Solutions

Manufacturer of Restaurant Furnishings Tracks Orders with FileMaker

Waymar Industries

To succeed in a fast–paced manufacturing business, you can't just let things happen. You've got to be up and doing — looking for ways to improve service to your customers. That's the formula at Waymar Industries, a fast–growing manufacturer of restaurant furnishings — and a key component in that formula is FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database software application from FileMaker Inc.

Overview

  • Waymar Industries, fast–growing manufacturer of furnishings for restaurants such as Subway, had tried various order–tracking systems with little success. Already familiar with FileMaker Pro as a single–user application, Waymar implemented FileMaker Pro across the entire company, with dramatic benefits. And because FileMaker Pro is so easy to customize, Waymar is always looking for new ways to use it.

Industry

  • Small Business
  • Manufacturing

Business Challenge

Headquartered in Burnsville, Minnesota, Waymar Industries produces durable seating and fixtures designed especially for high–demand, high–traffic use in restaurants. If you've ever eaten in one of the thousands of Subway franchises around the world — and you probably have — you've enjoyed the comfort of Waymar seating.

Manufacturing these fixtures keeps about 100 people busy, to the tune of $14 million in annual sales. And as the company has grown, the task of tracking orders has grown more complex. Waymar had tried using a computerized order–tracking system, based on accounting software, to little success. 'It was difficult and time consuming to find information and create needed reports,' recalls industrial designer Vince Dolan. 'It was too difficult to customize and was intimidating to new users.' By the middle of 2000, the company was ready to make a change. When affordability, functionality and ease of use were all weighed — FileMaker Pro emerged as the logical choice.

Successful Solution

Vince was no stranger to FileMaker — the software had been in use around the company since the early 1990s for various single–user applications. But this was the first time it had been deployed for a critical company–wide application — and Vince wasn't disappointed. 'Acquiring the needed FileMaker licenses and software cost a fraction of what we would have paid for a full–function ERP package,' he notes.

Acquiring the needed FileMaker licenses and software cost a fraction of what we would have paid for a full-function ERP package

— Vince Dolan, Industrial Designer, Waymar Industries

Implementation has been smooth and successful, and the benefits have been dramatic. 'We can give ourselves and our customers instant and reliable information about the status of their orders,' Vince says. Workflow has also improved with FileMaker. 'We have distributed the work load out to the employees who are eminently responsible for product,' explains Vince. 'For example the Purchasing Manager was doing the ordering of EVERYTHING. Well because the solution is so customizable and easy to use we were able to shift the purchasing responsibility off to the people who need the raw material, thus giving more ownership of the process to the users without losing any oversight capability. This is just one of countless examples of how this system has allowed us to streamline and focus our business.' All this can be done with just a few keystrokes, using a network of more than 70 FileMaker databases, containing over 150,000 records.

Customer Benefits

Vince never grows tired of experimenting with FileMaker Pro, looking for new ways to use the software's power to improve procedures, to streamline functions. 'Unlike any traditional software package, FileMaker files are always a work in progress,' he muses. 'I can sit down at the desk or workbench of a user and instantly try something out or resolve an issue. People's eyes light up when buttons and fields magically appear, with no recompiling, no redistribution and no hassle to the user. My brother–in–law, who is a long time employee of EDS, was frankly amazed at the the level of customization I was able to accomplish without creating an administrative nightmare.'

In the seating business, there's no time to sit around. And for Waymar Industries, FileMaker Pro is an application that's always on the move!

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Waymar Industries:

Vince Dolan
Industrial Designer
Waymar Industries
952-435-7100 x242
vinced@waymar.com