Prodigy Promos

Branding and promotions firm boosts business productivity with FileMaker Platform

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.

For Client:

Prodigy Promos
Michael Perley, CFO

From the beginning, Prodigy Promos has focused on leveraging technology to stay as lean as possible.

Prodigy Promos

Most of the technology to run the business came in the form of off-the-shelf software, but as the company grew, everyone became tired of having to adapt business processes to conform to the software. Fortunately, that’s when the Prodigy team heard about the FileMaker Platform.

A full-service branding and promotion company, Prodigy’s business activities include design, manufacturing, logistics, warehousing and fulfillment of promotional products. A Utah-based business with global reach, Prodigy imports and exports products across the globe.

It’s been incredible to see how much the FileMaker Platform has changed from FileMaker 12 to FileMaker 14. Overall, it feels like I can go from idea to working prototype in a significantly shorter time.

— Michael Perley, CFO
Prodigy Promos

CFO Michael Perley’s responsibilities span finance, accounting and operations. He started with the company when it was a small, seven-person team. Being technically inclined, Perley decided to teach himself how to develop solutions using the FileMaker Platform. He got involved in the local FileMaker User Group. After a year of building small solutions, he attended his first FileMaker Developer Conference in 2014. He now spends time finding more ways to use FileMaker in Prodigy’s operations.

“We’re constantly finding new ways to use FileMaker. It’s safe to say FileMaker 14 is our Swiss Army Knife for solving our unique business process challenges.”

— Michael Perley, CFO

Prodigy first used the FileMaker Platform to build custom reports from data stored inside an off-the-shelf sales and accounting program using FileMaker’s ODBC connectivity. From there, Prodigy progressed to a custom CRM and quoting tool to better help sales and purchasing teams keep track of opportunities and source products. This allowed the purchasing team to automatically generate quotes that were previously created by hand. Today, team member can access any product that’s already been sourced – from any sales location.

The biggest time saver, and my favorite new feature in FileMaker 14, is the new Script Workspace. Tabbed scripts, type-ahead – all of these new features make me feel as if I’m programming in the type of high-end platform my developer friends use. The Script Workspace has significantly reduced the number of open windows I have at any given time, which means fewer distractions and greater efficiency.

— Michael Perley, CFO

The next area tackled was inventory and fulfillment. For this effort, Prodigy contracted with a developer who created a solution to track items in production, items on hand and fulfillment requests from various customers. This had previously been done in Microsoft Excel and involved a lot of manual, error-prone work. Prodigy has since expanded its solution to include label printing and barcode scanning.

Some of my favorite features in FileMaker 14 may seem like small improvements, but they save time on things I do so frequently that the time really adds up. Those features include the ability to insert placeholder text into empty fields and add icons to buttons using either the built-in icons in FileMaker 14, or adding my own. These help my solutions act and feel more like the kinds of applications our employees are used to working with online.

— Michael Perley, CFO

The success in automating isolated business processes has given Perley and other executives the confidence to extend automation into other key areas where OTS software has fallen short. In the immediate future, this will include sales order write-up, purchase orders and management and billing.

In FileMaker 14, I’m excited about the ability to reconnect to a hosted solution when a connection is lost. The current error dialog box was really confusing to first-time users and this will go far to help them better understand what is going on. I’m also looking forward to the improvements in FileMaker Go that will allow solutions to appear more ‘full-screen’ and provide our users with the app-like feel they are used to. Finally, the speed increase of FileMaker WebDirect makes me really want to use it on a customer-facing project.

— Michael Perley, CFO