There are more and more apps, that claim to simplify business processes, coming online daily. Many of them are sensational, while others aren’t worth the time it takes to download. With most, you are limited to what is offered in the app with not much say-so from you, the user. Thankfully, that is not so with FileMaker. FileMaker offers a complete line of desktop and server software providing do-it-yourself solutions that allow the user to design, build, and manage data-driven business solutions for the iPad and iPhone. These customized solutions can also run in web browser and on Windows and Mac. Businesses today have to customize some of their own systems and many are already finding solutions by implementing FileMaker and customizing the platform to fit their needs. Here’s the story of three such companies and the difference this technology solution made in their businesses.
The first business we’ll highlight is West Paw Design, in Bozeman MT, a eco-friendly pet products manufacturer. They needed a solution to help them better manage their operations efficiency; both while in front of the desk and on the manufacturing floor. So, they used Filemaker to build a custom manufacturing and inventory automation solution.
“FileMaker has a lot of power in an easy-to-use platform,” says Spencer Williams, President. “We have found that FileMaker allows us to customize our information management systems to our unique small business rather than conforming our business to software. This combination of flexibility and power, along with usability on nearly any device, has allowed us to serve our customers better and run our business more profitably.”
West Paw Design had their initial database up and running in one week. They now manage everything from order entry to purchasing to inventory tracking and shipping. The company claims to have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars using FileMaker and the iPad combination.
Now lets look at another user and believer in FileMaker, Mike Procopio, owner of The Hoop Consultants. The Hoop Consultants help NBA stars like Kobe Bryant and rising college basketball players optimize their individual performance levels. Procopio was burdened with having to transfer notes and statistics he took while courtside into Word and Excel. So, he turned to Filemaker and with no previous programming experience, he built a custom iPad solution that streamlined his process of collecting, analyzing and displaying statistics – putting it right at his fingertips courtside, and eliminating spreadsheets and notes scribbled in a notebook. This saved Procopio four hours per day by eliminating the re-keying of information and helped to improve efficiency by pulling multiple facets of player data together in one place.
Procopio states, “My FileMaker solution is making life in this industry a lot easier to organize. I think FileMaker’s potential in sports, especially at the high school and college level, is enormous.”
FileMaker is built on a relational database, incorporating a scripting engine and a unified security model, making it easy to connect to existing business systems, protect confidential data, and automate business processes. The program offers data sharing, standards-based integration, and automated business processes.
Finally, let’s see how Sea Breeze Farm, a dairy farm on Vashon Island, just outside of Seattle, used Filemaker in their business. George Page, President, chose FileMaker Go for iPad, which allowed him and his staff to understand the production levels of cows on the farm. Page created several custom business solutions based on FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server, and is now providing them through FileMaker Go 12 on employees’ iPads, which was free to download from the App Store. The system allowed employees to enter their daily tasks on an iPad, which was then instantly synchronized and updated on the back-end in FileMaker Server. The FileMaker software worked great whether Page was gauging cheese production or tracking cows’ vaccination records for government inspection purposes.
“We have to track production for internal and regulatory purposes, constantly logging temperatures, refrigeration times, ingredients, recipes and weights. We need to do it in a tiny space and on a system that we can keep clean instead of running the risk of getting food stuck in a keyboard”, says Page. Filemaker, and all of it’s options, provided them the ability to create just that solution.
FileMaker offers a complete platform for customizing solutions for businesses. It is one of the latest technologies that are worth investigating. Starting with the basic FileMaker 12, the cost begins at $299 and goes up to $2,999 for the FileMaker Server 12 Advanced.