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How VSS Helped Baltimore Marine Recovery Operate More Efficiently

December 14th, 2016

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Baltimore Marine Recovery, LLC provides emergency towing, salvage, refloat, charter, and launch services to the Chesapeake Bay area. Dale and Christine Plummer have been using Vessel Service Solutions (VSS) for three years. In 2015, they won the BoatU.S. Smooth Sailing Award for “Superior Operational and Organizational Standards” – with help from VSS.

Q: Why did you decide to start using Vessel Service Solutions?
A: We have 10 boats, about 14 staff, and we work out of 3 ports (Annapolis, Baltimore, and Middle River). On top of being busy all year-round, there is a lot of paperwork to deal with on a daily basis. We wanted something to make our lives easier and enable us to continue to deliver great customer service. Plus, VSS allows our captains to handle dispatch orders, fuel and maintenance logs on one iPad application.

Q: What goals were you hoping to achieve with a new solution?
A: Reduce paperwork! Before VSS, we used the standard issue 2-part carbonless TowBoatU.S. invoice. Forms were lost overboard, misplaced, or just were not returned by the captains in a timely manner. With three ports, it was hard to manage and the captains complained that managing paper in a windy, wet environment sucked!
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Q: How has VSS helped your business?
A: In addition to allowing us to go virtually paperless, we’ve seen an increase in boaters assisted and faster turnaround time on payments from BoatU.S. Being able to email a completed, signed order to BoatU.S. directly from VSS is great. I can also share the completed invoice with the boat owner by email.

The system has also made it is easier to process and track orders. I have an accurate and extensive historical record of all orders processed, that I can sort, filter, and search through. I no longer have to flip through old orders in a filing cabinet when BoatU.S. has a question on an invoice. VSS orders can also be submitted directly to my QuickBooks file. Three years ago, I hand entered every order into QuickBooks after I scanned and emailed it to BoatUS. Today, I push a couple of buttons and it is done.

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The Time Sheets module has made payroll much easier, as well. Instead of calling the captains for their hours, I run a simple report and see all timer entries. If something looks off, I can ask the captain to review and update the timer entries. Once that is done, the updated entries are immediately available to process payroll using the Time Sheet reports. I can run one report and have all employees’ time sheets for any time period complete with details for easy reference.

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Q: What is your favorite feature of VSS?
A: I have a couple favorite features. The first is remote dispatching. It is a total game changer. I can take my entire office with me. I have the ability to handle calls and dispatch orders from my son’s football game or from my home in the middle of the night – without getting out of bed.

The second would be ease of use. The system is very straightforward and user-friendly. Even those captains who aren’t tech savvy have found the system easy to use. Now that they know the VSS system, my Captains can’t stand using paper. If they manage to leave without an iPad aboard, they always come back and get it!

And third would be the text notifications that the captains receive when they have been dispatched an order – my guys use that as the basis for their timers. Each email has the invoice number and every invoice needs a timer so at the end of the day they have a running list to use to create or review their timers.

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PCI is Now Offering Dedicated Hosting Plans for FileMaker Server 15

July 18th, 2016
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FileMaker Hosting

 

 

 

 

PCI is Now Offering Dedicated Hosting Plans for FileMaker Server 15

With the release of FileMaker Pro 15, a new End User License Agreement was introduced requiring a dedicated server for each customer.  This new requirement inspired us to develop a new series of hosting plans to accommodate our customers on this new platform.  Using a combination of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and our existing infrastructure we developed three affordable options for FileMaker 15 users.

These new plans allow users to host their solutions in a secure environment taking advantage of the benefits of FileMaker Server 15 with the peace of mind and convenience of having experienced and certified professionals manage and monitor their server.

 

Dedicated Hosting

PCI’s new dedicated hosting plans will offer the same benefits as our shared hosting plans:  free setup, robust backup schedule (progressives, daily, weekly, monthly), and SSL Certificates.

– Fully Managed Dedicated Server maintained by PCI so you don’t have to

– FileMaker Server Licensing conveniently purchased through PCI at a discount

– Amazon (AWS) Certified Engineer offers expertise for secure and scalable options

– FileMaker Certified Developers at your service

PCI is your outsourced hosting team!

 

Shared Hosting

Productive Computing will continue to offer shared hosting for those customers that do not need to upgrade to FileMaker Server 15.

 

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FileMaker Server Licensing

If you are choosing a Dedicated Hosting plan, a FileMaker Server license is required. You may provide your own server license or order FileMaker Server through Productive Computing at a discount.  FileMaker Licensing for Teams provides an affordable option to purchase or rent the server software along with access to FileMaker Pro.

 

Need more information about hosting?  Have a look at our overview video:

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Please visit www.filemakerhostingservice.com for a complete list of plans and hosting service details.

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.

Productive Computing Sponsors Alvaka Networks’ Annual Speed and Feed

November 20th, 2013

Productive Computing Inc. co-sponsors the 3rd Annual Alvaka Networks’ “Speed and Feed” technology trade show and performance driving event on November 8th, 2013. This unique expo took place at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, and brought together various companies within the Information Technology industry.

Vendors and attendees were invited to ride along with experienced racing drivers or take their own cars out on the race track to drive hot laps. The event wasn’t an actual race, but rather a special “track day” for enthusiasts looking to have fun while networking. Out of the more than 200 attendees, about 100 participants, including PCI’s very own amateur racing drivers Marc and Keith Larochelle, took their own cars out to drive the track. Instructional coaches were paired up with each driver, providing tips while they took laps and drivers were grouped according to their skill level and experience. Alvaka ensured that the event was highly structured and safe for newcomers who have never experienced performance driving. Top speeds in the various groups ranged from between 110mph and 155mph on the fastest parts of the track.

Professional photographers were on hand to capture every vehicle’s drive along the speedway. All attendants were able network with various business executives and racing enthusiasts while enjoying outdoors barbeque, raffles and prizes. This one of a kind event surely exemplified the true meaning of “Speed and Feed.”

“This was my 1st time on a big track and pushing 125mph coming out of a long straight and into turns 1 and 2 which are 2 tight left banking turns, was arguably the most fun I’ve had at a technology expo!” —Keith Larochelle, CFO, Productive Computing Inc.

 

Auto Club Speedway Map

 

Marc Larochelle, Josh Mazur, Keith Larochelle

 

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Flash & Railz

 

Flash & Railz

 

Flash Crossing the Finish Line

 

Railz Crossing the Finish Line

 

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Dash cam video of CFO Keith Larochelle in his 2008 Lotus Exige S240

 

For more information, please visit:  http://www.alvaka.net

 

Productive Computing, Inc. Demonstrates FileMaker Pro to Cal State San Marcos Computer Science Students

October 8th, 2013

Last week Marc Larochelle from Productive Computing, Inc. gave a presentation entitled “Rapid Application Development Using FileMaker” to a selected group of Cal State San Marcos Computer Science Majors. Fifty or more students attended to learn the benefits of rapid application development using FileMaker with Productive Computing customers highlighted as an example.

During the session Marc created a basic FileMaker database from a simple Excel spreadsheet import then immediately deployed that database application on a Mac, a Windows computer, two web browsers and an iPad in a matter of minutes. Productive Computing is a regular presenter at Cal State San Marcos and uses these talks to inspire and educate today’s generation on the benefits of using FileMaker in the workplace and the potential career opportunities upon graduation.

 

 

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