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  FileMaker Asia Pacific News
  Jan-Mar 2013  
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The Sharp End of Business

Based in Queensland, Sharp ABT (Advanced Business Technologies) is one of Australia’s leading Sharp copier equipment dealers. Sharp ABT

About four years ago the company had become completely dissatisfied with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software they were using to manage their sales process. It couldn’t integrate with other systems they were using or publish data to the web. Lee’s IT manager joked that one day he would develop a replacement. Lee laughed:

I’m only one person, that could never happen! It takes a team of people to make something like that!

Not true, as he discovered:

Fast forward two years and I found myself designing a CRM from scratch that would fit exactly into Sharp ABT’s requirements. Learning from other CRM’s shortcomings, I had to design a system that matched our business logic and could integrate into our existing non-FileMaker system for technicians and also into our phone system.

Lee describes another problem:

Managers could not get any real idea of what was going on with prospects, phone calls or the overall picture of contact management.

He saw FileMaker’s development speed as the key to adaptability:

FileMaker’s rapid development environment gave us the flexibility to mould our software to our business as opposed to moulding the business around the software (which many businesses do). This gives us the competitive edge within our industry.”

I spent two days a week working on it and had it ‘live’ in our office in a few months. This included all data integration.”

His solution consisted of four major components: the system itself with access to data needed by each employee; the Contract module which shows statistics related to customers’ existing equipment; the PhoneLog module which captures real-time statistics on phone calls to clients, and the KPI (Key Performance Indicators) module which displays real-time data from the database on a 42-inch wall-mounted screen:

The KPI module has become a favourite amongst the sales reps as they can see how many sales their peers have been doing—it motivates them to sell more.”

More recently Lee has added an iPad version which gives reps access to data that they would previously have printed off before hitting the road. It had been taking them up to an hour to gather these hard copy versions before contacting the customer:

Now this process takes seconds, as all the relevant data is consolidated and brought to the rep’s iPad screen.”

Additional savings include paper costs and time spent by other staff in sourcing the information. Customers are impressed to see the company using the latest technology and the reps are happy:

Our iPad version of the CRM was received well by our reps. They use it daily and cannot imagine being without it.”

In this major project the three most important FileMaker features for Lee have been ease of deployment, mobility, and an integrated development environment. As Lee says:

This solution is ever-changing to suit our ever-changing business needs. It will be continually moulded as required, but that’s where FileMaker shines!”

  From Asia Pacific’s Regional Manager...  
From the Asia Pacific Regional Manager...

Many companies encounter operational challenges in running their business. If they turn to technology to deal with these issues it can be difficult to find an off-the-shelf solution to match their unique business processes.

Rather than adapting your company’s systems to fit a generic solution, FileMaker provides a platform to design and build custom solutions, to suit the way your company operates. This way you can achieve greater efficiencies, and lower your running costs.


In this issue we highlight two impressive examples from one of our long-term customers. Read about the problems the company faced, and the highly innovative solutions they created with the FileMaker product suite.

Willem Meyer

  Subscribe to our newsletter   Jan-Mar 2013  
  pg 01 pg 02 pg 03 pg 04 pg 04  

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