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Word 2000: Creating a Master Document of document templates

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by cristobal03, Jan 6, 2006.

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  1. cristobal03

    cristobal03 Thread Starter

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    This might be kind of tricky.

    We're trying to streamline our RFQ-to-Quote process, which currently utilizes a combination of digital forms and hand-written forms passed among several departments. My boss asked me to modify the RFQ form to save him some typing (because he has to retype all the information in the final Quote), and I--not understanding the complexity of the process--very stupidly told him that it could be done fairly simply using form fields and bookmarks. He's been kind enough to grant me a lot of leniency because for him anything would be better than the current situation, so as long as I can improve on what we use now, he'll be happy.

    I thought about creating form templates for each of the departments, then as the original RFQ circulated from one department to the next subsequent forms would be appended to it to create a rolling document. I'm not too happy with the that idea; there's all sorts of room for user error. I thought about creating a single document template containing every department's form, but a) I don't want any single department to be able to modify information gathered during another department's process, and b) certain departments must generate a variable number of copies of their form.

    I told my boss the best way to accomplish a secure and low-maintenance RFQ-to-Quote would be to create a stand-alone Quote Generator application, but we both agree the effort is not condusive to the timeframe by which he wants me to manage this project. So here's my idea:

    I want to create a Master Document template of document templates, so that my boss can create a new RFQ-to-Quote Master Document as needed while at the same time allowing each department the autonomy of generating its own documentation.

    I don't think that's possible.

    Has anyone else faced a similar issue, and if so, how did you address the problem?

    Thanks.

    chris.
     
  2. cristobal03

    cristobal03 Thread Starter

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    [bump]

    I'm open to any ideas, including third party tools.

    chris.
     
  3. cristobal03

    cristobal03 Thread Starter

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    [bump 2]

    Last bump. Any ideas whatsoever? Not necessarily about creating a master document of document templates.

    chris.
     
  4. WendyM

    WendyM Retired Trusted Advisor

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    I don't have any great ideas, but how are the digital forms currently distributed? Via email? If so, you could potentially create password-protected templates for each department and give an individual deparment only the password for its own templates, which prevents one department from modifying another's information. It would also allow each department to produce as many copies as it needs of its own template. Then when the final product comes back to you, you could combine it all into one document, if that makes sense. The same thing could be done using a shared folder on a network drive. The biggest problem will be to get the users comfortable with it, but by password protecting each piece of it, you reduce some of the risk. It's not great, but it's the best I've got.
     
  5. cristobal03

    cristobal03 Thread Starter

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    Yeah, that's basically what I think it will take as well. The difficulty is that one departments documentation incorporates information contained in another department's document. My boss wants me to save him some rekeying; I don't think I'll be able to automate that though. I've told him as much. Thanks for the reply though; it's good to know it's as troublesome as I thought it was...now I won't waste time looking for a simpler (or as some might say, "more elegant") solution.

    chris.
     
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