FileMaker brings 130-year-old hat maker into the 21st century

Posted by Justin Hesser on December 22, 2014

For 130 years, Akubra has been manufacturing and selling felt slouch hats that have become synonymous with the Australian Outback. In 2014, the hats remain iconic, but until recently the company was operating on a DOS-based system that also belonged in a museum. The system was essentially a computer version of a previous manual reporting method, which required employees to enter information on the hats that were produced.

The system was highly inefficient, and new operations manager Ron Palin set about looking for a replacement. He found that available off-the-shelf solutions were not comprehensive or customizable enough to handle the highly specific needs of a textile manufacturer, and eventually settled on a FileMaker database. Palin says that the new system has made basic operations exponentially faster.

"We're shipping same day, and we've never done that," he told ZDNet. "The supervisor said, 'I can't remember a Christmas where all the orders are out before January or before we went away.' It's not like we're late, but the factory is now so on time that we're delivering faster, and we know where things are."

FileMaker allows Akubra to track shipments for the first time.

Palin says the ability to track packages has been a boon to the company and to his own schedule, since he used to spend several hours each week attempting to obtain information that is now available at a click of the mouse. The company has also installed new hardware to match the software upgrade.

Certified FileMaker developers can help companies in all industries create and customize their own relational databases. With this tool, businesses can improve their reporting and obtain valuable insights into their own workflow.