Vision Video sells faith-based videos via inside sales people and through the Web. When we contracted with this client, they were using a FileMaker 6 solution and a separate Web solution that was not directly tied to their FileMaker.

After several extensive planning meetings and watching their staff work through orders, we began crafting a solution. Due to the volume of transactions and the complexity of their searches, we decided to mirror their data in MSQL. Because we built this solution before FileMaker natively supported SQL table, we used scripting to keep the two databases in sync.

We were able to create a robust shopping solution on the Web, complete with promotions, that markedly increased Web-based sales.

On the back-end, we used FileMaker to move orders through complex internal processes with validity checks along the way. FileMaker provided exports and automatically sent them to an FTP site for the fulfillment house. It was also able to process shipment confirmations back from the fulfillment house with minimal effort on the part of the staff. FileMaker handles shipping confirmations and internal order tracking.

An interesting added complication was the need to allow orders to be processed so that they shipped from the main office when it was advantageous to do so. The database provides the needed information to make intelligent choices about this decision, and prevents orders from being assigned to the main office for shipping if the products are not available there.

Unique to this type of business is a complex royalty system that has to handle calculation of royalties based on a percent of the sale, but often with minimums allowed. This system has to also allow for changes in a royalty amount when an item is returned or exchanged. This was a difficult process to troubleshoot, especially finding all the possible combinations. Without the subject matter experts at Vision Video and our close working relationship, this would not have been accomplished.

We also had to maintain the internal order-taking system, which was required to have even more flexibility then the Web shopping system. In addition, an ‘internal distributor order’ module was set up for the many distributors who resell Vision Videos products.

The system also manages all returns and exchanges from within the FileMaker back-end.

Numerous reports have been developed so that marketing decisions can be made in regard to different products and promotional campaigns.

“Several years ago we began the process of looking for a developer to redesign our database and integrate it with our website. We had had a very bad experience with our last database redesign, so we hired a consultant to help us select a firm this time. After talking with 12 different companies, we asked three for firm proposals and chose DSS and Dan Stein for this project.  Dan's proposed solution was a great fit for us. We use Filemaker that all our staff is familiar with, yet have power of SQL for our website. The close integration of our website and administrative database has been tremendous time saver for us. The database help us handle the most complex and demanding tasks like accounting for royalties for over 500 program and 150 licensors, while at the same time remaining straightforward and simple to use. We are thrilled with the royalty system Dan build into our database and have continued to work with Dan to add updates to both the website and database.

Last fall we decided to change fulfillment houses, and we had a very tight timeframe in which to make the transition. Dan worked with us to accommodate all the I.T. changes needed in our system to work with the new fulfillment house. The process went great, finishing ahead of schedule and working wonderfully. We are grateful for the help Dan Stein and DSS has provided to help us run our organization as efficiently as possible. ... Bill Curtis, President”