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Schema for Bakery Production / Newbie Question


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Hello Everyone - Long time listener, first time poster. While I've been a Filemaker end-user for years, I'm just now getting around to developing my own custom solution. I'm self teaching via John Mark Osborne's (excellent) VTC video tutorials and I have a two part question that I hope someone can shed some light on. The project is pretty straight-forward invoicing solution with a few twists:

I'm developing a solution for a bakery to help manage kitchen production. The bakery takes ORDERS from CLIENTS on a weekly basis. Each order consists of multiple LINE ITEMS, indicating a particular ITEM to be baked, the quantity, price per item, and delivery day (Mon, Tues, Wed, etc). A typical order for the hypothetical client "Bob's Bodega" for the week of March 14 to March 20 might look like this:

_itemName_ _price_ _deliveryDay_

20 Scones | $1.50 | MONDAY

20 Scones | $1.50 | TUESDAY

10 Scones | $1.50 | WEDNESDAY

05 Brownies | $2.50 | MONDAY

05 Brownies | $2.50 | TUESDAY


Question #1: As it's set up right now, a user in the kitchen would enter the above into an ORDER layout through a portal looking into a LINE ITEM table. But this structure quickly gets onerous from an end-user point-of-view; there's lots of repetitive data entry, especially when you consider the bakery delivers 7 days a week with 5 or 6 unique items delivered each day. Is there a better way structure this? For instance, using check-boxes for days of the week would be great, but then the delivery day data gets smashed into one field, breaking normalization rules (I think?) and making sorting difficult later.

Question #2: Right now, the bakery uses a matrix built on single Excel sheet to display all of the clients (x - axis) and all of the items being baked (y - axis) for a single day. This single page view lets them easily see how many of each item needs to be baked that day (by totaling across the x-axis) OR the complete order for any given client (by looking down the y-axis). Is there a way to recreate this grid... or, more broadly, to summarize a day's production on one simple report? I can recreate this with two simple summary reports, but in doing so I lose the one-page view that is really useful when taped to the wall of a very busy kitchen.

Thanks in advance for the help...

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#1: You should not change your structure to solve a user-interface problem. Instead, look for a way to assist the user in data entry.

For example, they could enter the order as quantities into a "grid" of products vs. days - then press a "Submit" button and have a script figure it out.

#2: It is possible, except the amount of columns displayed cannot be adjusted dynamically. If the number of baked items is more-or-less constant, you could have them as column headings, with clients being the rows. See, for example:


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