FileMaker Pro data is the backbone of Orca Books. "The database runs the store," says Larry Nichols, database developer for Orca Books. "It tracks inventory, customers, store credit, ordering, buying, cataloging, and point of sale."
"We really have a good system now," says Berentsen. "Our database is able to do things that no off–the–shelf book store management application can do. That’s the best part of FileMaker Pro — it’s customizable! And our database runs on a Mac and also on Windows. It has taken us a while to get everything dialed in, but now we have a great solution."
Most of Orca's used titles are bought directly from customers. But Berentsen still searches for rarities at garage sales, estate sales, book swaps, and book fairs.
Berentsen has an iPhone and always carries it with her. What she needed was a way to tie her iPhone to her database.
With FileMaker Go, she can check the store inventory on her iPhone to ensure she doesn't buy duplicates. "I created a basic database that lets her search the inventory by title, author, or ISBN," says Nichols. "It gives her stock information and sales history for the books."
"The FileMaker Go database is very helpful when I'm out browsing for books," says Berentsen. "It’s a lot more than just inventory. I can check to see if a book that was popular in the past is still a strong seller. Often I run across a book that used to be a best seller, but now isn't. We may already have 10 copies and don't need any more. The database has all of that information. It keeps up with the waves of book popularity better than I can."
I did everything I needed to do on the desktop version and just copied it over to FileMaker Go on the iPhone
Larry Nichols, Database Developer for Orca Books
Setting up FileMaker Go was virtually effortless, says Nichols. "I did everything I needed to do on the desktop version and just copied it over to FileMaker Go on the iPhone," he says. "It works just as well on the iPhone as it does on the desktop."