Case study of a bespoke database provided to a UK trade association



  • The customer was a UK trade association for road construction. The association aims to be the focal point for the road surfacing industry. Its members include national and local contracting companies, local authority direct labour organisations, material and equipment suppliers, etc.


  • The association contacted Approved Index with a view to finding a company to produce a bespoke database for them. After meeting with four database companies, the association decided the solution offered by CCL was the most attractive.


  • The requirement was for a database that:
    • stores details of all of their member companies, and the various contacts within each company,
    • allocates members to one or more sectors and working parties,
    • stores details of training courses and venues offered by the association,
    • records which members attended particular training courses, and dates and times,
    • sends joining instructions to course delegates,
    • keeps a record of all contact details between the association and its members,
    • creates templates to form emails to members,
    • creates a mailshot to send to its members. The mailshot will target members based on the following criteria:
      • company name
      • sectors belonged to
      • geographical location
      • to specific contacts within a company, or main contact
      • whether the company is a contractor or full member
      • and any combination of the above,
  • sends the mailshot by email



  • I visited the association to gather requirements and demonstrate past projects that I had worked on. They presented the spreadsheet that they currently used and pointed out to me the various shortcomings of using it. Notably these were the fact that it could not be used by concurrent users, and that it was becoming overly complex. Also, it had very limited capability compared to a professionally developed relational database, utilising Microsoft Access.
  • After the meeting an iterative process began which involved me asking further questions and proposing various solutions based on what I had learnt and the answers they had provided, all via email and telephone calls. I produced a specification document and agreed with them a price and timescale. I was also able to supply a number of positive references from past projects.


  • The outcome of this process was that I had produced, tested and deployed a database that enabled their two staff members to keep membership records up to date. They were also able to easily access a member’s details, and see details of all contact with that member.


  • The primary benefit to the association was that they now had a very easy to use database, meaning that their staff could concentrate more on performing their actual jobs, rather than struggle with an inappropriate solution.
  • They also benefitted greatly by the ability to send mailshots to a targeted audience, rather than sending information to all members, whether relevant or not. By sending mailshots to a targeted audience they were able to customise the content so it became more relevant to the audience. This yielded better results, especially when promoting specific training courses.




All data is test data only, so no confidentiality is being breached.

List of all members

Clicking on the column heading will sort the list into ascending, and then descending order


A search on company name can be requested by selecting the company name and pressing “search”





Clicking on these buttons will drill-down to show further details

List of Sectors



These boxes allow the search for a particular targeted audience for the mailshot

List of all potential mailshot recipients




List of training courses provided by the association


List of all contact with members


It is possible to select all Contact within a date range.