly more broken down layout of car park one

http://imageshack.us/a/img5/7471/cp1.png


Now i don't really have a problem with the areas and how they are defined:
TBA - offshore workers with no fixed return date. parked in single spaces as they can come back at short notice
A1-60. Starts off as single rows and moves to double parked cars. Returns must be on the same date but the front car (1) needs to be arriving at a later time than the car at the back (2) as they are moved to a holding area (out back) after which puts them in the correct order for pulling them on the day of return.
B1-B55 (ish) These are for offshore flights only and grouped by the date of return. Times of flight are not applicable here so it is just a case of grouping cars by date.
C1-50 (ish) These are for fixed wing flights (generally holiday flights) and so are grouped by date of return but the car in the middle must be the earliest of the 3 flights (as you can have car 3 facing outwards)
D1-50 (ish) These are generally offshore but can be fixed wing so need to be grouped as per rules in B and C for there respective class (offshore/fixed wing)


Now that the layout is explained.

When a booking arrives it has no place in the car park so whoever takes the keys goes through the normal procedure of taking photos etc and then:

If offshore - check to see on a sheet if there are any spaces in a row for that date
If there is a space in a row then goes and parks it, writes down the relevant space information on the key tag and then fills in a sheet for the office staff to add the location to the booking information.
If there is not a space in a row then either a new row is started, or if no space is there for a new row it is parked in a single space in car park 2 (or 3) and then added to the sheet for office staff

If fixed wing - check to see if there are any spaces in a row for that date and time (only adding later flights to a row) / can a row be added etc (see above) ... fill in sheet etc.



Now what i have been thinking about is that there must be an easier way to manage this. Once a car is on the system then all is well and it is easily tracked but there must be a more efficient way of quickly identifying locations where a car may be placed for when it is busy as shifts overlap. What i was thinking was a web based interface that would show a layout of the car park and you could just quickly type in the date and it would highlight a space on the map that would be suitable or highlight empty rows but i'm not really sure how someone would go about doing that and if it would be easy to do. At the moment the most time consuming part is trying to find somewhere to put a car so any time saved on that would make life so much easier.

Anyone done something like this before and would be willing to shed some light on it please?

This post has been edited by Rahr: 23 February 2013 - 01:12 PM


#2 User is offline   Axey 

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 08:04 AM

Sounds like you need a pretty straightforward stock taking system, ie what needs to be ordered by when to fill what gaps, with a calendar function that makes it easy to fill in.

#3 User is offline   Fat Wangkhar 

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:40 AM

Sounds interesting, pretty sure it's a fairly standard warehousing/stock control system, think of them as perishable goods.

What percentage turnover do you get?

#4 User is offline   Fat Wangkhar 

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:33 PM

It occurs to me that your business rules are slightly fuddled, substituting something about the transit mechanism itself (fixed wing) for the scheduling knowledge. Perhaps a handy shorthand, but probably mentally misleading for many reasons.

Surely what you need to focus on is whether you know in order of preference:
1 the actual date/time of expected return
2 the planned date of return
3 an indeterminate return date (even then you will probably know it is going to be eg within 6 weeks)

Secondly I would posit that you need to know whether they are part of an anticipated group or not so you can deal with them as a batch.


How much shuffling do you do? As a large batch moves through from 6 weeks, down to 1 week, do you swap them out for a new lot of 6 weekers or just leave them till its time to slap in in the holding area?

#5 User is offline   Rahr 

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:38 PM

the offshores are generally on rotations of 2 to 3 weeks with anything not fixed put in the TBA section. The rows are moved into a holding area the day prior to the planned return of the client. Would have to find out some exact figures but its roughly a turnover of about 300-400 cars a week for the offshore section (s)

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