Privately owned pharmacies may need updated software to handle potential rise in customers

According to J.D. Power and Associates, customers are more satisfied this year with independently owned, brick-and-mortar pharmacies then their large chain or mail-order counterparts. This may be due in part to the mail-order businesses’ inability to adapt to new market demands, which have been met by their competitors.

As such, independently owned pharmacies such as Health Mart, Good Neighbor and the Medicine Shoppe were awarded the highest satisfaction scores by consumers, all of them receiving more than 840 points out of the possible 1,000 in the report’s rankings.

“These findings come amid a growing problem with medication adherence,” Lonny Wilson, president of the NCPA, said in a press release. “These twin forces of medication non-adherence and increasing dissatisfaction with mail order pharmacies should prompt health plan sponsors to support plan designs that allow patients access to the pharmacy of their choice, where pharmacists can help promote proper medication use and maximize the cost-savings from generic drugs.”

As these findings become public, many independently owned pharmacies may start to note an increase in customers. As such, the new workload may challenge their current database software systems, which might not be able to handle the increased activity.

By consulting FileMaker developers, pharmacists can create custom database software that can allow them to maintain a more accurate account of prescription orders, pickups and refills. Furthermore, this new system can be used in a mobile context with FileMaker Go, which can allow for pharmacists to update their database and information while out of the office, creating a happier workforce to go with the satisfied customers.

Bring your own device policies can benefit from database software to help with security

With Bring your own device (BYOD) policies rising in popularity and so many workers sharing computers for personal and work-related tasks, many IT employees and everyday workers are becoming increasingly nervous about security and privacy.

In fact, according to a Harris survey, 82 percent of regular employees consider the ability for their digital activity to be “tracked” as an invasion of privacy. And 76 percent say that they would not allow their employer to view which applications may be installed on their own device. This creates a divide between employees wanting to use their own computer and smartphone and employers’ ability to make sure that these tools are suitable for work.

“Bring your own device policies are commonplace across most organizations. The survey results show that the vulnerability of personally identifiable information is a significant concern, and that organizations need to be just as concerned about user privacy as they are about the security of corporate data,” said Christopher Clark, president at Fiberlink, which commissioned the survey. “However, the situation can be easily solved by IT by using a mobile device management solution that can set privacy settings to stop collecting personal data from staff members, but these measures are rarely put in place.”

As BYOD policies begin to rise in popularity, companies may benefit from consulting a FileMaker developer to create custom database software that allows employees to store and access key documents and project task lists, which can be kept separate from the personal documents that may be on their device.

As smartphone and tablet ownership increases with the the percentage of employees who continue to work after hours or at home, it may also benefit these companies to implement a FileMaker Go custom application for workers who will use a mobile device to complete tasks. This can allow for increased security and efficiency when out of the office.

Better decisions with improved data collection and analysis

As reported by this blog, big data is becoming an increasingly relied upon source for information and intelligence to help managers and executives make better decisions regarding their businesses. One example of this comes from the popular video streaming website, Netflix, which gave a $1 million prize to the two development teams that were able to use mountains of customer data to improve its movie recommendation algorithms by only 10 percent, showing the power of how just the smallest improvements can be invaluable.

While many companies may be investing in data software that can aid them in these initiatives, Harvard Business Review says that there are ways that companies can get the most out of collecting data, regardless of company size. The underlying theme on these tips emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between the capabilities of new technology and the analytical talents of a human workforce.

According to the source, the first step to using data more effectively is by actually collecting it. This can be done from any number of sources – social media to website analytics.

While it’s critical to acquire the information, it must also be properly stored and aggregated. This is one way businesses can maximize custom database software through their big data efforts.

Visibility is key, and possessing collected data output in a clean dashboard custom created with a database vendor makes it easier for an organization and its key contributors to have a better understanding of the business decisions that need to be made.

Medical imaging keeps up with innovations using databases

As technology advances, so does the way many industries go about their usual operations. For healthcare, imaging machines have become a critical component to gain an understanding of what is going on within an individual’s body. As such, a recent report by Global Information Inc has shown that the medical imaging industry is burgeoning with developments.

Some of the main catalysts for the industry’s projected growth are nontraditional uses for diagnostics and monitoring for new therapies and minimally invasive procedures, according to the source.

“The dynamics of imaging agents are changing and significant growth lies ahead,” says the report’s press release. “Among the key trends: ultrasound contrast media is a rising star in the quadrant; PET is a prime growth driver for radiopharmaceuticals; nuclear medicine provides a potential growth avenue for radiopharmaceuticals; and fledging market battles teething challenges.”

Clearly, technology development and research is taking a priority in the healthcare industry. As such, biomedical engineering firms and other developmental companies may want to invest in custom database software to ensure that they are able to keep up with the rising competition in these fields.

By consulting FileMaker developers, companies can create a research database that can be used to help manage projects and spread information between departments. This software can also be accessed via mobile devices through using FileMaker Go, which can be very valuable in laboratory settings where researchers may need to move from stations and machines and record insights and observations.

By using FileMaker and FileMaker Go for research and development teams, companies can ensure they can stay ahead of the pack and not fall behind the competition.

How to keep up with evolving business demands by using database software

According to a study by IBM and Broadridge, financial market firms are experiencing a “1-2 punch” of regulatory compliance and customer demands that are forcing the companies to change the way they manage digital information.

According to the study, the companies that are excelling in these times of change are focusing externally. They’re looking at how they can differentiate from competitors, improve “marketplace agility,” and expand their companies geographically, allowing for increased worker flexibility and supporting local industries.

“Based on regulatory, competitive and margin pressures facing financial services firms today, current operational systems are challenged to deliver the needed scale and cost efficiencies,” said Charles Marchesani, corporate vice president of securities processing solutions as Broadridge, in a press release. “Increasingly, financial firms are looking externally to adopt more flexible and scalable operating models to quickly respond to new growth opportunities and the continuous regulatory changes.”

In addition, the source states that the current leaders are at least three times more client-focused than those falling behind and 2.5 times more collaborative across departments than industry laggards. These essential characteristics can be improved by investing in custom database software.

By consulting FileMaker developers, companies can create custom applications that can be used across all departments to store and share information. Customer relationship software can hold necessary details about demographics, which can then be shared throughout the company, allowing for greater collaboration as all departments will have a greater understanding of their clients.

Furthermore, by using custom database software to mold the program to their specific needs, companies will be able to comply to the regulations while still maintaining a close watch on consumer demands and trends.

Building Powerful Business Solutions on a Budget

Thank you for attending our web seminar today on Building a Powerful Business Solution on a Budget. During our seminar I presented a case study of how we developed a commissions processing system using a high return on investment (ROI) development process. We began by writing a problem statement and then designing the data model and writing the system features. We then implemented the database embracing Anchor-Buoy, layout standardization and reusable scripts. Finally, we used the new FileMaker 12 themes and design tools to produce consistent, user-friendly layouts. I hope that we demonstrated that you can turn out a powerful business solution at a very reasonable cost using FileMaker 12. I have uploaded my slides in PDF format for your review. I did not include the ER diagram as we considered this information proprietary. For people wanting to learn more about the column-based planning system for designing balanced, consistent layouts, please see my FMAcademy presentation FileMaker 12 Layout Mode Enhancements. Many people asked for information on the Anchor-Buoy relationship graph method used. I have uploaded a sample file that shows how the relationship graph was created. Please download the file Anchor-Buoy.fmp12 to see an explanation. Several other resources are available: Filemaker TechNet has a white paper on relationship graphing techniques: FileMaker TechNet Article Also Kevin Frank has a website with several articles: Kevin Franks web site Thanks for attending and contact me if you have questions: John Mathewson
Anchor-Buoy.fmp12 showing how A-B navigation works.
Webinar slides in PDF format

Most SMB mobile sites lack necessary capabilities, survey says

Mobile is on the rise as the latest iPhone is being predicted by many analysts to reach 27.2 million units sold by the end of the September quarter, according to CNet. Despite the increase and availability of this technology, a survey by vSplash, a data and analytics company, has found that nearly 98 percent of small to medium-sized business' (SMB) websites are not optimized for mobile use.

According to the press release, 76 percent of SMB mobile websites do not have a privacy policy, which can put them at risk of not being trusted by many search engines. Furthermore, 44 percent of mobile homepages do not contain a phone number or point of contact for customers to immediately access and 78 percent don't have a Facebook or social media marketing link.

"Some experts are predicting smartphones and tablets will account for around one-third of all website visits coming holiday shopping season," said Umesh Tiberwal, CEO of vSplash, in a press release. "According to our current data, nearly SMBs will be challenged to capitalize on this mobile commerce opportunity due to their incompatible websites."

In order for small businesses to take advantage of this rise in mobile usage, they may need to update their custom mobile software. Whether this is being used by employees to access data and key information from their mobile units, or customers to access the site and its call to action from a smartphone or tablet, improving a mobile site's capabilities in the near future can be incredibly useful for businesses.

By consulting FileMaker developers to assist with this process, companies can fully implement technology such as FileMaker Go into their daily operations as a custom application that can be molded to fit their specific needs.

Organizing expanded R&D efforts with database software

Johnson & Johnson, a major home care product company, has announced that it plans on establishing four new "regional innovation centers" in California, Boston, London and China. These centers will focus on developing research and projects with experts and innovators in those industry hotspots. Surely, this advancement is something that would benefit from the use of custom database software to maintain the rise in projects and partnerships.

"Today, leading innovation sources have concentrated geographic presence in selected locations around the world, and our goal is to become an active part of these ecosystems," said Diego Miralles, MD, head of the California innovation center in a press release. "By refocusing our outward facing activities and locating our experts and deal-making capabilities in those regional hubs we can simplify the deal making and coordination for entrepreneurs who are looking to collaborate with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies."

The press release goes on to explain that the centers will allow scientists and entrepreneurs to increase collaboration in "early-stage opportunities" by combining the technological innovations of these local businesses with the knowledge of experts available at Johnson & Johnson. The centers are projected to "be operational in the coming months."

With the company's commitment toward partnering with innovative companies in the area of these new centers, the corporation may benefit from the implementation of database software to help keep organize its projects.

By consulting FileMaker developers, companies that are embarking on research and development initiatives similar to Johnson & Johnson will also be able to maintain an organized list of its projects and with custom software as it can help spread necessary information and documents while keeping track of pertinent data and statistics.

How marketing companies can manage Big Data with custom software

Big Data has become a universal term in the current business world. While the idea of Big Data is so new, many companies that attempt to use it aren't entirely sure how to best implement it into everyday practice. While Big Data has the potential to be useful to nearly every company, there are certain ways marketing and advertising firms can best take hold of this new trend.

According to IBM, everyday internet users create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. In fact, over the last two years, we've created roughly 90 percent of the world's data. And, according to BusinessWeek, that data is prime information for companies to be able to increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and web presence, something that's become critical in the 21st century.

"Where there's traffic online, there's opportunity for Big Data," Yuchun Lee, vice president of enterprise marketing management at IBM, told the source.

But in order to be able to not only manage the massive amounts of data, but also analyze and dissect what each metric means, businesses will need the help of custom database software. By consulting FileMaker developers, marketing firms can create and implement the system they may need to ensure that they not only provide creative advertising services, but also the right information to measure the success of the efforts.

Without the ability to properly accrue and analyze Big Data, account managers and small business owners wouldn't be able to make marketing decisions with the clarity and insight that the new form of information can offer. In this digital age, that can spell bad news for companies seeking to get ahead.

How to use software to help manage the rise in big data

According to a survey by Avanade, a business intelligence company, 95 percent of executives say that data management has extended beyond the realm of IT. Companies are now using big data as a way to make even the smallest decisions across all departments.

In addition, the survey found that 75 percent of the respondents also said they plan on making additional investments in their ability to aggregate and analyze data within the next 12 months. This marks a surge in the importance of custom database software to help managers effectively interpret large amounts of data.

Corroborating that, a recent Harvard Business Review article states that many managers may not be "data-minded" enough to handle the rise in big data. This problem can be solved with the supplementary use of custom software.

"Managers and business analysts must be able to apply the principles of scientific experimentation to their business," writes HBR contributor Jeanne Harris, a senior executive research fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance. "They must know how to construct intelligent hypotheses. They also need to understand the principles of experimental testing and design, including population selection and sampling, in order to evaluate the validity of data analyses."

One of the key components to the scientific method is the recording of data and, when using such large amounts of information with big data programs, its essential for managers to be able to store it all in custom database software.

By consulting FileMaker developers, companies can create the software they need to effectively manage the information they will use to based their decisions off of. These decisions will form the grounding for the experiments and changes they may make to improve business operations and employee productivity.