ADD Inc. Unifies Its Efforts with FileMaker Pro


When 3Com Corporation consolidated its East Coast operations to the Greater Boston area, it enlisted ADD Inc to transform a bland box–like office building into dynamic space that would nurture high–tech creativity. The result was so impressive that ADD Inc was later commissioned to plan and design 3Com's 1.3 million–square–foot East Coast campus. Such victories are a regular occurrence for this architecture and design services firm. With a growing roster of high–profile clients, the company needs to keep its 150 employees working together, especially since they're located throughout the United States, with offices in Cambridge, San Francisco, and Miami. To accomplish this, ADD Inc relies on a database running on FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database solution from FileMaker, Inc.


  • When 3Com needed new offices, they turned to architecture and design services firm ADD Inc. And to organize its operations, ADD Inc turned to FileMaker Pro. Staff at ADD Inc, located in offices throughout the United States, used to process the same data in many separate applications, including Microsoft Word and Excel. That data is now centralized with InfoSite, a FileMaker Pro–based solution served by FileMaker Pro Server.


  • Architecture/Real Estate
  • Information Technology

FileMaker Pro has been flexible enough for us to implement those changes in–house quickly and affordably.

— Karen Vagts, Database Manager, ADD Inc

Business Challenge

The FileMaker Pro solution came about after management noticed that its staff was processing the same information in many disparate applications. Those systems included everything from FileMaker Pro to Microsoft Excel and Word, not to mention those trusty 3x5 note cards. To eliminate this redundancy, the firm solicited the help of database design development and training firm The Support Group of Newton, Mass. ADD Inc's requirements: the solution had to be Macintosh compatible and user–friendly enough that they could manage and expand it themselves.

Successful Solution

Led by Rich Coulombre, The Support Group built ADD Inc a companywide information management system with different modules for such company functions as contacts, archives, projects, marketing, human resources, archives, and a products library. Karen Vagts, ADD Inc's Database Manager, then populated the system with data from many different sources. The result — called the InfoSite — now contains over 12,000 records served by a FileMaker Pro Server. Everybody in the company's three offices can access the InfoSite via the company's WAN. At any given time, some 30 employees simultaneously access the site. They can also see the InfoSite data on ADD Inc's Intranet. Although ADD Inc has traditionally been a Mac shop, the firm is moving more of its operations to the PC. Vagts is glad to see FileMaker moving in this direction as well, saying 'We're not going to lose anything if we make a complete shift.'

Since the InfoSite was first implemented, ADD Inc has gone through a great deal of change. It has almost tripled its number of employees and opened new offices. Despite a diligent and comprehensive review of their needs prior to building the system, ADD Inc continues to revise and expand its database requirements. 'Fortunately, FileMaker Pro has been flexible enough for us to implement those changes in–house quickly and affordably,' explains Vagts. FileMaker Pro's graphic capabilities have also proved extremely important for ADD Inc. 'It's all part of good design communications,' explains Vagts, 'FileMaker helps make the message clear, strong, and easy to understand.'

It's all part of good design communications. FileMaker helps make the message clear, strong, and easy to understand.

— Karen Vagts, Database Manager, ADD Inc

Customer Benefits

With the InfoSite in place, ADD Inc has been able to coordinate its previously redundant organizational efforts. Because all of the contacts are in a central system that everybody accesses, the data is accurate — which translates into a considerable cost savings in mailings and project administration. Because the marketing team can use the system to track leads and analyze where new business is coming from, they're better able to bring in new clients. And no longer must the IT department manage redundant information sources. Thanks to FileMaker Pro, ADD Inc has unified its staff with an affordable, flexible solution that will grow with the company.

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.

For ADD Inc.:

Karen Vagts
Database Manager
ADD Inc.

For The Support Group Inc.:

Rich Coulombre
The Support Group Inc.
508-653-8400 x212