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Bespoke Databases

When FileMaker asked Cruse Control to provide success stories for their web site, we found it hard to choose!

There were so many, from major implementations saving time, money and energy, through innovative solutions to specific problems. With FileMaker at their core, innovation and creativity just flowed! Here is a sample.

From Little Acorns.
Centaur Communications are one of the UK's largest independent business publishing and information companies, Centaur publish a myriad of quality titles for a range of professional readers.

In 1996, Centaur realised that their trusty card index system needed to be computerised. The company was cross platform with a 50/50 PC/Mac split, so FileMaker was a clear choice.

From that initial card index, FileMaker was used to created a whole new extended method of working. The team can log company details, make bookings, and send booking confirmation forms direct to the client either by fax or email.

"FileMaker offered an easily customised interface, unlike other off-the-shelf products where changing the look was difficult. It enables us to replicate the look of our old card index system, so the learning curve for staff was much reduced."
Stephen Marks, Mac Support Manager, Centaur Communications

The system also tracks and stores all revenue data for the accounts department.

In addition, a log is kept of all sales calls made by the various sales reps, so they can keep abreast of all their company contacts, and who needs calling when. Now reps can move from publication to publication, taking their system knowledge with them.

This solution is now used for the majority of Centaur's printed publications, for banner ads and web advertising sales for related magazine web sites.

Better by Design.
Spinner Design is a specialist agency in results driven consultancy and design for some of the UK's most recognisable brands.

Spinner's rapidly growing client list prompted a complete database review, which highlighted the need for an overhaul for both marketing and account management.

Spinner choose CONTACTS! and WorkflowPLUS! after a careful review of a whole host of contact management options available in the database marketplace.

"We decided to use CONTACTS! and WorkflowPLUS! because it could be customised totally for our needs, our staff were familiar with using the Filemaker programme, and Cruse Control provided us with impeccable service."
Jane Jones, Spinner

Not only did WorkflowPLUS! meet and exceed their specifications, but it also enabled Spinner to stay with their existing FileMaker software and experience - no steep learning curve or expensive software replacements required!

Most importantly, it enabled Spinner to be rapidly up and running in their new system, reducing costly down time to a minimum.

Jane Jones of Spinner sums up:

"The system is easy to use, looks attractive and means we are totally in control of recording our marketing and account management activities.

We have been delighted with the product and find the additional consultancy service offered by Cruse Control allows us to improve our customised version as and when our business needs require."

Data Strings.
The Strad is the classical music magazine for all strings enthusiasts, from top professionals to eager amateurs.

The Strad also publishes two directories (online and printed): The Strad Directory and the summer schools directory, SummerPlus.

The Strad's publishers, Orpheus Publications, wanted to create a flexible database system to offer information about string summer schools held worldwide. (Summer schools are intensive courses in technique and repertoire.)

Orpheus chose FileMaker developers Cruse Control for this two-stage project, converting from an existing but cumbersome 4D database.

"The solution that Cruse Control offered to us was concise, creative and above all cost effective. Moving to FileMaker Pro makes our former print-only databases online compatible."
Nikki Easton, Production Manager, Orpheus Publications.

Initially, an internal system was required to collate all the data on courses. The system needed to be easily manageable, with the users able to change data or add fields where required.

As each course can be for up to 5 instrument categories, 10 levels of ability and 19 contents categories, the capability to log a category and convert it into an easy-to-spot symbol was also important! Data is coded in a specific way so that tags can be added for the key in the printed directory.

The next phase saw the database available online and searchable, as well the data being used to print the annual SummerPlus supplement.

The stories continue. Cruse Control have years of experience of bespoke database requests from a diverse range of clients. The combination of your understanding of your needs and our skill in building excellent bespoke databases makes it a certainty that you will get exactly what you need and more.

In fact, if you need help in any area of computing and are not sure where to start looking - call us on 01923 842 295 - and we'll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

Paul Cruse
Director
Cruse Control Limited

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