A custom app for custom bats

Tucci Lumber hits its business management out of the park using the FileMaker Platform

Origins of Tucci Lumber Company

Overview

  • Custom bat manufacturer improves efficiency with custom app.

Industry

  • Manufacturing

Solutions

  • Custom app built on the FileMaker Platform are available to workers using Macs and iPad devices. The app manager orders, inventory, and advancement through the manufacturing process.

Benefits

  • Better inventory management and order tracking. Increased efficiency. Increased customer satisfaction.
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Baseball is in Pete Tucci’s DNA. The rangy northeasterner started playing the game when he was only four years old, and by the time he was six he had set his sights on Major League Baseball. Tucci fulfilled his childhood dream when he was drafted as an outfielder by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1996. He subsequently played with the San Diego Padres and New York Mets.

In 1999, just a few years after beginning his career, a hand injury cut his dream short. In the wake of the incident, Tucci struggled. He eventually began work at a heating and cooling company, but never stopped searching for the kind of purpose and excitement he knew while pursuing his first love. In 2009, with the support of his family and friends, Tucci founded Tucci Lumber Company. The goal? Create custom bats for picky hitters.

Carving out a new career

Tucci’s first task was to figure out how to make world-class bats. With no woodworking experience to speak of, he began experimenting with rusty lathe in his Connecticut garage.

His first bat snapped in half on its inaugural swing. The second remained intact.

Several thousand bats later, Tucci was well on his way to becoming the leading supplier of custom bats for more than 150 major league hitters, including stars like Troy Tulowitzki and Pablo Sandoval.

“I struggled to find a more solid hardware platform and software that could be customized to my needs,” said Tucci. “Every packaged solution was very specific to a use case, but didn’t lend itself to exactly what I was doing.”

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A custom app for custom bats

After trial and error with other business management and manufacturing options, Tucci settled on automating his business using a custom app created on the FileMaker Platform.

Tucci’s first move was to contact FileMaker Developer Paradise Partners a custom software development firm and part of the FileMaker Business Alliance. Together, Tucci and Paradise Partners planned, created, and deployed a comprehensive business and inventory management solution using the FileMaker Platform. Tucci Lumber also switched to Macs and iPads.

“We’re very proud of the work we did with Tucci,” said Ken d’Oronzio, president at Paradise Partners. “We designed an elegant solution to a challenging production process, using FileMaker’s product line in a very impactful way.”

Today, every order entered into Tucci’s custom app is tracked using QR codes. From the moment a bat is lathed to when it’s painted and engraved, every bit of information is stored on a FileMaker Server and made available on the iPad. An employee using an iPad (one of five in the company) tracks each bat is it flows through the rest of the manufacturing process. Orders are never lost, and customers never wait on the phone while an order is tracked down.

“Our app has been such a benefit to the business,” said Tucci. “We’ve been able to increase production and decrease inefficiencies. When we need to further augment or customize the app, the functionality and resources are never in question.”

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Coming Full Circle

Tucci has never taken any shortcuts, and the results speak for themselves. His airy new workshop is located in a business park less than a mile from the Long Island Sound. The space boasts batting cages, renovated offices, a showroom and a humidor large enough to store more than 13,000 billets of wood.

Tucked away in one corner is the rusty, motorized lathe Tucci used to make his first bat.

“Yes — I’ve been successful,” says Tucci. “But make no mistake — I’m not driven by money, but by my never-ending love of the game.”

He pauses. Reflects.

“Maybe the hand injury was a blessing in disguise.”

 

To learn more about the FileMaker Platform, download your free trial. To learn how to build your first custom app, visit the Custom App Academy to watch a series of free educational video tutorials.

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A custom app for custom bats