Instant updates, always accurate. That's the biggest advantage the FileMaker Pro system brings to Artex — through a process that lends itself to easy, efficient automation. "Every time an order is added or modified, we need to pass that new information to the UPS RoadNet system," Mark explains. "So we use the Events 4.0 plug–in to run a script every twenty minutes that looks for new or modified orders in the FileMaker Pro database and exports them to a folder. We then have a Visual Basic script check the folder every ten minutes and update the information in RoadNet. Once in RoadNet, it can be added to the route, which sends it directly to the driver via Nextel phone, and we can then track the order on our Intranet, or by using the UPS MobileCast program."That automated efficiency comes into play in the Artex warehouses as well. "Warehouse personnel can use a wireless barcode reader and do searches or relocations of objects by simply pressing a button and scanning the piece and the new location. This process automatically logs a historical account of the move and updates the FileMaker Pro database with the new location." That system ensures that any item entrusted to Artex may be precisely located — no matter where it might be in the warehouse — with a simple click of a mouse. Adding to the effectiveness of the system are the image–storage capabilities of FileMaker Pro — providing quick visual identification of every item entered. "We store images of all the pieces in our warehouse," Mark continues, "so when we find a piece, its image is also displayed on the record along with the description, location, and location history." And all that efficiency comes at no cost in ease of use. "Since all the information is in one FileMaker Pro database, all the information is easy to access for the users," Mark points out. "Phone numbers, addresses, objects being moved, crates being built, account and payment status — all at their fingertips, and only a click away. "The system also saves Mark time. Following a smooth upgrade from a previous FileMaker Pro version, accomplished with guidance from Woody Hume of The Support Group, Mark now takes advantage of enhanced FileMaker Pro development tools to keep the system in line with ever–changing workplace needs. "As the database administrator, I use the Relationship Graph to look for new ways to enhance the system and add new features, while combining tables in order to streamline the process," he notes. "It's definitely easier to use than previous versions of FileMaker Pro. I can do more work during regular business hours — and our scheduled backups are much faster!" Time saved in data entry, time saved in database maintenance and development — all add up to better service for Artex clients — with FileMaker Pro making it happen.