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Case Study & Reviews

CLARIS FILEMAKER CASE STUDIES

Our FileMaker ERP Template is at the heart of our solutions. Contact us for an online demo on 0333 939 8484 or simply complete the form.

+ - Intelligent CRM Solutions.

VetIndex Ltd, Bath UK

Claris FileMaker CRM & Sales Management Solution

VetIndex Ltd are specialist publishers serving the UK’s Veterinary sector with a range of services including Practice Newsletters, Online Continuous Professional Development Courses and the publication of the UK’s only A-Z directory of veterinary products, supplies and services. The entire operation is run on a centralised Claris FileMaker Pro ERP solution that we have been supporting for over a decade.

BRIEF

VetIndex often mail out information to veterinary practices stored on their Claris FileMaker CRM database. The problem was that the searches were taking too long as they required that Simon and his team laboriously research then build up the practice lists from a series of postcodes that more or less corresponded to the targetted area.

METHOD

Our solution was to hook their Claris FileMaker CRM database into the GoogleMaps API and write code to automatically return the longitude and latitude of postcodes stored against all of the veterinary practices. This in turn enabled VetIndex to isolate practices that were located within the stipulated radius of a given postcode’s longitude and latitude. The code included an intuitive Wizard that prompted Simon and his team for the starting postcode and the size of the radius [in miles] out from that point.

OUTCOME The resulting map and list [as per example] clearly illustrates the relevant practices which once checked could be output as letters and/or emails directly from FileMaker or exported out as a .csv file for use in third party apps such as ‘MailChimp.’

Jargon Buster: CRM is short for ‘Customer Relationship Management’ and describes the process of managing interactions with past, current and potential customers. Claris FileMaker Server 19 file encryption meets GDPR requirements for secure storage of personal details in the cloud. [our commitment to GDPR]
ERP is short for ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’ and describes software solutions (apps) that are designed specifically to emulate an organisation’s business processes via screens that can be used to collect, store, manage, and interpret data. Our FileMaker ERP Template delivers a solid foundation onto which to build customer requirements. It is fully compliant with both WebDirect & FileMaker Pro and includes a basic CRM & document manager; User Audits; Administrative screens for managing user access and an elegant user interface. 

  • Time to build lists slashed from 3 hours to 5 seconds.
  • Accuracy of searches improved
  • Users able to spot check results via built in GoogleMaps interface
  • 100% Return on investment: cost of development recouped over time through saved man hours

+ - A 'proper' solution for 'proper' printers.

Bristol Labels | Bristol UK

FileMaker ERP / CRM Solution | Quoting | Scheduling | Invoicing | Accountancy

“In Bristol, we do things proper” is how Ben Stokes (MD) heads up their website. Indeed, Bristol Labels have built up an enviable reputation over 17 years for their no-nonsense approach to uncompromising quality and service. They run multiple digital and flexo printers from which they output high quality self adhesive labels for a diverse range of sectors from medical and cosmetics through to Beers, Wines & Spirits. However, their impressive growth was becoming severely hampered by their outdated admin processes which were almost entirely reliant on Excel spreadsheets and paper-based ledgers.

BRIEF

Quoting for complex jobs presented the most severe bottle neck with 40 minutes per job routinely the norm. The complexity of the Excel spreadsheets further compounded the problem by limiting those who could actually cost up the jobs to individuals with a specialist print/press knowledge . So Ben asked us to come up with ideas on how we could digitise his ‘tried and trusted’ paper-led business processes.

METHOD

We started by reverse engineering the spreadsheets and replicating the formulae into a brand new FileMaker app. Next we designed an intuitive interface to guide users through the quoting process with helpful prompts along the way. This guided approach not only reduced the reliance on specialised knowledge but reduced the time to quote to just 3 mins. An impressive ROI (return on investment). We then introduced a mechanism by which quotes could be converted to jobs and scheduled. The solution sits on a locally hosted server and is securely accessed via PC workstations located across the site. The screen grab (above) illustrates how we employed a stepped approach to gathering the necessary data for quoting with onward navigation hidden until all sections are ticked. FileMaker’s modular platform is future proof with exciting plans – in the works – to build in sophisticated drag and drop ‘kanban’ style scheduling for each of the printers.

Jargon Buster:
CRM is short for ‘Customer Relationship Management’ and describes the process of managing interactions with past, current and potential customers. Claris FileMaker Server 19 file encryption meets GDPR requirements for secure storage of personal details in the cloud. [our commitment to GDPR]
ERP is short for ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’ and describes software solutions (apps) that are designed specifically to emulate an organisation’s business processes via screens that can be used to collect, store, manage, and interpret data. Our FileMaker ERP Template delivers a solid foundation onto which to build customer requirements. It is fully compliant with both WebDirect & FileMaker Pro and includes a basic CRM & document manager; User Audits; Administrative screens for managing user access and an elegant user interface. 

OUTCOME

  • Excellent ROI with average ‘time-to-quote’ reduced from 40 to 3 minutes
  • Intuitive screens and prompts reduce reliance on individuals with specialised knowledge
  • Future-proof modular design allows for incremental development

+ - Deploying FileMaker Go on iPads in top University.

University of the West of England | Bristol UK

Health & Safety App for monitoring student competency on UWE equipment.

Bower Ashton is UWE’s (University of the West of England’s) City Campus for students studying creative disciplines at degree level.

The site includes an impressive facility for hands-on training in print, wood, metal, ceramics, enamel, laser, electronics and animatronics.

BRIEF

Understandably, the nature and risk associated with some of the equipment accessed by the students requires strict health & safety guidelines.

We were contacted by the Technical Resource Manager to come up with ideas on replacing the onerous paper trail with an app that would allow the lecturers to monitor student’s competency in real-time and prevent students from accessing equipment for which they were not sufficiently trained.

Specific requirements included:

  1. Quick, secure biometric access via barcodes printed on student and lecturer ID cards
  2. Ability to add a signature directly onto screens without the need of a stylus
  3. Ability for students to log time spent against specific pieces of equipment
  4. Ability for lecturers to assess student safety and competency and sign off students against specific pieces of equipment (groups and/or individually)
  5. Automated issuing of certificates of competency for presentation to future employers
  6. Full health & safety audit (back end)

METHOD

UWE’s preference for Apple Computers lent towards an App that could be accessed via iPads – set in kiosks – strategically placed throughout the department.

The combination of front and rear facing cameras combined with Claris FileMaker’s built-in touch, barcode and signature capture functionality delivered the secure access and ease of use that was a pre-requisite of the brief.

The solution was hosted with FileMaker Server 19 installed on one of UWE’s internal servers with links into their mainframe for checking student credentials.

Health & Safety audits were available via FileMaker Pro running natively on desktop PCs.

PRODUCTS

Claris FileMaker Go (iPads for access by students and lecturers) Claris FileMaker Server 19 (hosting of FileMaker solution) Claris FileMaker Pro 19 (desktop access for reporting)

Jargon Buster:
CRM is short for ‘Customer Relationship Management’ and describes the process of managing interactions with past, current and potential customers. Claris FileMaker Server 19 file encryption meets GDPR requirements for secure storage of personal details in the cloud. [our commitment to GDPR]
ERP is short for ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’ and describes software solutions (apps) that are designed specifically to emulate an organisation’s business processes via screens that can be used to collect, store, manage, and interpret data. Our FileMaker ERP Template delivers a solid foundation onto which to build customer requirements. It is fully compliant with both WebDirect & FileMaker Pro and includes a basic CRM & document manager; User Audits; Administrative screens for managing user access and an elegant user interface. 

 

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Claris FileMaker Pro Solutions

+ - Trainspotters - Vintage Industrial Lighting | Stroud - Gloucestershire - UK

“We asked MF Software Solutions to design and build our very first FileMaker CRM database and order fulfilment app back in 2011 and it’s still going strong today.

Victor was and is an absolute pleasure to work with, invariably thorough, attentive and generous with his time. It’s a relationship we look forward to taking into the future…

Jesse Carrington (Managing Director)

www.trainspotters.co.uk

+ - Cactus Design - Design Consultancy | Cardiff - Wales

“Our Filemaker solution has proved to be a big step forward from our previous, paper-based system. It’s saved us a lot of administrative time and gives us fantastic management information at the touch of a button.

The system’s bespoke, providing exactly the features we need to manage our jobs, estimates, invoicing, costs, progress and profitability by job or client. It’s very simple to input data, search information and generate reports.

We appreciated Victor’s knowledge, experience, advice and obvious technical ability. He encourages close consultation from the start and has worked with us to add new or improved features since we launched. Overall it’s an excellent system and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend MF Software as a supplier.”

Simon Fry (Director)

www.cactusdesignltd.co.uk

+ - Mark Rowe - Freelance Journalist | Bristol - UK

“I was at my wits’ end before I discovered MF Software Solutions. They calmly and professionally addressed my issues one by one and resolved a major technical obstacle to the smooth operation of my day to day business.”

Mark Rowe (Director)

www.markrowe.eu/travel/

+ - BrandMe - Design Consultancy | London - UK

“MF Software Solutions developed a superb cloud base CRM product which is at the heart of our new business programme and they offer an even better service. The team is really open minded and flexible, always ready to offer fast and intelligent solutions with a positive ‘can do’ attitude.”

Chantal Bordet (Brand Development Director)

www.brandme.co.uk

+ - MediaClash - Publishers | Bath - UK

“MediaClash Ltd have enjoyed a successful relationship with MF Software Solutions since 2002. During this time our FileMaker software has been continually developed to meet the changing needs of a growing company.

Recently, for example, it was further developed to send out automated copy chasing emails to all our advertisers. This has resulted in improved customer service, quicker turn around times and less man hours chasing copy. All of which has made the department more efficient.

The results were so successful that we made the same investment in our accounts department. Using the same principle, the FileMaker solution sends out automated reminder emails on behalf of our accounts department resulting in better cash flow.

The service we have received has always been excellent and I would have no hesitation in recommending MF Software solutions. They always take the time to listen to our needs and translate this into successful solutions that have met our expectations.

Sarah Hartley (Production Manager)

www.mediaclash.co.uk

+ - Dutton Merrifield - Design Consultancy | Bristol - UK

“Keeping track of our client’s projects is vital to us, particularly with respect to such financial aspects as profitability. With our bespoke Job Management System developed by MF Software Solutions, we can now keep on top of things throughout the course of a project, allowing us to identify precisely where we’re making money, and where we’re not.

As a result, we can give our clients a better idea of where and when their budgets are being spent, in real time. MF Software Solutions’s contribution to Dutton Merrifield’s management processes and our consequent growth over recent years has been significant, and the service they have provided has been top notch.”

David Merrifield (Managing Director)

In 2009, Duttons adopted our JobTracker solution (www.jobtracker.com) following a management buy out by Mike Spurr and Felicity Kelly. Duttons was subsequently acquired by SaintNicks in 2013. Details on acquisition

+ - AS Publishing - Motor Magazine Specialist Publishers | Cheltenham - UK

“MF Software Solutions have helped us move from a very ad hoc manual commissioning system, to a simple to use real time networked solution written in FileMaker Pro. As a result we are able to track and monitor commissions and spend, giving staff the information at their fingertips when they need it.

The service has been excellent. They take the time to understand our needs and our business. They have been a pleasure to work with.”

Barbara Whitehouse (Accounts Manager)

A&S Publishing was acquired by Future Publishing on 28th January 2005 for 5.95 million GBP. The deal included 11 motoring titles, including Classic Ford, Mini Magazine and Total BMW, as well as eight national motoring events.

Details on acquisition.

www.futurepublishing.co.uk

+ - Origin Publishing - Publishers | Bristol - UK

“We totally underestimated the impact that a proper database would have on our revenues. We saved time and money and through more effective systems offered an elevated level of service that increased revenues.

What’s more, working with MF Software Solutions is a pleasure. They always deliver on time, provide a high level of service and care about our projects.”

Andy Forster (Group Sales Manager)

Origin Publishing was subsequently acquired by BBC Magazines as part of a larger deal with Exponent Private Equity on 31st October 2011. Details on acquisition www.immediate.co.uk

+ - Prestige Property Group - Overseas property search service | Sherborne - Dorset

“MF Software Solutions have provided an excellent service to Prestige Property Group over the past five years. We require sophisticated database solutions to manage more than 25,000 clients looking for various property types in over 10 countries – the complexities of this are obvious – MF Software Solutions has provided a simple to use networked database to track and serve all our clients and their widely varying requirements.

MF Software Solutions has also designed the database that powers our increasingly busy website – again a simple to use solution for a complex scenario. Our clients require super fast information delivery on thousands of different properties in over two hundred destinations throughout Europe. The website is fully integrated into our office network and incorporates a variety of sophisticated e-commerce techniques.

This database has been up and running with no serious problems for more than three years, currently handles around 2M requests per month and remains rock steady, which says it all!”

Mike Braunholtz (Managing Director)

www.prestigeproperty.co.uk

+ - Proteus - Design Consultancy | Bristol - UK

“As a busy agency, we had been searching for a job management system for quite a while before deciding to develop our own.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Victor Gentinetta at MF Software Solutions with whom I worked closely over several months to design and develop a fantastic bespoke solution of which we are very proud.

We have been using the system for seven months now and it has changed the way we work as an agency whilst increasing efficiency throughout the company. Added to which FileMaker gives us the flexibility to easily update the solution with new features as the business grows.

Working with MF Software was easy and the level of service you get is second to none. We look forward to a long lasting relationship and would recommend them to anyone thinking of developing or having a custom solution created.”

Steve Williamson (Studio Manager)

www.proteus.co.uk

+ - RAA Sprague Gibbons - Advertising Agency | Bristol - UK

“As a rapidly growing advertising agency we needed a state-of-the-art production/progress system. MF Software Solutions listened carefully to our needs and designed a very effective and comprehensive system in Filemaker.

Studioflow is being constantly monitored and can easily be upgraded. During our long relationship with MF Software Solutions they have always delivered a good quality service on time and to budget.”

Pussa Skarbek (Production Manager)

In 2009, Sprague Gibbons adopted our JobTracker solution (www.jobtracker.com)

www.spraguegibbons.co.uk

+ - VetIndex - Publishers specialising in literature for the Veterinary industry | Bath - UK

“Thank you for an excellent service! With your help we have made the major leap from a single user FileMaker Pro system to a networked server/client system.

As an end user, sorting all this out would have been a daunting process! MF Software Solutions was able to come in and provide us with the software and configure our system – all achieved in a few hours and at a very reasonable cost.

Once again, a VERY big thank you for your totally professional service – I would be very happy to recommend MF Software Solutions to anyone needing to grow with FileMaker Pro!”

Simon Guiton (Managing Director)

www.vetindex.co.uk

+ - Anonymous review from music producer

“I had designed a Filemaker solution to organise the archives of a well known, but privacy conscious band. This solution had been a work in progress for many years and it needed to be brought up to standard and made easier to access. Whilst I enjoyed the basic build, I was unsure about getting the security and access areas correct which was of the utmost importance given my intention to host the solution online.

I called around a few UK based Filemaker developers and  found Victor to be the most friendly, approachable and understanding of our needs. He is generous with his time and I was able to discuss my somewhat hobbyist solution in-depth without feeling in the slightest bit patronised!

His expertise made the process painless and we were able to secure the file and get the project to where it needed to be quickly and efficiently. I now feel I can carry on developing but with a knowledgable hand in the background to help when I need it. This gives which me the confidence to expand the solution and give the users the ability to tailor it exactly how they want.

I would highly recommend MF Software Solutions and am looking forward to working further with Victor in the years to come!”

GM (music producer | engineer | editor) anonymised at the request of GM’s clients.

FileMaker Hosting | FileMaker Cloud

+ - Exceptional Thinking - Lead Generation Experts | Offenham - Worcestershire - UK

“We wanted to move our FileMaker Pro CRM solution online to allow for easy web-based access. This was a little beyond our expertise and so looked on the FileMaker website for local developers. We found two in the area and found MF Software Solutions to be more responsive to questions and a better fit for our project.

They briefed us on what would happen on the day followed up by numerous emails and tasks that were needed to set up the AWS instance and FileMaker Cloud accounts.

This was all done quickly and without a problem. We have not had an issue since and would use MF Software Solutions again for future projects – Victor even gave us a free launcher. Great stuff.”

Nick Dowling (Creative Director)

www.exceptionalthinking.co.uk

+ - TwentySix01 - Large Format Digital Printers | Hengrove - Bristol - UK

“I approached MF Software Solutions for advice on moving our FileMaker solution to the cloud. We opted for FileMaker Cloud which Victor was able to setup on our behalf. The process was seamless and our team can now access our job management solution remotely from our homes which has proven to be indispensable during the Covid-19 lockdown.

We have worked with Victor for over 8 years now and he has always been our right arm when it comes to all things FileMaker. I continue to work with him today and look forward to more projects in the future.”

Steve Williamson (Managing Director)

www.twentysix01.co.uk

+ - VetIndex - Business Directory, CPD Courses & Congress for the Veterinarian Sector | Bath - UK

“Storing our FileMaker backups offsite really paid off when our in-house FileMaker server unexpectedly died on us.

With a minimum of fuss MF Software Solutions very speedily got the whole system back up and running again, allowing us to get back to work. Thank you again for a superb service!”

Simon Guiton (Managing Director)

www.vetindex.co.uk


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    Please feel free to contact us for advice on how FileMaker may be able to help you improve on your business processes. As experienced FileMaker developers, we have developed solutions for businesses of all sizes across a wide range of applications. phone-icon 0333 939 8484