Springs Creative designs fabrics for customers all over the world. Over the years, the large graphics in their FileMaker software slowed it down and made backups very difficult. In addition, the design software was not directly connected to their accounting software. Springs Creative hired 360Works to design a solution, which used SuperContainer to solve the size problem by keeping the large graphic files separate, but easy to access. 360Works also developed a script to send information from the design system to the accounting system to streamline the entire process from design to shipping. As a result, the design system runs smoother and faster with the added benefit of allowing customers to see the designs online to make the approval process easier.
Springs Creative Products Group is an independent fabric and crafts business with a history that began nearly 40 years ago. Today, they continue as a wholesaler for a base of major fabric retailers and specialty manufacturers across the United States and Canada. Their fabric and craft lines are currently sold through major retailers, including Wal-Mart®, Jo-Ann FabricsTM, Hobby Lobby® and Hancock Fabrics.
Springs Creative uses FileMaker to track the process of creating over a thousand different designs of fabric for customers all over the world. Organizing visual files, customer information and fabric supply information in a central location keeps the design process running smoothly. However, over time, the large graphic files were making their system incredibly slow to use. In addition, the backup process was incredibly slow and slowed the system down even more.
Once the design is complete, product details are sent to the accounting team for shipping and invoicing. Springs Creative uses a separate accounting system to complete this end of the process. To get the product information into the accounting system, the accounting team was manually keying in data from FileMaker. In addition to the duplication of effort involved in rekeying the information, this process left room for error. Alicia Williford, design manager at Springs Creative, took the reins and contacted 360Works to solve both of their problems.
Alicia spoke with 360Works developer Val Avksentyev. He immediately presented her with ideas on how to solve both the size issue and to get the two databases talking. Alicia recalls, “Val was really good at talking through solutions and understanding our needs.” Val recommended they use SuperContainer to shrink the size of their design database in FileMaker. With 360Work’s SuperContainer, graphic files are stored outside of FileMaker and still correspond to each project. To solve the process of manually inputting data into the accounting system, Val configured a script to populate fields that would relate to the accounting fields. To make the entire process even faster, Val added a bar coding system. Alicia recalls, “I used to have to key in all of the different information, now the system is automated and so much quicker.”
Now the whole process from initial design to shipping is more streamlined and faster with fewer steps. Alicia couldn’t believe the impact that adding SuperContainer has made with both staff and customers. Customers can now easily view and buy printed design books online to make the ordering and approval system much simpler. She recalls, “For our customers to view our products, we used to have to type out all of the design and fabric information, then cut and paste a picture. Now we just pull a list view from FileMaker and the page is all set, including the picture!” Working with 360Works not only helped Springs Creative improve their internal processes and save time, it helped them provide their clients with faster, better service.
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