Founded in 1979, DaBryan Coach Builders was acquired by Accubuilt in 2005. Accubuilt, a diversified, specialty vehicle manufacturer, sells professional vehicles such as funeral hearses and limousines. Built on the Cadillac DeVille and the Lincoln Town Car heavy–duty chassis, the DeBryan vehicles are used by independent and corporate funeral homes, as well as, professional limousine operators around the world. Customers range from well–known, private individuals and limousine companies, to major providers of corporate transportation in the travel industry.
Exceeding the Standards — Highest Quality All Around
Almost every aspect of DaBryan Coaches was performed using FileMaker Pro
DaBryan Coach Builders
DaBryan Coach Builders is a leading manufacturer of luxury limousine conversions from SUVs and vans sold worldwide. A typical conversion would be a Lincoln Town Car, Lincoln Navigator or a Cadillac DT.
- Luxury limousine conversions
- Springfield, Mo.
- DaBryan Coach Builders
- Millions of records in tens of database
- Custom tool — DaBryan gets exactly what it needs
- Everything is tracked in FileMaker, including inventory parts
FileMaker Pro's special benefit to DaBryan Coach is that it's a tool that conforms to their exact needs for a database, so that they do not have to use a predetermined system that may only meet a few needs
John Berry is vice president of production for the company and has been using FileMaker Pro products for many years. His applications have gone from the simple to the sophisticated. Originally, he needed a system that would manage DaBryan's warranty authorizations. "It really wasn't much more than an index card program," he says, "but it would allow me to layout the screens to fit our needs and do searches. For the first time, we were able to quickly find a record on a particular vehicle, customer or authorization number. It was so easy to use that I was immediately able to find other uses for it. When it became a relational database a few years later is when the awesome power of FileMaker was ultimately unleashed."
Over time, he continued to use FileMaker to develop systems for running the company until almost every aspect of DaBryan Coaches was performed using FileMaker Pro, including production and quality control, purchasing and inventory control, as well as many human resources' and sales functions. "Since I was the Production Manager and the database designer," says Berry, "I was able to take my knowledge of DaBryan's business practices and create a database that exactly fit our needs. Whenever someone would call to pitch an off–the–shelf program for manufacturing, all I could do is chuckle knowing that they couldn't come close to matching the power and ability that our FileMaker database offered."With success came expansion. As the company flourished, so did the demands on the database. Every company work order containing the build specifications and customer information was in the system and, as both the company and its data grew larger, Berry made the decision to migrate to a newer version of FileMaker Pro.
We've reached a level of organization by using FileMaker that I feel our competitors can't touch. This gives us an advantage in the market. When every product that you build is custom built, it pays to know what it cost to build it. We do.
"Since our database had evolved over 15 years, it became very large," Berry says. He decided to hire an outside firm to help with the migration. After extensive research of companies that specialized in migrating FileMaker, he decided to go with Robert Mackay and his team at MacTutor in Florida. "It was a great decision," says Berry. "They did a great job and turned around the project in just a few weeks. Now that the migration is complete, we're planning on consolidating our files to a more efficient number. This will give us additional speed increases and will simplify implementing our solution throughout the rest of the corporation."
Migrating was not a simple job, as MacTutor's president Robert Mackay explains. "DaBryan Coach has 45 databases with several million records. Some of the files have hundreds of thousands of records in them and one database has more than 9000 fields."
The whole system is hosted effortlessly on a Mac, with the production teams using Macs running OS X and the sales personnel running Windows—based PCs.
Mackay says FileMaker Pro's special benefit to DaBryan Coach is that it's a tool that conforms to their exact needs for a database, so that they do not have to use a predetermined system that may only meet a few needs. It has also yielded savings in recovered man–hours on the production line to some $15,000 per month. The revised system is also much faster than before.
Overall, FileMaker Pro allows DaBryan Coach to see exactly what goes into each vehicle on the production line. Staff can literally check the production stage of each car, how long it's taking to build and the time, money, materials and personnel involved. FileMaker supports every step of the manufacturing process, generates reports and produces instant PDFs for the sales force. The sales team also connects to its MySQL data via ESS (External SQL Sources) and knows exactly what's in the inventory.
"We've barcoded our entire parts inventory, too," says Berry. "Every day we release hundreds of parts to the production floor. Through the use of FileMaker and a barcode system we're able to release those parts very quickly and efficiently. We're even able to capture data in real–time and assign the cost to each limousine. That's powerful information when it comes to evaluating our costs so we can stay competitive in these tough economic times.
"We've reached a level of organization by using FileMaker that I feel our competitors can't touch," says Berry. "This gives us an advantage in the market. When every product that you build is custom built, it pays to know what it cost to build it. We do."