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QuickBase: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

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Tracking Information

Of course there’s more to workflow than getting a package to a customer or tracking software fixes. Sometimes you need to track the status of different parts of your workflow. For example, when an order or job’s status changes, a problem comes up, or a deadline passes, you’ve got a new piece of information to deal with. QuickBase can capture and track all the information along your entire workflow (as well as for each individual player). So, first take a look at what information you need to track, and then break that information down by job role.

What Information Do You Need to Track?

Once you have a sense of the workflow, you can identify the information that comes into play (and changes) at each stage of the process. Think about the kinds of information that you need to track: things you already track routinely, things you wish somebody would keep track of, and information that lands between those two extremes.

Example 1: Distribution company

The novelty distribution company has a lot of information to track. For example:

  • What’s the customer’s account status?

  • Are any special promotions going on?

  • Are there enough items in stock to fill the order?

  • What items are in a package?

  • How many of each item are in a package?

  • Now that the order’s packed, how are inventory levels? Is it time to place an order with a supplier?

  • Where’s the package now?

  • When is the package scheduled to arrive at its destination?

As Figure 5-3 shows, the daily workflow generates information that goes into ...

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