4 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2010 9:32 AM by itstimekiffin

    Inventory management with FMP 9

    itstimekiffin

      Title

      Inventory management with FMP 9

      Post

      Hey all,

       

      I'm new here on the forums and with FMP, I just started working with it last week. I was put in charge of updating an existing database for an inventory. Most of the FMP database has been complete for almost a year but it has never really been used by the employees (the inventory is used by an engineering department for their own projects, not for customers). I was brainstorming some additional ideas to make it more enticing to use the FMP database rather than just looking for the parts on their own. The items in the inventory mainly consists of tubing of various diameters with the largest no larger than a half-inch in diameter. The entire inventory consists of about 1000 different items.

       

      Is it possible to incorporate pictures of the parts as part of a form/report? How difficult would it be to publish the database on a website? I was also thinking about possibly using a barcode system to track the inventory, do you guys think that would make much sense with smaller items, and a relatively small number of them? Mainly I need to bridge the gap from paper to computer, and I need some ideas to help convince some of the older employees to use the database rather than spending extra time searching for the parts.

       

      I will be meeting with a FMP whiz in a few months in order to further develop the database, but I would like to get a jump start now so when I meet with the specialist we can focus on more advanced things.

       

      Thanks in advance!

      John

        • 1. Re: Inventory management with FMP 9
          philmodjunk

          Yes pictures or a reference to a picture file can be stored in a container field.

           

          Bar code scanners are pretty easy to set up and use with filemaker. Filemaker 11 would give you more options for implementing this, but you can get a pretty good solution working with filemaker 9. Search this forum for threads about "barcode" readers and you should find several on the subject. Whether this is a good approach for your situation isn't really a database problem. You'll have to look at your stock, your current procedures and your personnel and answer that one for yourself.

          • 2. Re: Inventory management with FMP 9
            itstimekiffin

            Thanks...

             

            I figured out how to import pictures.

            It will probably be a while before we get the scanners, if we decide to go down that path. I searched a little for barcode threads and my only concern would be the ease of use for the other employess not used to working with FMP. I know the scanners act like a keyboard, but when you use them with FMP can you write a script so  the quantity value will change without having to manually find the item in the database? Does that make sense?

            Thanks again for the help!!!!

            • 3. Re: Inventory management with FMP 9
              philmodjunk

              That question should have been addressed in the same threads.

               

              It's easier to implement in filemaker 10 or 11 where you can set up keystroke type script triggers to respond to pre and post "amble" code you program your scanner to put on the beginning and end of the scanned barcode, but it still can be done in filemaker 9. (I had barcode scanner enabled DB's set up in FMP 5)

               

              In Filemaker 9 and older versions, you can set up a loop like this:

               

              Loop

                  Pause/Resume

                  #Put steps here to process the scanned barcode

              End Loop

               

              You program your barcode reader to append the Numeric Keypad's enter key to the end of the scan so it will resume the script with every scan. Every button on this layout is set up to use the Exit or Halt script options to terminate this endless loop. So your users would click a button to bring up this layout and start the scan loop and then click a button to cancel the loop and move to a different layout when finished.

              • 4. Re: Inventory management with FMP 9
                itstimekiffin

                Thanks Phil, appreciate the help