Collecting and delivering more than 3,000 packages across the Isle of Man on a daily basis, Manx Independent Carriers (MIC) is the island’s premier groupage and full load operator. Founded in 1985 and specialising in time sensitive delivery of pallets, parcels and full unit loads, MIC has grown to employ around 110 people and run more than 80 delivery vehicles and 100 trailers from a 40,000 sq ft distribution centre.
Manx Independent Carriers
"Having used our existing system for so long, there were real concerns when it came to making the switch to a new one. FileMaker not only laid those fears to rest, but has also helped us to make many of our business processes much slicker and more efficient too. You couldn't ask for much more." says Michael Coleman, Managing Director for Manx Independent Carriers.
Manx Independent Carriers keeps on trucking with FileMaker
FileMaker integrates flawlessly with to provide a complete picture of every job.
- Delivery company, needed to update from DOS-based system for the tracking and tracing of pallets and packages.
- Haulage: collecting and delivering more than 3,000 packages across the Isle of Man on a daily basis.
- FileMaker is doing much more than just providing a track and trace database for MIC.
- FileMaker replaced MIC’s previous tracking system with ease, slipping seamlessly into the business’ operations.
MIC’s FileMaker story began around four years ago, when the company was using a DOS-based system for the tracking and tracing of pallets and packages. With that system designed and maintained by an in-house developer, it was the developer’s departure from the company that prompted MIC to look for a replacement solution.
“We’d looked at a range of different possibilities, including some off-the-shelf options,” explains Michael Coleman, managing director of MIC. “The thing that we kept coming back to though, was that they weren’t tailored to the needs of our business. Manx Independent Carriers has some really specific elements to it, and we wanted something that was going to be able to support that.”
It was a conversation with a developer that sparked Michael to consider an alternative. “He recommended FileMaker for a couple of reasons; firstly because it could be specifically designed to meet our needs. That was really important not just because of the unique elements of our business, but also because – since we were replacing a widely used system – we could provide our people with a system that would instantly be familiar to them.”
“The second reason was cost,” continues Michael. “About 60 per cent of our people need access to the system, so we wanted something that would enable them to get on there without costs mounting up. FileMaker proved inexpensive for multiple users, so naturally that was a big part of our decision to go with the system.” With those two major requirements met, MIC moved forward with bringing FileMaker into the fold.
FileMaker proved inexpensive for multiple users, so naturally that was a big part of our decision to go with the system.Michael Coleman, Managing Director, Manx Independent Carriers
The FileMaker solution:
Fast-forward four years, and FileMaker is doing much more than just providing a track and trace database for MIC. “It does everything now,” says Michael. “We wanted something that could be customised and that would grow to meet the ongoing needs of the business. Well, whatever we’ve thrown at FileMaker, it has been able to deliver.”
‘Everything’ is the right word. With a little development time, MIC have managed to create a system that links into a range of the business’ essential processes to help manage its information more strategically and productively. From the routine processing of invoices and consignment notes to the delivery of an array of management reports, FileMaker is contributing to the business at every level. Even fleet management has been given an overhaul, the FileMaker database now keeping track of maintenance and service schedules across MIC’s many vehicles, generating automatic reminders for tax and testing.
Importantly, the system is also helping MIC to mobilise its information, the release of FileMaker Go proving invaluable to the company and its drivers. “Previously, we’d have to wait until a driver returned from a job to update the central system,” Michael explains. “Now, we’re able to give them iPhones and they can update delivery information which automatically synchs back to the main system. That’s a huge plus, and a big efficiency saving too.”
MIC’s FileMaker setup has also proved simple and flexible enough to allow for easy integration with other technology already in place, such as barcode scanners. Using a device from a leading handset manufacturer, barcodes and labels can all be scanned alongside consignment signatures. Although these are updated to a separate system, that then integrates flawlessly with FileMaker to provide a complete picture of every job. “It’s totally changed the way that we can search and index our information,” concludes Michael.
- Simple, solid and effective – FileMaker replaced MIC’s previous tracking system with ease, slipping seamlessly into the business’ operations.
- Built for growth – the system’s flexibility, scale and power have helped Michael and his team develop it into an invaluable business tool, and one that helps them make existing processes faster and more efficient than ever.
- Power at your fingertips – by offering comprehensive and powerful search and indexing options, MIC are now able to be more innovative and strategic with their information.
- Go-ing places – the addition of FileMaker Go to the MIC portfolio has delivered greater mobility than ever, allowing drivers to update on jobs no matter where they are on the Isle of Man.