Custom snow boot fitting is a serious business which requires a knowledge of biomechanics and analysis of individual users' ski styles. To become a Master Bootfitter like David Craycraft many years of experience are required and accreditation is rigorous. Founder and CEO of Elevation Sports David enjoys giving expert assistance in his Santa Monica USA store. During the snow season he employs casuals to cope with increased demand. A problem had always been the wide gap in expertise between these enthusiastic amateurs and the qualified professionals. David’s challenge was: "How can I give these kids access to the hard-earned knowledge that I have?"
Having been a database programmer before getting into the snow sports business David used FileMaker and knew its capabilities. He set to work and eventually developed a FileMaker Go solution, neatly titled FIT, which made his expert knowledge accessible to less experienced sales people in his store.
Here's how it works. A customer walks into the store, is handed an iPad and quickly fills out some basic personal details. The salesperson then works through a series of body and foot measurements which could include photos of feet and skiing stance taken on the iPad. This information is then matched against stock on hand. The process includes electronic signature capture for a liability release form. The salesperson can play appropriate product videos for the customer on the iPad.
When David described his solution to colleagues at a conference they urged him to scale it up so it could be used across the whole industry. David knew enough about FileMaker to realise that he would need some help, particularly with syncing, so he contacted US developer Kevin Frank and Nick Orr from Goya in Australia. Nick takes up the story:
We delivered a framework for syncing that was simple to implement, and fast for their requirements of lots of small sets of sync data. FileMaker was always going to be the development environment, but it was a matter of finding the right fit for sending data from the iPad to FileMaker Server utilising Custom Web Publishing.
Syncing is difficult with multiple users in multiple locations. The syncing solution Nick provided is very reliable, fast and any minor bugs have been fixable.