Monday, February 11, 2013

Seamless Integration, High ROI

With Agile and VAI working together, Berk has gained a seamless transportation and ERP system. As Dan Bivona, Sales Director at VAI, says; “VAI strives to incorporate innovative solutions such as provided by Agile to help our customers become more profitable. We believe the Agile solution interfaced to VAI S2K Enterprise enhances our offerings to existing customers and prospects considering an ERP Solution.”


Ø  Key words here are “working together”, “VAI strives”, “help customers”, “enhances our offerings”. 

Ø  VAI is a company that is always looking to improve operational efficiency which drives profitability for their customers.  A win-win.  If there customers do well, then they do, but the key is the customer comes first.


The integration of AgileElite and VAI’s S2K has so far vastly improved rating, routing, planning, optimization, execution and reconciliation capabilities. This has resulted in a reduction of employee resources and errors in invoice reconciliation, and has provided transportation visibility and control that will set the stage for renegotiation of their carrier contracts providing a 10-20% reduction of transportation costs.


Ø  “Vastly improved…” is an indication the results are significant.

Ø  Reduction of employee resources and errors is a good thing.

Ø  Greater visibility and control resulting in reduction of costs is also a good thing.

The return on investment is estimated to be less than one year.

Berk’s old approach involved manual processes such as using carrier-supplied systems and third party freight brokers.  There was no method of comparing transportation options across multiple modes of delivery and no routing to determine the best cost or time in transit.  All processes were previously conducted offline from VAI’s S2K ERP application.  After consulting with VAI, Berk identified Agile Network as a prime candidate to provide a comprehensive transportation solution.


Ø  Manual anything is a gap that will increase costs, errors and overhead in any operation regardless of the solution.  This is an industry constant.

Ø  Having more information to compare improves decision making.

Ø  Comprehensive, in this case, means we are looking at more information in a consolidated way.

Agile was selected based on their best practices approach to measuring, controlling and reducing transportation costs by leveraging their AgileElite transportation management system. Close attention was also paid to Agile’s ability to implement rapidly and provide seamless integration to VAI’s S2K ERP application.


Ø  I would select them too, if they could actually deliver consolidated industry information, offer seamless integration and great ROI.


·         Manual and offline processes used.

·         No control or visibility of transportation costs.

·         No method of comparing options across multiple modes of delivery.

·         No method to measure, verify or contain carrier costs.


Ø  These are common traits distribution and manufacturing companies deal with.

Ø  None of them are good.

Ø  All of them increase costs, errors, and overhead.



·         Rapid implementation.

·         Seamless integration to VAI S2K.

·         Reduction of transportation costs.

·         Control and standardization of processes.

·         Accurate freight quotes up front.

·         Reduction of employee resources and errors in invoice reconciliation.

·         Eliminated the need for an LTL freight broker.


Ø  Rapid implementation means a greater and quicker ROI (the money you invest is returned with interest).

Ø  Seamless integration means your people do not have to do anything to make it work.

Ø  Reduction in costs means more profits.

Ø  Control is good.

Ø  Accuracy is good.  Customers get what the expect, when they expect it, at the cost quoted.

Ø  Reallocate employee resources to areas that need more manpower.

Ø  Eliminate unnecessary resources also controls costs and increases profit.s


CAPABILITIES REQUIRED (Berk identified the following key system requirements):

·         Tight integration to VAI’s S2K ERP application, residing on the IBM iSeries.

·         Deployment of Agile software as invisible components behind the scenes of VAI's S2K application.

·         Control and visibility of transportation costs using a best practices methodology.

·         Ability to control the parcel life cycle process.

·         Ability to identify late and lost shipments and provide complete reconciliations.


Ø  Tight, seamless integration means less overhead, a system that works and has great return potential.

Ø  Behind the scenes means someone has done their job.  It means that a coordinated effort has resulted in positive growth.

Ø  Control and visibility are key components that management needs to make quicker more accurate decisions.

Ø  Increased accuracy and observability of the inevitable errors means the profits stay in house.



It is obvious why VAI has highlighted this success story.  What may not be so clear at first glance is what happened behind the scenes.  Berks has a true, trusted partner with VAI.  This is an invaluable business relationship.  Who do you work with now that you consider a trusted advisor?  Do you trust them to give you solid advice or to point you in the right direction, even if they cannot help? 
Berks took the time to identify an area in need of improvement and worked with their trusted advisor to come up with a solution that did not increase their operational overhead and did what was promised.

Who are you trusting now? 

At Dolvin Consulting we cannot promise the world or that you can even achieve results like what was noted in this article.  We can promise to do our very best to connect you with the resources you need to move forward.  Remember that the result is evident in the return on investment and that there will always be upfront costs, but in the end should you should be able to sleep better at night. 

Contact us today to see how we can help.


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