Milwaukee-based Kohl’s Department Stores hired iSolutions to build a FileMaker database solution to be used by their Store Construction division.
And better yet, the solution needed to be built in 5 weeks, for a limited budget and needed to be deployed to 35 iPad users who have never used FileMaker before.
Kohls requirements were they they needed to be able to track hundreds of checklists for all of their of their stores that are under construction.
They had originally been using spreadsheets and were sending the spreadsheets back and forth between contractors and administrators on a daily basis. With these spreadsheet-based checklists hovering around 500 items it was becoming unmanageable.
They spent most of 2012 trying to make something in xcode but were not able to make a backend for the data and they decided to go another direction with just 5 weeks left on the project deadline.
iSolutions were able to make a custom sync solution that let the users grab their checklists and take it with them without an internet connection. Administrative users could now compile checklists on one location via FileMaker and “push” them out to all of their external users via an iPad connection using FileMaker Go.
Once the data was sent back up the admin interface was able to display reports to see how all the items were doing and if intervention was needed.
This allowed them to compile “real time” data from the field and centralize it in a way that made management easy and accurate.
In the admin interface a list of items could be made along with photos that could then be published to several stores
The user fills out the list and syncs on a daily basis
The back office could then run end of the day reports to see if any of the stores were behind on metrics
The ROI is that the spreadsheets were not giving them the information they needed to quickly know if certain items needed attention over others. The volume was too much for a non database solution.
iSolutions was able to create the database using FileMaker Pro and deploying on FileMaker Server with users accessing via FileMaker Go.
The chief challenge for the project was trying to find a way to quickly and cost effectively sync data to iPad users who may need to collect data while offline. iSolutions investigated many third-party solutions for syncing but found them complicated to integrate and maintain. The two that were tested would have increased the overall budget of the project by 28%. So instead, the development team at iSolutions created their own, FileMaker-native sync methodology that requires no plug ins, no extra licenses and can connect to FileMaker or various other third party back end systems.
In all, this world class company was able to use iSolutions and FileMaker to quickly and affordably build a database system with no time and limited budget.