Top Billing

Roy F. Weston Inc.

Keeping the water flowing, clean and clear, for towns and cities across America is a big job — and the Pennsylvania–based environmental consulting firm of Roy F. Weston Inc. is up to the challenge. But taking care of the flow of paperwork such a business generates can be just as daunting — which is why the Services Department of Weston's Marketing Division depends on FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database software application from FileMaker Inc.


  • Environmental consulting firm Roy F. Weston, Inc. helps keep the water flowing, clean and clear, for cities across America. To handle the flow of paperwork, Weston's Marketing Division depends on FileMaker Pro. Though Roy F. Weston is a Microsoft–oriented company, the Marketing Division chose easy–to–use FileMaker Pro over Access.


  • Information Technology
  • Medium–Large Business

Business Challenge

Steven Swarter is a Financial Analyst with Weston's Marketing Division, and it's his job to know that Time is Money. So you can imagine how frustrated he had become with the system formerly used for recording billable time for the department that puts together Weston's informational and promotional publications. It was a system built around three–part carbon forms — which had to be manually entered into a series of databases for processing. The process was taking 16 to 20 man–hours per week — and consuming an average of 20 thousand billing tickets a year — while producing a system that was clumsy and inefficient to use. The data was there — but forget about trying to produce an easy–to–handle summary.

Successful Solution

The answer? A box on the shelf.

A box containing FileMaker Pro.

Steven took the box down, opened it up — and decided to give it a try. 'It was that simple,' he says. 'As was using the software.'

As far as project budgets are concerned, totals per week, month, year and historical are all a click away.

— Steven Swarter, Financial Analyst, Roy F. Weston Inc.

'I began development of our billing system as a covert mission to prove a better way,' explains Steven. 'The old system used dBASE. I was certain that was not the way to go. I finished the billing database for graphics, showed it to their manager and got the approval to use it. Over the next six months, billing systems were developed for the other services groups. There were no discussions — as Nike says, 'Just Do it!''

Since Weston is a Microsoft–oriented company, Access is the usual database of choice. But in Steven's department, things are different — and his colleagues know it. 'Everyone who sees what I've developed is amazed,' he declares. 'They even say it seems easier to use. I know it is. I have tried Access and find it too difficult.'

Customer Benefits

Steven's system is made up of fourteen individual databases, with well over 140,000 total records. And it's revolutionized the way the billing is done in the department. The use of paper billing forms has been cut by over 20 thousand a year — forms are only printed as needed. Billing is more accurate — it's no longer necessary to hand–calculate the totals and enter them manually into the computer. And tickets no longer get lost — a database record can't fall down behind a desk.

Most important, summaries can be prepared instantly. 'As far as project budgets are concerned, totals per week, month, year and historical are all a click away,' notes Steven. 'We are better able to watch the profitability of our work.' And, the company is able to keep careful track of which publications are current — and which need to be updated, improving service to clients.

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.

For Roy F. Weston Inc.:

Steven Swarter
Financial Analyst
Roy F. Weston Inc.