Solutions

Sea Breeze Farm

Dairy farmer, restaurateur and cheesemaker creates custom iPad solutions to manage a multi-faceted business with the FileMaker Platform

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FileMaker Platform and iPad solutions bring sustainable approaches to organic animal farm

Thriving green business gets more done with less, going paperless with custom iOS solutions

Overview

  • With the goal of running a grass-based organic animal farm even more efficiently, George Page created several custom iPad solutions with the FileMaker Platform.

Industry

  • Organic animal farm

Solutions

  • Used FileMaker Go to manage production and sales across a wide variety of small businesses—winery, butcher shop, restaurant, charcuterie and cheese

Benefits

  • Improved employee productivity; reduced manual data entry and paper use; gained holistic view into related small businesses; enhanced production and sales efficiency
Sea Breeze 1
Creating menus and tracking inventory and sales for a restaurant and charcuterie are two key tasks among others using FileMaker Go.

Perched along the edge of Vashon Island and overlooking Puget Sound sits Sea Breeze Farm, a grass-based animal farm known for their world-class winery, restaurant, charcuterie, butcher and cheese shops. Located 15 minutes by ferry from Seattle and with a motto of “Green is Good,” Sea Breeze Farm takes pride in its sustainable, traditional whole-food production process, creating earth-friendly products for everyone.

Sea Breeze takes a conventional approach to most parts of farming, but has embraced the latest technology from FileMaker, ensuring that this small hometown business can be as effective as large farms. George Page, Sea Breeze Farm’s owner, sees the use of the FileMaker Platform as one that will elevate his farm’s overall efficiency, as well as profits.

Using FileMaker Pro, along with FileMaker Go for iPad, Page and his team are working toward creating a fully integrated business system that links the many different operations at Sea Breeze Farm. This system will let him evaluate all the delicate relationships between each business line and make an already sustainable business even more so. The first steps toward this goal were to move from paper-based record keeping. “Thanks to FileMaker Pro 12 and its ease of use on iOS devices, creating a full-on ERP system for our small businesses will take less time and effort than I imagined,” says Page.

FileMaker Pro 12 helps me easily create custom business solutions for iPad using FileMaker Go 12. The systems we have now are pleasing to look at, as well as highly functional – and that means our employees genuinely want to use them.

— George Page, Owner, Sea Breeze Farm

Integrating many operations

Sea Breeze 1
Instead of clipboard based note taking on the aging process of Sea Breeze Farm cheeses and barreled wines, George Page now relies upon FileMaker Go for iPad to keep close track of this important data.

For the dairy operation, FileMaker Go for iPad allows Page and his staff to understand the production levels of cows on the farm. Page created several custom business solutions based on FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server, and is now providing them through FileMaker Go 12 on employees’ iPads. Free to download from the App Store, FileMaker Go 12 securely connects to databases on FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server. As employees go about their daily tasks on and off the island, the information they enter on iPad is instantly synchronized and updated on the back-end in FileMaker Server.

For the cheese business, employees note which types of milk are used in making cheese rounds and identify how long each round has been aged. In the wine cellar, FileMaker Go 12 for iPad has replaced clipboards for entering alcohol levels, pH readings, sulfite additions and historic data related to wine lots, while replacing paper notes with “all on the same page” database entry. Employees can note when barrels have been topped off, racked or which grapes make up a blend.

The butcher shop tracks orders and deliveries of custom cuts of meat—a Sea Breeze Farm specialty! Does a customer want a four-pound, Frenched pork rib roast or a shank-on leg of lamb? Where and when will the meat be picked up? Page and employees keep the details organized using FileMaker Go for iPad. These details were previously available from a centralized FileMaker database, but were not available to employees on the go, wherever crucial details were needed.

The form factor and flat screen of the iPad are especially important in the cramped butcher shop, where touch screens must be resistant to the marking of greasy fingers. “We have to track production for internal and regulatory purposes, constantly logging temperatures, refrigeration times, ingredients, recipes and weights,” says Page. “We need to do it in a tiny space and on a system that we can keep clean instead of running the risk of getting food stuck in a keyboard.”

Sea Breeze 2
A custom point-of-sale (POS) solution created in FileMaker Pro and accessed using FileMaker Go for iPad helps Sea Breeze Farm track which dishes are selling at their popular restaurant.

Paperless transactions on iPad

In the restaurant, a custom point-of-sale (POS) solution created in FileMaker Pro helps Sea Breeze Farm track which dishes are selling, allowing the chef to create daily custom menus, which are updated in FileMaker Pro.

The same iPad POS system is used when Sea Breeze employees sell items at a Farmers Market. The team can track what is sold, whether it is milk, cheese wedges or a variety of cuts of meat—on the spot—and these items are instantly deducted from master inventory.

Sea Breeze 3
At the Sea Breeze dairy farm, the output and history
of each cow is closely tracked and updated using
FileMaker Go for iPad.

Holistic business philosophy

Page’s FileMaker Go 12 business solution even tracks livestock. Employees log blood samples, vaccination records and changes in each animal’s weight. These vital statistics are analyzed, linking the cost of feed the animal has consumed to the value of the animal’s production in the form of milk and cheese—or, once butchered, ribs, chops and roasts.

Page notes that FileMaker Go 12 for iPad is reducing paper use and improving productivity among employees. The FileMaker Platform is also making it easier for Page to gain business insights through visual features such as charting. With FileMaker Pro 12, Page has the tools he needs to create elegant solutions, specifically tailored to the business. This saves time previously spent moving data into and out of a separate graphics package.

Says Page, “FileMaker Pro 12 helps me easily create custom business solutions for the iPad. The systems we have now are pleasing to look at, as well as highly functional—and that means our employees genuinely want to use them.”

For FileMaker:

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

For Sea Breeze Farm:

George Page
President
Sea Breeze Farm
206-567-4628
george@seabreezefarm.net
http://www.seabreezefarm.net

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