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Vessel Service Solutions. Think AAA for the Sea.

April 12th, 2016

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Our wonderful products team here at PCI has been hard at work on Vessel Service Solutions (VSS) 2.0 – a new and improved vertical solution for the boat assistance and towing industry.

VSS was first released over two years ago in January 2014 and sold as a customizable framework for covering ship or watercraft breakdown emergencies – kind of like a Big Mac – you could have it your way. We provided you the burger and bun and you decided all the delicious toppings you wanted. The idea behind the product was to help an industry, which relied heavily on 20th century processes (think scans and faxes), streamline their workflow by going paperless and digital.

VSS has come a long way since then. We’ve taken this framework and turned it into a truly wonderful and efficient solution with expanded functionality—yet still delightfully customizable.

Here’s how it works.
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The process is simple enough—but saves the dispatcher and captain considerable time eliminating double entry and doing away with the necessity to print, scan, or fax any paperwork. The entire process from receipt of the order to sending it for payment takes place in one interface.

Other than an efficient orders process, the solution also offers users the following modules to track almost every aspect of their business:

Fuel logs per boat with information including: engine hours, location, and cost per gallon.
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Maintenance Log where users can make an entry each time maintenance is performed on a boat.
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Maintenance Schedule that graphically shows the viewer when the next required maintenance is to be performed.
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Time Sheets where personnel can link day and night hours worked to a specific order, calculate commission totals for an order or bill by the unit (ft. yd. mi.) for services performed.
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– A variety of reports can be pulled on Orders, Boats, and Time Sheets.
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Preferences is where the magic happens. This is where the user can customize some modules, manage QuickBooks, add boats and ports to the fleet, manage personnel contact information and update QB items/ services.
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VSS is packed full of all types of goodies and nifty features for the user—much too much to discuss in a blog. If you’re interested in learning more about what else this solution has to offer contact us at sales@productivecomputing.com or 760-510-1200.

We also invite you to visit our website www.vesselservicesolutions.com for addition product information, capability overviews, and instructional videos.

Outlook Manipulator and Exchange Manipulator are now One—Bigger, Better, and Ready to Dominate

November 17th, 2015

 
It’s. Here.

The plug-in you’ve all been waiting for!

Outlook Manipulator v7 is now compatible with Outlook 2016 and Windows 10. But as we subtly hinted at before that is not all that is new. Outlook Manipulator and Exchange Manipulator are now one— and this expanded plug-in is ready to take your business to a whole new level.

Outlook Manipulator v7 allows FileMaker® Pro to communicate with Microsoft® Outlook Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Mail, and Notes. This plug-in can be used with a user’s default folder in the stand-alone version of Outlook, as well as public and shared folders within an Exchange or Office 365 environment. This updated plug-in also gives FileMaker Pro the added power to communicate with any Exchange mailbox. Pretty powerful, if we do say so ourselves!

 
Still unconvinced? Check out the infographic below to learn about some of the common uses for Outlook Manipulator v7:
 

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Additional Goodies. The plug-in also offers the following features:
– Send e-mail “On Behalf Of” or “From” another user
– Send meeting requests to required or optional attendees
– Display Outlook records from the FileMaker interface
– Save messages as .msg files
– Access recurrence patterns

Added Exchange functionality includes:
– E-Mail: Send e-mail “On Behalf Of” or “From” another user in the Exchange environment
– Exchange Mailbox: Larger enterprise organizations can now push or pull data between FileMaker and Exchange via Outlook and access any exchange mailbox for any user on the system
 

The Outlook Manipulator plug-in starts at $120 per user/ per year.

In need of multiple seats? We have 5, 10, and 25 seat packages available – as low as $78 per user.

Click here for additional pricing information.

As always, we invite you to contact us with your questions or comments— sales@productivecomputing.com or 760-510-1200.

Don’t Live in Fear of Computer Gremlins – 10 Reasons to Host with a Service Rather Than Yourself

October 22nd, 2015

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There’s nothing scarier than having your computer crash. Whether it is the result of computer gremlins or your computer simply internally combusts, it’s never a good feeling to see that blue screen of death. And it’s even worse if you don’t have your files backed up in a secure and reliable location.

Don’t wait until you need a backup to worry about having a backup.

If you’re thinking, “I’m covered, I host my own files, and I think I have a backup.” You’re right — you MIGHT be covered in the event your computer melts down, but you’re short changing yourself in other ways.
 

Here’s 10 reasons to host with a service versus goin’ it alone.
 

1. Affordability. Hosting with a service reduces your IT costs. You don’t have to purchase any equipment or software, and you don’t have to deal with the hassle and expense of maintaining an internal server.
 

2. Flexibility. If you host your files, you can create a virtual workshop from anywhere and on any device. This means you can set up in your favorite coffee shop and sip on a pumpkin spice latte while you get to takin’ care of business.

But I can obtain flexibility and create a virtual desktop if I host it myself. True, and that leads us to reason Number 3…
 

3. Speed. PCI has multiple data centers across the continental United States, so your system will be close and fast. Hosting services offer faster bandwidth than typical in-house systems.
 

4. Security. PCI’s Hosting Service provides you with secured server facilities, and encrypts all of your files, so no one but you and “The Invisible Man” standing over your shoulder can see them.
 
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5. Expertise. As Platinum Partners, we can work hand in hand with FileMaker to resolve any server issues beyond the basics.
 

6. Value. When you or someone on your team needs help getting connected to your hosted solution, we are here to help. We provide the links to your system via email, and we’ll even step it up a notch and provide you with a no-cost, hands-on remote meeting directly with you or your users, if that’s what it takes to get you started or back on track.
 

7. Backups. We have a wide variety of backups available, including hourly progressives, daily, nightly, weekly, and even monthly. So “28 Days Later” you can request a copy of your files. In the event we experience some Hollywood disaster and are suddenly flooded, engulfed by “The Blob”, catch fire, or get crushed by The 50 Foot Woman, you’ll always have a backup of your data sitting in your Dropbox.

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8. Real-Time Monitoring. We provide constant monitoring of our servers and have live server status updates online.
 

9. After Hours Restarts. We do our best to keep server restarts to an absolute minimum. But if the situation is inevitable, we do everything humanly possible to do it at a time that is most convenient for you, which means we are restarting during the witching hour and mixin’ it up with the ghosts and goblins.

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10. Support. Last but not least, you will have access to professional and proven FileMaker experts to answer any of your questions and assist you with tech issues.
 
Okay, so we said we’d save you money, but how much?
 
Well, first off, all plans include a 30 day free trial, so you don’t have to worry about experiencing buyer’s remorse.

Second, plans start at $30 a month or $324 a year. You can check out pricing here and then call (760) 510-1200 for a free consultation and quote.

Contact sales@productivecomputing.com or give us a call at 760-510-1200.

Thirty Minutes with PCI Execs Marc and Keith

October 2nd, 2015

Fm_Consulting_logoPCI Founders Marc and Keith were recently interview by Donald Clark, FileMaker Developer and Owner of FM Database Consulting.

Check out the interview in its entirety here.

If you don’t have thirty minutes right now to watch from start to finish, we invite you to take a look at some of the highlights you might find of interest:

1:00: How Marc got his start working with FileMaker while interning at the National Association of Music Merchants.

2:08: Marc shares how he worked with Patti Page!

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3:45: How PCI started in a small apartment in Carlsbad, CA.

5:25: Keith discusses the key components to PCI’s success: “Marc is the dreamer. He cuts the path, and then I figure out a way how to pave it.”

7:45: PCI’s secrets to success.

10:23: Hear about PCI’s most challenging project(s).

12:12: Marc discusses the makeup of PCI’s client base, and how it has evolved over the years.

13:10: PCI plug-in announcements!

16:30: Marc discusses DevCon, and his thoughts on the future of FileMaker.

18:00: Marc discusses Vessel Service Solutions as a perfect example of the exciting things which can be done with FMGo.

20:33: Marc and Keith share what they do in their spare time. (Top: Keith. Bottom: Marc.)

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22:24: Keith discusses his music career in the Army National Guard and Air Force.

23:25: Marc talks about his music career in high school and present day.

24:05: Marc and Keith discuss their multi-faceted roles at DevCon.

25:25: PCI premieres SalesPal at DevCon.

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28:48: Keith discusses PCI’s company culture and the importance of work-life balance.

Don’t Procrastinate… Stay up-to-date! FM Books Connector is Now QuickBooks 2016 Compatible!

September 29th, 2015

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Just in time for the new QuickBooks 2016 version—we’re releasing our latest FM Books Connector plug-in v 8.0.0.0, which is conveniently compatible with QuickBooks 2016.

Now you have no excuse to delay your upgrade.
Updates for FM Books Connector v 8.0.0.0 include:
– Added support for QuickBooks 2016 Pro, Premier, and Enterprise US editions
– Updated demo file
– Minor bug fix (Note: that’s singular—just one little bug)
Never heard of FM Books Connector? It’s only the best plug-in on the market to push and pull data between FileMaker and QuickBooks—but that’s just our humble opinion.

This FileMaker Accounting plug-in opens up the Intuit® QuickBooks application like never before.

Save time and energy by eliminating double entry of contacts, invoices or sales transactions.

Provide financial data to your staff without having multiple people accessing your sensitive QuickBooks company file(s).

Streamline your work flow by giving your staff the information they need while protecting your critical financial data.

Using QuickBooks Online? We’ve got you covered there too! Check out our FM Books Connector Online plug-in.

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Want more reasons to check out FM Books Connector? Well, we’ve got ‘em. The plug-in allows you to PUSH AND PULL:

Customer Records: By only needing to create a single entry versus different departments making multiple entries, you can save yourself and your colleagues precious key strokes.

Invoices: Staff can create, send, modify, and accept payments regardless of which department they work.

Payment and Balances: Everyone has quick access to view customer balances. No more of this “the check’s in the mail” nonsense.

Inventory: Easily keep the books balanced between accounting and sales.

Timer Entries: Effectively eliminate double entry, reduce labor time, and ensure accuracy.
FM Books Connector also allows for access to additional modules including:
– Chart of Accounts
– Bills and Checks
– Lists
– Items and Inventory
– Jobs
– Deposits
– Employees
– Reports
– Sales Orders and Purchase Orders
– Templates, Vendors, and General Journal Entries
You get the point
We’re currently testing FM Books Connector’s compatibility with QuickBooks 2016 UK and Canadian editions, as well as Australia’s Reckon Accounts 2015. However, we were just too excited to wait, so stay posted for further compatibility updates.

Check out the newest version of FM Books Connector at www.fmbooksconnector.com.

Pssst! If you’re looking for an easy way to integrate FM Books Connector with your system or looking for a new CRM system all together, make sure you check out our CORE4 Solution.

A Word of Caution:
Successful integration of FileMaker plug-ins require the creation of integration scripts within your FileMaker solution.

Translation: intermediate to advanced experience with FileMaker Pro, especially in the areas of scripting and calculations, is necessary to integrate this plug-in.

Take a look at our overview videos, demo scripts, and product documentation to see if you have what it takes. Don’t worry if you don’t – we can do it for you!

We’re always here to help! We also offer professional plug-in integration support. If you’d like the pros who created FM Books Connector to assist you with integrating the plug-in into your system, contact sales@productivecomputing.com or call 760-510-1200.

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