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FileMaker Questions and Answers

Our business is very unusual and our needs are just as unusual. How can you help us?

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We have created a large variety of solutions for extremely diverse companies with a large variety of different features. (Consider that “standard” companies rarely need custom solutions.) Here is a short list:

  • Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan Insurance Claims Processing
  • Shipping Company Accounting System
  • Retail Ordering System for Trade Show Sales Team
  • Back Flow Valve Testing and Consulting
  • Custom Framing (and we do mean custom!)
  • Catering
  • Media Sales
  • Weekly Newspaper Ad Publishing
  • Government Import Project Management
  • University Research Projects
  • PBX System Technical Management for Telephone company
  • Estimating
  • Scheduling of crews

Here is a video example

Shipping Company Accounting System

Our company is growing fast and has employees at various locations. What can we do to centralize our data and make it available to all?

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FileMaker Server software supports secure solution sharing with large groups of people either through the use of Server/Client technology or via a web portal. You need reliable, high-performance access to your data;, FileMaker Server does not limit the number of simultaneous FileMaker Pro users. It’s possible to access your solution from anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection.

Our employees often lack internet access while on the job. How can we give them access to customer information?

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FileMaker Go for iPhone/IPAD is a HUGE game changer for organizations that need data on the road, on the go, or at the “show”. FileMaker GO allows you to work with data just like you would in FileMaker Pro. The use of FileMaker Go by outside sales teams, housing inspectors, warehouse and inventory managers, and event planners is a natural extension of FileMaker Pro’s robust power and creative features. In fact, think of FileMaker GO AS Filemaker Pro on your iPhone or iPad.

Use FileMaker GO as a client or download Information to the device. Upload edited information back to your FileMaker server.
Add, modify, or delete information
Find, sort, and navigate through records
Display data in familiar Form, Table, and List views
View information in portals, tabs, or Web Viewers
Search for information using Quick Find
Connect to External SQL Data Sources (requires database to be hosted via FileMaker Server)

Whether you’re checking inventory in the warehouse, managing event registration on-site, or updating project status while traveling, you can do it all while you’re on the go. Easily use your existing databases, or create customized databases for your iPhone or iPad using FileMaker Pro. Then remotely access your information with FileMaker Go.

We Use Special Accounting Software. Can you create something that will connect to it?

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Depends. Accounting software follows stringent rules referred to as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). These rules require that data be entered in specific ways and consequently many accounting packages limit how data may be imported or how connections may be made to other software. However, we have provided this service many times and it is always surprising what can be accomplished to automate mundane accounting tasks and to eliminate dual data entry. There are plugins on the market that can make the connection to Quickbooks and importing and exporting allows quite a bit of connectivity. There is always the possibility of connections between systems and, in some cases, an interface exists for this purpose.

We are a specialized work group at a large company. We have limited access to the company system and have no way of creating custom reports from it. I hear that FileMaker can help us…

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Given that your company will allow connectivity between FileMaker and your company system, FileMaker can be used as a “reporting front end” to a large number of odbc compliant technologies including SQL and Oracle. Although it is technically not difficult, company policy, as it pertains to data security, on the company system sometimes hampers this process. Rest assured that FileMaker can meet your company’s security requirements.

We must maintain HIPAA compliance. Can this be done with your services and FileMaker?

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Yes. Filemaker’s security capabilities and our experience in working with HIPAA compliance assure that a custom solution can meet all requirements.

Will you work with our companies IT department?

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We prefer to. We are not networking, systems, or security gurus. They are! We stick to our knitting, which is designing really great custom software! Furthermore, if your IT department has an interest in helping to develop the software, we can work with them to create an extraordinary development team!

What can you offer for Non-Profit Information Management?

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HDS has completed numerous full-featured systems for non-profits of various types. We can help you comprehensively plan, track, manage, and streamline your fundraising campaigns, donations, and donor outreach efforts with ease. Watch the videos below for examples.

Education Oriented Non-Profit

We are a Construction Company. How can we track our process?

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There are numerous ways in which a company can create systems that help in tracking project status, manage equipment, personnel, and maintenance. We have built systems for Commercial Construction, House Painters, HVAC companies, General Contractors, and Cell Tower companies (which includes a construction component). Here are two videos of solutions in this category.

House Painting Marketing/Project Management

Equipment Usage and Material Inventory

We are a small company. Can we afford you?

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You will find us competitive. In addition, we have worked with small companies to develop Project Phases whereby features are built on a priority basis and only when the company can afford to add the new features. Payment plans are also available. As your company grows, so does your system…

We already have a solution but need a new developer. Can you help us?

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We have succeeded in supporting numerous pre-existing solutions. The best plan of attack is to simply discuss your needs with us and provide an initial tour of your system so that we may help you to determine the feasibility of supporting you.

How do you organize and work on a project?

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We use a simple iterative process based on a well-known software development process called Agile. This process has been simplified in order to work well with small companies or small development teams.

We don’t know what we really need; just that our data is out of control and we are sick of all these spreadsheets! Help!

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Let’s get together and talk. We have a lot of experience helping businesses assess their needs. We can show you literally hundreds of examples of features that will help you gain valuable insight to what is possible relative to what you need.

We Need Help With Reports. Can you help us better analyze our company numbers?

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We can help you fine-tune your business metrics. We have created many specialized reports for businesses. Here are some examples:

Accounts Receivable/Payable

Standard accounting reports based on an invoice/expense set of features.

Pipeline

What sales are in your immediate future? How are you doing meeting your revenue goals? Can you cover expenses over the next month? This report has been created a number of ways for a variety of businesses. It requires a corresponding set of sales features that captures each transaction. A great way to display it is to add a graph for each sub-summary (by month, by salesperson, etc) that shows actual versus projected (or goal) revenue.

Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value (RFM)

This is really a rating system but since it is a form of analysis we have included it here. Commonly used by non-profits to rate the quality of a donor it may also be used in any business that is tracking sales.

Recency: How recently has the customer purchased?

Frequency: How many times have they purchased in a time period.

Monetary Value: How much have they spent?

Each business has to create a corresponding rating system for each item. Then we simply average those ratings for a final customer score! This can be very helpful for a call center or for a variety of marketing purposes.

System Use Scoring

This unusual analysis allows management to see who is using the software the most/least. It basically counts clicks by user session! It may also be built to rate each area of the system to see where problems exist. This is helpful to see technical performance issues, users that need training, recognize power users, and it can also help analyze interfaces to make sure that they are productive.

80/20

A display of customers that fall into the bottom 80% of revenues and those in the top 20% of revenues. Used in marketing to help visualize a company’s customer base.

If we have not answered all of your FileMaker Question and Answers please feel free to give us a call or visit FileMaker’s website for more support.