Hi all,

I am new to Filemaker and would like to use it to create a cost modeling solution for manufacturing operations. I had been doing this in Excel but have used other tools based on relational database systems and Filemaker seemed like an appealing option to build a model that is powerful and still reasonably easy to use.

I've done some basic scripting in mysql before, so I believe what I need is to create multiple tables that factor in the parameters of my virtual factory, then scripts (perhaps incorporating a FM equivalent of join tables) to pull calculations together. I could really use some pointers on how to get started with creating such calculators.

Here's the structure I'm thinking of:

Tables: Process/Equipment parameters: tool capacities, time to process material, people required to run tool, etc.

Factory Details: number of days open, hours open, number of shifts per day

Labor Details: Salaries, max hours work per week

Then I want my scripts to have an input of demand (e.g. 10,000 units per year) and then calculate based on time for each tool to process material how many copies of each tool I need, and based on the time the factory is open and the max number of hours each person can work, how many people will be required to run the factory. Then based on salaries and equipment prices, what my cost per unit is. These calculations get a lot more complicated when I factor in step yield losses, quarterly demand ramps, changing depreciation schedules, labor availability, materials prices, factory floor space availability, and so on; but I figured this would be a good start.

Any pointers on how to get started running calculations based on scripts would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

If you are interested in discussing concrete pointers and implementation strategies, context me via PM/backchannel.