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An idea for contract work. Help me make a proposal!

HorizonXPHorizonXP Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey guys,

So I graduated from electrical engineering. I guess with the economy the way it is, I've run into difficulty finding a full-time gig, so I've picked up a part-time job at my local hospital. It's a new hospital, so they just recently started installing IPTVs in each room. Each one is a Siemens-built medical LCD touchscreen, with a keyboard, so patients can watch TV, access Internet, or listen to the radio. To access any of the services, there is a fee structure, which is what my company handles.

My job is to go room to room, ask patients if would like to activate the service. I walk around with a set of 10 pages, which is a printout of an Excel spreadsheet that lists every room in the hospital that has our TVs installed. I can check off any of the following boxes:
Basic, Premium, Kids, Internet, Empty

I check off whichever services they have. If the bed's empty, I check that box off. If they don't want services, I write NO. If there are any issues, like a broken TV or such, I write a note in a little box provided. I fill these pages out everyday. It gets to be very tedious.

Now, as an engineer, I saw several issues here. One, there's no way to see old data. That is, it's completely blank when I get the print out in the morning. I think it would be nice to have that old data there, so that I know who has what services, so I can serve them better when I go to see them again to check if everything's ok.

There's also several rooms missing. And there's no indication of which rooms have broken TVs, so I shouldn't bother visiting. It's a pain in the butt to keep flipping pages. And finally, my manager goes through these sheets every night and inputs them into an Excel file, and e-mails them to her boss. So it's tedious for her too.

We carry a Blackberry, to receive notifications from our call centre to tell us to visit specific patients. We also call out to our call centre to activate the televisions (why we can't just do it ourselves, or e-mail, is a different issue right now). So here's my thought:

Develop an application for the Blackberry that addresses all of these issues. The employee would carry the device, walk room to room, check off the appropriate boxes, and type the required notes. We can also track customer information so it's there for the next day. That way, we know when their service expires so we can ask if they want to renew.

I know I can develop this application. What I need help with is how to propose this to my manager. I need to have a solid proposal so it makes it easy for them to say yes. However, I get paid $13/hr to do my job. I don't feel that it's appropriate for the $13/hr I make to cover the development of said software. I'd like to come up with a contract for them to agree to. I have no idea where to start though. Should I incorporate myself first or something? I've done business plans before, should I write one up first, or do what I can to capitalize on this opportunity?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

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HorizonXP on
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