VAI Customers Streamline Operations, With Software
September 13, 2011 Alex Woodie
Two VAI customers are in the news this week, including Berk Enterprises, a supplier of concession supplies that expanded its VAI implementation to include transportation management from Agile Network, and College Wordwork, a furniture manufacturer that recently went live on VAI’s S2K ERP system for the very first time.
College Woodwork is an Ontario, Canada-based company that makes and distributes furniture made of solid birch. The company, which was founded in the early 1900s, originally started as a woodworking class at Lornedale Academy, and today has a reputation for making high quality yet affordable furniture.
The company’s previous computer system left a lot to be desired. According to VAI, the previous system relied extensively on manual operations, and didn’t support critical functions such as reviewing historical information, conducting comparisons, running sales analysis, or processing inventory in real time.
College Woodwork COO Sheldon Smith sums up the decision to go with S2K, the IBM i-based suite of ERP applications from VAI. “Given the amount of product we manufacture and distribute, we needed a technology that could be fully integrated, easy to use, and up and running in a matter of weeks,” Smith says in a press release. “We are extremely pleased with VAI S2K Enterprise, and the almost-immediate benefits we’re seeing on the shop floor, in terms of how we manage our inventory.”
Meanwhile, Berk Enterprises has augmented its S2K implementation with a transportation management system from Agile Network, a Chesterfield, Missouri, developer of logistics software. Berk Enterprises required a dedicated transportation management system to handle its high volume shipping operation. The company ships hundreds of parcel, LTL, TL, and fleet shipments per week to its worldwide customer base of 4,500.
Before implementing a dedicated solution, the shipping process was largely conducted offline from its S2K system, using carrier-supplied systems and third party freight brokers. However, this system offered no way to compare transportation options, costs, and delivery times across the different modes of delivery.
Berk consulted VAI specialists, who recommended the company take a look at Agile Network. Berk decided to implement AgileElite, a suite of logistics software, including AgileFreight and AgileAudit. The software was integrated with S2K, and came on line in about two weeks, according to VAI.
The implementation has been successful. According to VAI, the Agile Network software has improved its rating, routing, planning, optimization, execution, and reconciliation capabilities. Fewer employee resources are required to conduct logistics operations, and the error rate in invoice reconciliation has dropped. The company expects the software will help save 10 to 20 percent in transportation costs as the result of renegotiating carrier contracts.