They dont own trucks, they arrange transportation for just three types of commodities. Theyve apparently become the go-to guys for transporting these materials, because they move tons of them across the country.
The proprietor has built the cleanest Filemaker Pro databases one could hope for. And they track dispatches, advances, call logs, confirmations, invoices, CODs and settlements. Much of this data is re-input into QuickBooks for its reporting capabilities.
Some network conflicts were resolved in that first meeting and we came away with a small project to create Filemaker reports summarizing invoices and expenses, always a challenge even if youve done it before. He liked what he saw when I returned and demonstrated his solution on my laptop.
Weve now established that we work well together, and were discussing the next phase, decidedly more ambitious: Take QuickBooks out of the equation entirely. But since all data is being originated in Filemaker, the task becomes replicating the QuickBooks reports in the database. Fortunately, creating reports in Filemaker is one of our specialties.
Well keep you posted as this relationship develops. Itll be a challenging project. Short road trips to the Texas countryside to will just be a bonus.
They decided to abandon their dysfunctional automatic scheduling system for one that incorporates pop-up calendars and scripted update capabilities combined with the intuitive skills their production specialists have developed over the years.
We called it The Bipedal Solution in our last newsletter. Sometimes the mortal mind can make calculations in seconds that may require multiple data entries in a high-maintenance computer system to get the same answers.
Another improvement being implemented is email distribution of an Excel spreadsheet with project updates and schedules extracted from the database. The old system involved making thirty hard copies of the weekly multi-page report and distributing by hand. That can take hours, and its a static list of all projects.
We hyper-format Excel spreadsheets that allow recipients to instantly filter data by Job Type, Group, Client, Writer, Artist, etc. There are only ten users of the core job-tracking database, but information from it can be shared with dozens using a commonly available tool like Excel.
Finally, my fellow consultant took his events company client live with an elegant set of relational databases to staff their very large affairs over a month ago, and all is going well. We were brought into the project to develop the resource allocation, multiple rate structure and payroll calculations for events requiring up to 300 bartenders, cashiers, stewards, wait staff, etc.
We sometimes like to think of our buttons, scripts and macros as elegant, but the true beauty of his solution is the meticulous detail he provides in the various reports. Presenting sets of data in a discernable form is the closest thing to art in our business. Im sure his client appreciates his efforts daily.
Enough About Us
Then we consider the countrys preparedness, generosity and determination, and were inspired.
What once may have seemed like anachronistic bureaucracies of the federal government are now appreciated as the ultimate contingency plan in a time of need.
Uncertainty will be part of the equation for a while. But theres no place Id rather be right now.
Lets stay in touch.