Custom spreadsheet solutions which survive long after the developer has "left the scene", are often those which users accept because they discover it _ among other benefits _ makes their work quicker and easier to do. That is why the best person to develop such solutions tend to be one who works in that area, and is therefore familiar with the way the manual system operates. S/he would have an "insider's" perspective of the best way to introduce automation other users will readily adopt _ even as it solves the identified problem(s).
Another question I ask, in answering the "Why Excel VB?" question is : "Why re_invent the wheel? ". My experiences(and those of others who favour the use of Excel VB like I do), confirm that to organise, and analyse data for (financial/management) report generation and decision making, you will save hundreds of hours using already in_built, pre_programmed Excel functions compared to a situation where you used Visual Basic proper. All the functions needed to achieve the above purposes already exist in Excel, so that you don't have to write them all from scratch as would be the case if you were to use Visual Basic. 3.It works even when you lack "In House" expertise.
This last point in my opinion is ONE major benefit you must seek to extract, if you choose to engage the services of a developer. S/he should be able to help you develop (in_house) expertise needed to maintain the application AFTER s/he is gone. If you fail to ensure this, all your cost_savings from using the application might end up being spent paying the developer to maintain the application over time in the future!
To elaborate further: A one_page Variable Costs Analysis report sheet automatically generated by the custom spreadsheet application I earlier described, was a powerful tool used by top management to quickly assess performances of individual breweries. Among other benefits, the report made it quite easy to realistically compare sister breweries in different locations(even across countries) based on common denominators. Apart from summarising brewing/packaging materials in two groups _
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