One of the frustrations I’ve always had with using databases in the past is that databases have been powerful tools only if you knew how to program them and what to do with them.
You opened up your box of database software and unless you hired a programmer, so much of its powerful features were limited. That’s changed. Today’s leading database tools come with pre-built solutions specifically designed for small businesses.
If you want to use your database to manage inventory, track sales and do other basic business processes these business processes hadn’t come built-in for you.
FileMaker changed all that with its software, with the release its Business Productivity Kit in 2005. It’s a free kit, and recently upgraded, when you purchase FileMaker Pro.
Your small business can use itfor tracking customer and vendor contacts, sales, product information, invoicing, shipping and other key business data – all in an integrated database solution. The kit also provides a “How to Build This Solution Yourself” learning guide complete with sample graphics to assist users in customizing their database.
One of the most powerful aspects of FileMaker’s BPK is that it is an integrated set of business solutions (it manages contacts, e-mail, inventory, projects and sales orders) with an easy-to-use menu. Each of the five solutions “talks effectively” to the other. The kit eliminates the duplication of tables and fields normally associated with having multiple files and is visually enhanced and differentiated from the built-in FileMaker Pro 9 Starter Solutions.
You have a lot of choices when it comes to managing your business process. One of the first choices you need to consider is a hosted application or software.
If at this time you have little need for remote (out of office) collaboration, hosted applications might not be for you. If software installed on your computer or central server is for you, FileMaker Pro is one software tools that must in your tech tool box. As your business grows and you need to work with remote employees FileMaker can also be configured for online accessibility.
Of course between your accounting program, email, and office suite – much of the functionality that FileMaker provides is included. However, if you’re looking for ONE program to integrate these functions or a program to add value to these products FileMaker should be highly considered.
FileMaker competes head to head with Microsoft Access and Alpha Software. ACT!, SalesLogix, Goldmin and other software solutions compete in one way or another with Filemaker as well.
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