Washington fruit marketer streamlines reporting with FileMaker

Posted by John Mathewson on January 8, 2015

In this day and age, even companies in some of the oldest industries can benefit from state-of-the-art technology to improve their operations. In November, this blog reported on how a New Zealand firm that helps vintners find workers has boosted its efficiency by using FileMaker to track grape picking. Back in the U.S., another agricultural company has found similar success using the relational database software.

Chelan Fresh Marketing, a fruit seller based in Chelan, Washington, adopted FileMaker 16 months ago and began replacing a laborious and much less practical paper-based system. Chelan Fresh has furnished its sales reps with iPads so that they can easily access checklists, inspection logs and order information when they’re working in the field. By the end of this year, the company hopes to be 100 percent paperless.

They started with a test run during the 2013 cherry season, and it was so successful that they contacted a FileMaker developer to help them create customized apps for their various products. Beyond simply making all the data that used to be on paper available digitally, the iPad allows employees to do things they couldn’t before, such as take photos of the fruit and upload them directly to the database.

The database allows sales reps to easily access shipment information in the field.

“You can add a lot more depth to your data because of the flexibility of the tool,” said CIO Sam Godwin to The Packer. “Let’s say I get an order rejected at a market far away, I could type in that order number and it would bring me all the information about that fruit and that order.”

Certified FileMaker consultants are available to help companies make the most of this software by creating customized apps that meet all their reporting needs.