Database and inventory software

      Recommended software for customer databases and inventory tracking. November 21, 2000

What type of software do people use for customer database, mailings, etc? I have Excel 5 but wonder about something like FileMaker Pro.

What do you use to track wood inventory?

Forum Responses
Excel can do what you want but Access would be much better. There is a data base wizard that will build what you want. You don't have to be an expert to do it.

If you forsee a time when you want to share the database with other users over a network, I would go with Filemaker Pro. Access has lots of problems with networked, multi-user systems.

Word is that MS is replacing Access in the near future too (about a year or so), so I would feel more comfortable with Filemaker Pro.

Pardox is good if you want a beefy desktop database, but it isn't as easy to use as Filemaker Pro.

For a good contact manager, you may want to use ACT! or Goldmine. Great for customer databases, without having to learn database concepts.

I would use MS Access. It is very powerful and can be easily modified for other things. I am an Access and Visual Basic Programmer for a hardwoods company.

From the original questioner:
Do you have any tips on using Access for inventory? What about tracking specific logs and planks of logs?

Another alternative is to enter and maintain your customer list and information in Outlook Express of Outlook 2000. Outlook has the capability to customize your database fields.

You can do a mail merge into a MS Word document for mailings.

Outlook also lets you "journal" information about your customers and related information that you want to be able to retrieve by customer.

I am currently working on a tracking/inventory system using Microsoft SQL as the database. It will track each board as an individual entry.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
Keep in mind that many popular accounting software packages offer those abilities, with the obvious additional advantages. Try and consider your whole information flow, then see where you can consolidate your functionality. It is very simple to tie accounting, job costing, payroll, inventory, estimating, human resources, and customer relations into a unified solution.

In response to the other replies... I would not recommend Access or basic spreadsheets for any system you feel will be growing in the near future. An SQL type database is an excellent choice. Although some applications have excellent proprietary databases also.

If anyone is into playing around with the operating system Linux, try taking a look at some PostgreSQL and MySQL based applications. A real promising, free one is sql-ledger accounting.

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