Hook me up.... connecting FileMaker with your website

By Craig Saunders, 19 April 2012

As our human race progresses through the ages, we're constantly after a bigger bang for our buck. We want more for less: more productivity for less effort i.e. efficiency.

In business, the biggest productivity gains come from automating our processes and connecting all facets of our business. Each time one thing automatically links to another, one of your precious team members reclaims time that can be used to add better value to your business.

So how does this apply to the systems we use?

If our potential customers are able to find out about our company, the services we provide, and the products we sell without having to wait to speak to someone. That'd be a good thing, right?

And if our customers can then order the products they want, with real-time feedback on stock availability at a time that?s convenient to them. Surely they'll keep coming back for more, yes?

And if our customers can pay their account, update their contact details and download a copy invoice, all from the comfort of their home, office or pool-side recliner. That has to be a win-win!

Never far from our client's primary objectives are improvements to efficiency. And the best way to improve that is to automate and connect.
At Digital Fusion we like to think of ourselves as connection experts - in particular FileMaker to Web. There?s two ways to make this all-important love connection:

  • Take information from your FileMaker database and show it on your website (product info, stock levels etc)
  • Grab information entered on your website by your customers and drop it into your database (orders, contact details etc)

New Zealand cycle clothing manufacturer, Ground Effect is a good case study. Customers can browse the current product range and even see the availability of different colours (very important for us girls). Online orders take a fast-track to dispatch, and customers can instantly update their delivery details.

Printing company IBS Design have taken it even further, customers can generate their own quotes, place an order and track it right through to courier dispatch and delivery. Purchase history is also available, facilitating re-orders at the click of a button.

The University of Canterbury students can view Community Education courses, place availability and enrol online. All of which is driven directly from their FileMaker database.

Making these connections smooth and seamless can sometimes be tricky, but the rewards are huge. More and more it's what your customers expect - it's also going to make your staff happier, more productive and delivering better value to you (the business owner) and your customers.

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