Keeping track of inventory data is a monumental task. And there are plenty of tools to help organizations. Tools range from enterprise systems for large organizations to pre-made solutions accessed via the web (Software as a Service or SaaS), which might be perfect for small businesses. Of course, not all companies fit into these two categories. Fortunately, there are a number of rapid application software platforms that can be used to affordably create custom inventory solutions.

One of those tools is the FileMaker Platform. The software has been around since the early 80’s, having been owned by both Microsoft and Apple (at different times, of course). The FileMaker platform runs on Windows, Mac, iOS (iPhone, iPod, and iPad) as well as the web. It is currently a subsidiary of Apple.

This site is a collection of articles on building Inventory Management Systems (IMS) with the FileMaker Platform. It is written specifically for two primary groups:

  1. Citizen developers (e.g. business owner, operations manager, IT director, etc.) who want to use FileMaker’s ease of use and rapid development environment to create their own IMS.
  2. FileMaker Pro developers who haven’t yet built an IMS.

Check out the supporting videos on New Leaf Data’s YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe to be notified of new videos.

Articles

Inventory Types
6 common inventory management types.
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Inventory Processes
A succinct list of the processes within an inventory management system.
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Quantity Fields
5 common inventory quantity fields.
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Receiving Goods
5 ways in which your organization might receive goods.
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Bill of Materials
A Bill of Materials is a recipe for creating other products.
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Kitting
Kitting is the process of taking finished goods and bundling them together to make a new product offering.
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BOM Tree
A Bill of Materials (BOM) tree structure that enables users to see all products components at once.
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Lots and Batches
A discussion about product that is created in lots (or batches).
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Serial Numbers
How to handle product serial numbers
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The Purchasing Process
8 Scenarios you may experience with Purchase Orders
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Transactions
Creating a life cycle for your inventory
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Updating Inventory Quantities
Methods for updating inventory quantities
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Transferring Inventory
Tracking internal inventory movements
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KPIs
More than just for dashboards
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Unit of Measure
Understand the meaning of item quantities
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FMP Inventory Starter Solutions
Inventory Starter Solutions from FileMaker Pro v11-15.
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Variants
Creating product variants in FileMaker Pro
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Acceptable Levels of Goods Received
Sometimes when you receive goods, close enough works! This article has 5 ways you might use to receive goods at an acceptable level.
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Item Substitutes
How and why to create a list of substitues for products.
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Barcodes
Some thoughts about implementing barcodes into your FileMaker inventory system.
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Backflushing
Another method of updating inventory quantities.
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Universal Data Model - Company
Reduce your data schema by combining vendors and customers.
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Universal Data Model - Orders
Learn how you can reduce your data schema by combining all the different types of order tables.
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Universal Data Model - Keys
Creating human readable keys for the order table.
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Quantity Level Warnings - Part 1
Setting up the data structure for quantity level warnings.
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Quantity Level Warnings - Part 2
Setting up the user alerts for quantity level warnings.
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Stock Adjustments
Eventually, your physical inventory count will differ from your database. Here is one way to manage that discrepancy.
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11 questions to ask before building your sales order module
How to plan for your sales order module.
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Sales Order Channels
There are a number of ways for sales request to reach you. This article discusses some of those ways and the impact it may have on building your sales order module.
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6 ways to handle backorders
What do you do when you cannot fulfill a customer’s request? Here are 6 ideas.
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7 Potential Sales Order Statuses
The status field allows you to track the process of a sales order. But what should those statuses be? Here are 7 suggestions.
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Files

Purchase Order Process
Purchase Order Process demo file in FMP 15.
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Purchase Order Process v2
A technique for receiving from multiple tables.
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IMS Data Model
A Data Model PDF document of an Inventory Management System (IMS).
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Updating Inventory Quantities
A zip file of 6 FileMaker Pro files that demonstrate various methods for updating inventory quantities.
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Demo File - Unit of Measure
A demo file to support the Unit of Measure article.
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Variant-Demo
A demo file to support the Variant article.
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Demo File - Acceptable Levels
A demo file to support the Acceptable Levels article.
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Item Substitutes
Item Substitutes demo file in FMP 15.
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Demo File - BOM Tree Basic
A demo file to support the Item Substitute article.
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Demo File - Universal Data Model
A demo file to support the Universal Data Model series of articles.
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Demo File - Sales Order
A demo file to show two ways to handle backorders for the sales order module.
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Demo File - Sales Order Template
A demo file that shows how to create a template for common orders.
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Demo File - Accordion Navigation Menu
A demo file that shows how to create an accordion style navigation menu.
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Store

All products have a 15 day, money back guarantee. Not happy with the product? Just let me know and I'll refund your money, no questions asked. (Well, I'll probably ask you how the product could be better!). FileMaker Inventory Resource members receive a 25% discount on products. If you'd like to receive a 25% discount as well as links to the free demo files, alerts for new articles, and a monthly newsletter, fill out the "Updates and Downloads" form below.

Modifiable Inventory Data Model - $39

No need to start your inventory design from scratch! The modifiable data model allows you to edit, add, or delete the structural model of your database before you start to build. This data model comes in Visio, Omnigraffle, and SVG formats.

The SVG file can be opened and modified in many PC and Mac drawing applications. The Microsoft Visio and Omnigraffle are required for the other two formats.

Note that a free version of this file with fewer features is available for downlowd. Sign up for Updates and Downloads in the section below to receive a link to all the free files on FileMaker Inventory Resources.

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Layout Mockups - $112

Drawing the layouts prior to creating them in FileMaker Pro saves time. Mockup tools help quickly create a visualization of the database layouts and provide a great deal of flexibility to quickly modify and test new ideas.

Mockups for Company, Contact, Item, Pick, Purchase Order, Receipt, Sales Order, Transaction, and Transfer. The collection includes 70 Files.

Layout mockups are created in Balsamiq Mockups and include the original file as well as PDF, JPG, and JSON.

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FileMaker Pro Inventory Starter Kit - $379
The FileMaker Pro Inventory Starter Kit contains the following files:
  • Modifiable Data Model
  • Layout Mockups
  • FileMaker Pro starter file with the essential tables and fields for an inventory solution
  • NLD Grids (a FileMaker Pro file) for designing layouts
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B.O.M. Tree Pro - $199
The Bill of Materials tree allows users to see all levels of required materials for a manufactured part. The Pro version includes:
  • Quantity Requested
  • Lead Times (for the item and another lead time for its WIP/Raw Materials)
  • Need to Fulfill (NTF) quantity
  • Substitutions within the tree for a single line or all instances of a particular item
  • Save BOM trees

Note that a free version of this file with fewer features is available for downlowd. Sign up for Updates and Downloads in the section below to receive a link to all the free files on FileMaker Inventory Resources.

Learn More

Updates and Downloads

Keep updated on new articles, videos, and files by joining the newsletter list. A monthly newsletter is scheduled for the 4th Monday of the month. Members also receive a 25% discount on store products (see above). Download links for the files on this site are sent via the welcome email. If you didn't receive your welcome email after submitting this form, please contact me at daniel@newleafdata.com

Your emails are never shared.

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