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Workflow Software - Filemaker vs ShopVOX

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by cpot25, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. cpot25

    cpot25 New Member

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    We are currently using filemaker pro as our process software which manages everything from order entry, project management and production. We are continuously adding new features to it, for instance, we're in the process of adding a production scheduler which will allow our production manager to look at every job and then schedule out each task and how long it will take (routing, fabrication, painting, etc...).

    We are also using Quickbooks for our financials. As of now, our sales team inputs data into QB to get a work order # and then re-enters the information into filemaker. We are also working on a system that will allow FM to communicate with QB so only one entry point (filemaker) is needed.

    We saw ShopVOX and was intrigued by it because it looks pretty and communicates with quickbooks easily.

    Has anyone in here had experience using both FM and shopvox that can give me a pro/cons to either of them? I know people in here are using FM and they are using shopvox but anyone used both of them?

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.
     
  2. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Major Contributor

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    I can tell you that our experience is that shopvox is great if it works for you. They once were quick to adapt and were open to updates and fixes but we ultimately left because simple things couldn't/wouldn't get fixed for us. I would say you are better off developing your own in house tools if you are already that far along and have the knowledge and widespread use of your system. creating hooks between software is a lot easier than moving whole systems and re-adapting.
     
  3. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Good for you, that's the idea and a benefit.

    You're doing this backwards. Database first, then export to QuickBooks. The database should generate the work order number and all other data.

    The "system" to communicate with QB already exists. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    Study any ShopVOX screens or videos closely. Notice the constant window scrolling. Your current solution doesn't act the same, does it? All the fields between the two will be functionally the same. More can always be added or deleted as well as formulas & calculations.

    Realize your currently solution can be re-interfaced to appear any way you like, and by in-house designers too if you have permission access to that part of the software called Layout Mode.

    It may help to understand that your "filemaker" software is the database platform that a developer happened to use to build a software tool. The solution you're using is probably rather unique to your shop and very few others, if any. So, to say your solution is "filemaker" is somewhat like saying your graphics design software is C++ when it's really known as Illustrator or the like. So, does your Filemaker solution have a splash screen with a unique name?
     
  4. cpot25

    cpot25 New Member

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    "So, does your Filemaker solution have a splash screen with a unique name?"

    No, our filemaker is quite basic. All FM duties have been completed by a consultant of ours. We tell him what we want and he builds it.
     
  5. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    I imagine your solution and its data is important, so it probably deserves some basic conventions usually given to the like.

    I recommend you give it a name, whatever your org feels appropriate, simply because a name will help in communicating which specific tool or application is being referenced among both in-house and out-sourced people. In your case also, I would append the name with a version number each time you make a significant modification or addition.

    Sometimes solutions developed using the Filemaker platform are considered competitive advantages and that's why they're given a discrete name.
     
  6. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    I thought about starting a thread but I think it kind of fits into this so I hope I'm not derailing things:

    Is OnPrintShop trying to be the all-in-one solution? In addition to setting up your website, they seem to do a lot of the backend stuff as well. But these laundry list of features gives me a headache trying to compare from platform to platform.

    https://www.onprintshop.com/platinum-saas-w2p-solution.html
     
  7. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Major Contributor

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    We are starting with them in a couple weeks... I'll keep you updated.
     
  8. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    You've said it!
    What is your short list of what you're looking for, particularly? Ask away, as I'm very familiar with the likes of web-to-print, etc.
     
  9. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    Is there one with US based tech support? I'm losing my mind trying to talk to people located in India. I called onprintshop and couldn't really understand through the accent, though they seem to understand email pretty well though.

    Zohobooks is a whole different story.

    Me: I want to add an organization but I can't get 'paypal business payments' to work, did it get removed as a feature?
    Them: Yes, we do support paypal. This is how you set it up.
    Me: I know you support paypal, but do you still offer 'paypal business payments' with new accounts or is it grandfathered into older accounts because I can still use it with my original organization?
    Them: Yes, here is how you set up your invoice to let people pay with paypal.
    Me: Mother ****!
     
  10. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    You might get into your car and drive over to Artesia to the strip mall where they (I'm told) have a small office on the second level. The accents (I'm told) will be the same, however.
     
  11. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    I called that office hoping to do just that, and it sent me to India. I dont know if the office is still there or not.
     
  12. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    I'm guessing you are up against some significant challenges. (More later when I find the time to post some of my experiences with web-to-print.)
     
  13. greysquirrel

    greysquirrel Member

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    The truth is that there is no perfect solution for everyone. Needs, processes, usage will always be different from user to user. And whatever that system is, will only be good if everyone uses it properly. Ive used Filemaker in the past and have created a few simple databases that allow me to work from iPad when in the fields(direct ap) and seamlessly in the shop.
    I am not familiar with anything else...but if you go to filmmaker...its worth spending the time to learn how it works and how to build add ons...a developer is great to have on hand...I just don't like being held hostage by anyone.
    check out fm starting point....it is a fantastic core database that you can modify and build your business off of...
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    The is very true. The best way around this is if you can find something that allows you to mold it to what you want and how you want it. It does mean that you have to either have the ability and/or inclination to do that or be able to pay someone to help you achieve that.

    Not everyone can do that for a multitude of legitimate reasons, in which case have to use something that will need work arounds to get it to do what you want it to do.

    Nothing is every easy.
     
  15. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Well said by greysquirrel.

    Because I'm very experienced with Filemaker and databases in general, I can add to what greysquirrel is suggesting in the way of ROI of one's time to investigate FM (free 45 day trial from Claris) and examining three of the four working modes; Browse, Find, and Layout should ignite an "ah ha" moment for anyone who has not yet been exposed to some potential capabilities, (and potential complexities to be sure,) of any workflow software solution(s.)

    I think 2 hours of concentrated noodling in FM would be time well spent and could possibly save a lot of grief going forward.

    At the very least one might feel somewhat more familiar with what a solution should actually look like instead of trying to work with yet another suite of web based database solutions but not optimized for such (routine data entry) and demanding constant window scrolling that leaves a user losing sight of their starting point.
     
  16. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Except for those who have the money to make it so.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    Well, with how Uber and Wework are looking, I'm not so sure about that, lol.
     
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