Creative software for a creative company
A central system in which the correct customer data, products,
prices, quotations and orders are clear to everyone within the company.
Customer interview: More Color
Sara de Waal, 15 June 2021 - Hilversum, The Netherlands
Kempen Automatisering created a central database based on FileMaker for More Color, a textile printer in Amsterdam. More Color prints all types of textiles, in different quantities.
The product range consists of thousands of items, from polo shirts to baby rompers, and there’s virtually no custom finish they can’t apply on them. Think, for example, of embroidering a logo, printing an image, or a glow-in-the-dark or glitter print. A detailed business, for which standard software turned out to be insufficient.
"FileMaker is ideal for a creative company that’s constantly changing and in need of a flexible system, such as More Color, because of the large number of possibilities within the FileMaker Platform.
This way we can also continuously refine and grow the system, so it can grow with the company. "
Maarten HuijsPartner & Engineer
Quick tailor-made quotations
Mirjam Celie, owner of More Color, tells why she approached Kempen Automatisering: 'We were looking for a central system in which the correct customer data, products, prices, quotations and orders would be clear to everyone within the company. What was especially important was a well-functioning quotation system, in which we can now make tailor-made quotations for all our different items.
That may sound like a simple request, but it requires relatively complex software because of the many details you can choose from. We've tried several other systems, but each time either the software didn't do exactly what it was supposed to do, or it was very expensive to develop.
If a size 3XL polo isn’t available in in burgundy red, but the same polo in that size is available in navy blue, you should be able to see this right away. Also, baby clothes use a completely different sizing system than adult clothes. Thanks to Kempen, we now have an underlying database that’s always complete and up-to-date, and connected to the other modules.’
"Not only are the quotations and invoices modules connected, but we can also email everything directly from the system because it’s also linked to Outlook."
Mirjam CelieOwner & More Color
From copying manually to clear planning
So, how did More Color make quotations in the past? Mirjam explains: ‘We used to have an old American quotation system. It was sufficient when we first started our company, but as we expanded we ran into more and more limitations. Also, at some point the software was no longer supported. All in all, we lost more and more time with detours and manual calculations of all the details of an order. Moreover, there was no link between the quotations and the invoices, so we literally had to type everything again in another system.
Sometimes there’s no time for that, so your administration quickly lags behind. This is solved now: not only are the quotations and invoices modules connected, but we can also email everything directly from the system because it’s also linked to Outlook. There’s also a connection between our invoices and our accounting, and accounting is connected to the bank. The only thing we still need to arrange is to receive feedback from the bank, so we can also automatically see whether an invoice has been paid.
After a quotation has been approved, there’s still a lot that needs to be done. ‘In the order module we create an order in the system, which contains all agreements with the customer. Which textiles we order from suppliers, which processes we perform on those products, and when the order must be ready. These agreements are then converted into the production planning. When should what be done? Ultimately, the production process consists of many small steps, in which something changes regularly.
A customer can order 1000 t-shirts on Monday, then call on Tuesday that it should be 1200, and then let them know on Wednesday that it should be 1100. It’s important that employees can see all these developments and have the up-to-date data available to avoid misunderstandings. We work with tight deadlines that have to be met.’
Committed and familiar
Why did Mirjam choose Kempen Automatisering? ‘We had been searching for some time for a software system that was more flexible and more customizable than the standard systems we had seen until now. My husband already knew about the potential of FileMaker, and that's how we ended up at Kempen Automatisering.'
Mirjam came into contact with Maarten Huijs, partner and engineer at Kempen. Maarten explains: “FileMaker is indeed ideal for a creative company that’s constantly changing, such as More Color, because of the large number of possibilities within the modules. We can also continuously refine and adapt the system, so it can grow with the company.'
Mirjam came to Maarten with a comprehensive wish list, and they had several long conversations to see if it was a match. She talks about the contact: 'Maarten really took the time to get to know us, and also visited our company to get a sense of our business operations. It felt good and familiar, so we had a functional design made to get an idea of what Kempen could design.
Such a design is an investment, but it’s a relatively modest expense - especially when you compare it with the prices for such a design from other software developers we interacted with! This was followed by an extensive step-by-step process in which we were able to provide feedback on each step. We’ve been working with the system for a few years now, and I think the service is very pleasant and personal: if there’s a problem, they’re always there for me. Recently Maarten called because he saw there was a power outage at our company. He checked in just to see how things were going and if there was anything he could do. That's commitment!'