More than a decade ago, Ron constructed a basic FileMaker Pro system to keep track of this information. "FileMaker Pro is very user–friendly for the novice," he comments. "I was able to begin these services on my own, and were it not for that we might not be where we are today. FileMaker has served us well by being such an easy tool to work with — as our complexity and scope of business increased, I could bring in professionals to work with the system and take it beyond what I could do."
Those professionals include Mike McAbee, who joined the Willis team as Senior Systems Analyst a few years after Ron assembled his first database, and developer Kirk Bowman of MightyData LLC. Starting with Ron's basic system, they have built a powerful, versatile data management tool for keeping track of cafeteria–style benefit packages. Employees choose the benefit programs they want to join — and FileMaker keeps track of the details. "The system will have anywhere from seven to fifteen tables in order to manage the various components that go into determining what benefits a person is entitled to," explains Mike, "as well as the payroll deduction costs to employees and premiums and fees owed to vendors. We have modules that allow us to do direct imports from human resources, exports to payroll, and exports to files that are then sent to carriers."
FileMaker Pro is very user–friendly for the novice," he comments. "I was able to begin these services on my own, and were it not for that we might not be where we are today.
Recently, Willis took another bold step forward with the introduction of a web interface. Designed by MightyData, and powered by FileMaker Server, FileMaker Unlimited, and Lasso, the "Benefits2002" interface allows employees themselves to directly enter their own benefits information. "There's no need to go to Human Resources and fill out a form," comments Mike, "and there's no need to send that form to us to be entered into the database. With the net interface, the information comes directly from the employee to us — and we can send it on directly to the insurance carriers. That capability allows us to provide even more personal, more accurate service to our clients and their employees."