Monday, January 31, 2011

Seneca Medical: S2K Enterprise Portal

Seneca Medical: S2K Enterprise Portal

Seneca Medical is an independent, privately owned and operated medical surgical supply company with warehouse locations in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and West Virginia. With over 420 employees, Seneca Medical employees are shareholders, owning 90% of the organization.

Seneca is another example of how a great company such as VAI works with its customers to understand their needs and find and apply the appropriate solution.

Dolvin hopes that it can fulfill your technology challenges.
Contact Dolvin to see how we can help you streamline your operations.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Six questions to review when evaulating new software

Six questions to ask as you begin your review of a new software solution:

As you start your evaluation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, get answers to these six questions:

1. What types of business are supported?
Many solutions are tailored and fit a specific business model.  Will you change your operations to match the software or update the software to match your business?

2. Are any secondary components required?
What modules are included, which third-party solutions are needed?  What is included in the base package?

3. What are are the variable costs if you grow beyond the initial configuration?
Pricing is sometimes complex.  Is it user based, processor based, both?  What are the initial costs and annual maintenance costs?  Do the third-party solution providers bill you or is the software company responsible?

4. What additional hardware or software is required?
Any solution needs both hardware and software.  Whether the solution is hosted or in-house are there any trade-offs in performance?  Nothing worse than an installed system that makes you wait too long for reports or has your employees wasting time waiting for the next screen to display.

5. Who installs the product and provides technical support?
Does the software company, authorized dealer, or are you responsible?  Find out now who does what and if this very important step has been included in the quoted fees.  A dedicated project manager should be assigned to help manage the project.

6. How many companies use the system?
Ask for client references.  You may or may not find an exact match for your request, but it is fair to ask for a list of installed clients.  Verify they have a quality solution.  Was it installed in a timely and quality manner?  No software is error proof, find out about the technical support, make a test call. 

The final question to ask any reference is if they would recommend the solution.

Click hear to contact Dolvin and get the help you need to evaluate your system.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bega Lighting: S2K for Manufacturing

Bega Lighting: S2K for Manufacturing

BEGA is the source of a broad range of lighting products. Through a  joint venture partnership with BEGA in Germany, BEGA-US designs, builds and distributes the BEGA product line in the US from their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and corporate offices located in Carpinteria, CA.

Bega is another example of how a great company such as VAI works with its customers to understand their needs and find and apply the appropriate solution.

Dolvin hopes that it can fulfill your technology challenges.
Contact Dolvin to find out how we can help you streamline your operations.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Manufacturing Resource Planning: The Players

Manufacturing Resource Planning: The Players
MRP Vendor Landscape & 2011 Experts' ERP Guide

FOCUS has updated their reports for Manufacturers.  I cannot say that these are the definitive guides for all enterprises, but any organization that is frustrated and/or looking to make changes in their technology should take the time to look at readily available resources to help determine the right solution to their needs.  Even if the "advertised" solution is not correct for them, they may be able to generate new questions for their proposed suppliers based on the information found.

Below is an exerpt from a recent newsletter offering no-cost guides:

Evaluate the Right ERP Solutions for Manufacturers with these FREE Guides
As a manufacturer assessing ERP solutions, it's critical to consider solutions specifically built for manufacturing applications. This FREE MRP Vendor Landscape gets you started with the players to consider and industries they serve.
Bonus: We've also included the 2011 Focus Experts' Guide to Enterprise Resource Planning to cover all stages of the buying process. From understanding the market and assessing your needs to choosing a vendor, this guide has you covered.
Download these FREE guides to:
  • Survey the top MRP products
  • Assess your business needs
  • Choose an appropriate MRP solutions

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Inventory Profits and the Supply Chain

Inventory Profits and the Supply Chain

Many of us remember when inventory levels grew to unsustainable levels and the overhead associated with those levels.  Today many companies may have gone too far in inventory reduction.  How have responses to customer demands suffered, because the inventory was out of stock and the reorder would take too long?  Where are the profits when there is no sale?

Customer delivery pressures make things worse.  Where was their forecast?  What type of planning system do they have or not have?  Do they have sales forecast that looks at sales history?  They do have sufficient history to give an accurate forecast? 

How far out do your customers measure demand?  Are they so risk averse that they miss opportunities which affect their profitability?  Have their order sizes been reduced as they try to trim their inventory levels.  Thus causing a ripple effect in the supply chain.

A system tailored to your needs that adheres to industry standards which has the tools to integrate the supply chain has the potential to make happy customers and increase profits.  No software solution is perfect for every industry.  That is where industry expertise and proper questions come into play. 

Define the needs, do the research, ask lots of questions and check others success stories to see how they match your challenges.

Click here to contact Dolvin for a pressure free evaluation to see if we can find a solution to meet your challenges.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wired for Success Electrical Parts Supplier Waytek, Inc

If you're in the market for an electrical part, chances are Waytek, Inc. has it and can ship it out to you... today.

Throughout North America, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) rely on Waytek, Inc. to supply them with everything from circuit breakers and battery connectors to fuses, switches, terminals, wire, cable and more. The products may be decidedly low-tech, some haven't changed in 25 years, but high tech plays a big role in business.

“We’re selling a commodity here, and our customers are sensitive to price and delivery times," says Bob Lamoreaux, Controller, Waytek. "The way we differentiate ourselves is by providing value-added service. “That comes in the form of speed, convenient ordering, and easy access to information. Put that with the fact that Waytek's IT operations must run on a shoestring, and you can see why easy-to-use, reliable technology is a powerful business driver.

“We’ve been an IBM ® shop for about 20 years," says Mr. Lamoreaux, "and our iSeries™ server simply runs itself. It requires little or no maintenance. I've looked at Windows servers, but you'd need a full-time IT person to run them.

We've been satisfied with IBM and that's why we've stayed with IBM.  "Therefore it was only natural that when Waytek needed better systems to run its business, it turned to IBM Premier Business Partner Vormittag Associates Inc. (VAI) for a double-barreled solution.  First, Waytek was sold on VAI's S2K Enterprise for Distribution, enterprise management software that provides state-of-the art order processing and inventory control functions.  Then, Waytek went with S2K Commerce Express, which took its applications to the next level: Business-to-Business (B2B) e-commerce.  The result has been better efficiency and faster service, more revenue opportunities, a clearer understanding of the business - all in all, an enviable return on investment. 

Solution short-circuits ordering process, charges up profitability.
With more than 3,000 SKUs and an increasingly demanding clientele, Waytek began looking for a more sophisticated system to run its business prior to Year 2000. Unconvinced it could make the leap to the new millennium and seeking enhancements, Waytek hit upon VAI's S2K Enterprise which runs solely on the IBM iSeries™ and predecessor AS/400 platform. 

IBM’s platform of choice.
We selected the platform and we've stuck with it because we know it’s terrific and IBM invests in it," says Vincent Taravella, National Sales Manager at VAI. "When everyone else was going cross-platform, we never saw a need to; we simply took advantages of the IBM platform and our software into new markets. 

"Fast forward a couple of years and Waytek, well-satisfied with S2K Enterprise began itching to expand into e-business.  A homemade Web page needed a fresh look. The sales department wanted to take orders over the Web. All well and good, but Mr. Lamoreaux was adamant about one thing: "Our Web-based system had to integrate with our back-office; it just didn't make sense to me to run separate systems.  "Waytek sought bids, and was pleasantly surprised when VAI came in at a fraction of the cost of other proposals. Best of all, S2K Commerce Express would fully interface with Waytek's back-office system. Make a change, and it will immediately show up on the Web. "It's all real-time data," says Mr. Taravella. "When you enter an order, it's taken out of inventory and recorded in the back office right away."  A single database, easy enough for a single IT person to handle. 

Waytek found S2K Commerce Express very quick and easy to install. "I'm no programmer, but I did it myself. - the setup menu was that simple," says Mr. Lamoreaux. “And I had a VAI specialist on standby to help at a moment's notice. From start to finish, VAI helped us accomplish this project in just six weeks, which was fantastic." 

Powering service improvements. 
The tight integration of S2K Commerce Express has resulted in speedier response and service to customers. For example, Waytek features different promotional items on its web site weekly; these take all of one minute to change. And now, when a customer places an order over the Web, it immediately shows up in the next print batch run in the warehouse, bypassing the Customer Service desk entirely, saving up to 10 minutes per order. As a result, these resources have been redirected to other customer service activities.  More to the point, customers can easily browse the complete product catalogue, place orders, view sales histories and invoices - and will soon be able to track shipping status. 

Revenue booster. 
All that information just a mouse click away has translated into customer loyalty and new revenue opportunities. Mr. Lamoreaux estimates the company has picked up 1,000 new customers since the system was installed - a significant swell in its customer base. "We've secured a number of very good, large customers out of this," he says.  He attributes at least a 10 percent increase in revenues to S2K Commerce Express and a 30 percent increase in inventory turns with S2K Enterprise.  All of which eases cash flow and boosts the bottom line. In ROI terms, "we've paid for S2K Commerce Express within a year,"  he adds.

Lighting up the business. 
The biggest benefit for the management team at Waytek has been the data mining and analytical capabilities of the system. "If sales in one area drop off, you know it right away and you can take action," Mr. Lamoreaux says. "If we haven't heard from a customer in 60 or 90 days, the system flags it for the sales reps.  From a management point of view, the reports you can generate are excellent."  He also praises VAI's help desk which is always "extremely helpful" and appreciates the fact that VAI listens to its customers and continues to invest, as IBM does, in product enhancements that will serve Waytek well into the future.  For a company that wants to continually improve its B2B capabilities as a value-added service to demanding customers, that’s a good thing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

VAI ERP Solutions

VAI Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solutions:

S2K Enterprise is a fully integrated ERP solution with a Warehouse Management System that offers a complete solution for tracking and controlling inventory. Businesses need faster turn around time, real time information, warehouse accuracy, fewer returns and the latest technology to make this all come together.

Distribution, Retail, Manufacturing, Service & Repair, Warehouse Management, E-Commerce, Web Portal, Salesforce Automation, Mobility, Accuracy, Efficiency, Productivity, Security & Scalability.

While no solution is a perfect fit for every business challenge, VAI's S2K solution which runs on IBM's mid range platform does provide the framework for growth. 

VAI  business partner Dolvin Consulting works with their clients to offers training, support services, software updates and technology offerings which enable their clients to take advantage of available technologies to drive efficiency in operations.