ROI Success Stories

Learn How VAI/S2K Can Find Ways to Help Your Organization


  • Montebello Foods


    Montebello Foods Deploys S2K Food Package to Streamline Warehouse Management Operations and Ensure Exemplary Customer Service.

    Situation Customer Profile

    Montebello Foods, founded in 1991 and celebrating its 20th year in business, is an Italian food service distributor servicing pizza shops, restaurants, and salumerias in the NY metro area, specializing in tomato sauce, pastas and cheeses. Montebello has a unique approach to customer service – it focuses on building relationships by ensuring personalized, on-time services and deliveries.



    Both price fluctuations and wide-ranging expiration dates are challenges that Montebello Foods faces on a daily basis and must reconcile accurately and efficiently to achieve business objectives.

    In the food distribution industry, pricing inaccuracy is a critical issue as prices change constantly for a variety of reasons, whether it be demand, weather-related, availability, etc. For instance, the cost of cheese per pound can fluctuate on a daily basis, and this volatility can wreak havoc on a company that must maintain updated pricing manually, item-by-item.

    Food expiration dates also present a similarly difficult challenge to handle with a manual process. Each lot is highly controlled and must be managed according to date. Without an automated process, it is difficult to track the dates accurately, thus creating a system where food spoils more often and inventory must be discarded as a result, impacting the bottom line.

    In addition, delivery slip-ups can also cause significant negative impact on a company’s profitability. For Montebello Foods, deliveries are made by its own fleet of trucks, and routing these deliveries was a cumbersome process when executed manually. The challenge with routing and deliveries initially began during the loading process, where orders were tracked and loaded manually and thus subject to errors, causing delays and added deliveries.


    Montebello Foods was looking for a way to automate its warehouse processes, from pricing efforts to managing expiration dates on perishable items to ensuring the delivery and routing processes were streamlined. Ultimately, Montebello Foods needed a robust and comprehensive technology that would help track and manage real-time inventory coming in and out of its warehouse.

    Finding the Right Partner

    Because of Montebello Food’s commitment to exemplary customer service, it required a technology that provides both flexibility and visibility into data and information that is constantly changing. However, the software suite Montebello Foods was using prior to VAI was a customized package for food distributors that was cumbersome and offered limited support. Even with this system in place, much of the operational and warehouse processes were manual, and thus time consuming and prone to errors.

    Montebello Foods needed a technology partner with an easy-to-use interface that would provide access and visibility to real-time data to enable a quicker sales cycle.



    After closely examining its current software package, and vetting possible replacements, Montebello Foods selected VAI’s S2K Enterprise for Food Software. S2K for Food ensures inventory data is real-time and the product can be sold immediately, providing greater efficiencies and helping Montebello Foods realize profits at a faster rate. VAI’s S2K for Food met all the criteria the Company required, and provided exemplary support services as well.

    Using the Solution to Solve the Problem

    Because Montebello Foods relies on its own trucks for deliveries, it required a technology partner that could help them solve the issues associated with manual routing. Within VAI’s S2K for Food, there is a Route Manager offering which has a warehouse component to help streamline the process of managing deliveries and truck routes.

    VAI’s S2K for Food also ensured a quick integration of the technology – Montebello Foods would be up-and-running in a short timeframe, allowing warehouse employees to deploy the technology quickly, a unique model in the ERP industry.

    For managing the pricing and expiration date challenges, VAI’s S2K for Food gave Montebello Foods the ability to actuate things already on the label – prior to the S2K implementation, Montebello Foods employees were manually keying in on every single label


    Results and Benefits

    Montebello Foods was looking to realize efficiencies on inventory and deliveries, and that’s exactly what they’ve experienced as a result of implementing VAI’s S2K for Food Software. Manual errors have been significantly reduced, thereby slashing the number of customer returns and decreasing the amount of time inventory remains on the shelf.

    Warehouse management processes have also greatly improved. Warehouse staff can identify the location of inventory at a faster rate, thereby increasing the amount of inventory they can “pick” by about 40% each hour. And as a result, Montebello Foods was able to save on labor costs, as streamlining the access to real-time data and information about inventory increased productivity and reduced the need for an increased headcount.

    And in terms of overall business operations, the S2K for Food Software has enabled the automation of daily office activities, such as email and fax, ensuring Montebello Foods experiences streamlined business processes and a greater ability to achieve business objectives.

    “Price fluctuations, expiration dates, inventory management – these issues can present considerable challenges for companies such as Montebello Foods,” said Christopher Jankowski, project manager, VAI. “With VAI’s S2K for Food Software they were able to automate their processes and cut back on the time and resources used to manually manage the end-to-end inventory and distribution chain. VAI has helped Montebello Foods streamline processes they didn’t even know could be improved, and we’re pleased we could help them achieve significant ROI and attain their business goals.”

    Customer Quote

    “The food distribution market in the New York region is incredibly challenging,” said Sam Mangano, president of Montebello Foods. “We’ve been able to stay ahead of the competition for more than 20 years by ensuring our customers have a personalized, top-notch experience. The customized software package we were originally using wasn’t sufficiently meeting our needs for visibility and access to data. VAI’s S2K for Food Software offering gave us the ability to accurately track and manage inventory in real-time at all points along the distribution chain, thereby significantly reducing errors as a result of manual inputs. In addition, we can always count on VAI to respond quickly to any service questions we might have. I can appreciate that level of customer service, as Montebello Foods subscribes to a similar mantra, so we are very pleased to count VAI as one of our valued partners.”

  • Seacore Seafood


    VAI S2K Software Drives Unmatched Growth for Canada’s leading seafood distributor.

    Company Overview

    Established in 1987, Seacore Seafood is Canada’s leading importer, distributor and custom processor of fresh and frozen fish, seafood and live lobsters. Recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, Seacore capitalized on its inward and outbound logistics to make its consumer brand, OceanPrime, widely available across North America while managing more than 5,000 fresh and frozen items in inventory.

    From its state-of-the-art 75,000 square foot facility in the Toronto suburb of Vaughan, Ontario, Seacore houses its three distinct divisions – OceanPrime, Fisherman’s Depot and Seafood Depot. These divisions serve thousands of consumer, retail and wholesale seafood customers. Its extensive network of inward and outbound logistics allows Seacore to buy seafood directly from the source – whether its trailer trucks picking up seafood in New England or Florida, flights arriving from the Philippines and Europe or fresh shipments from Asia and South America. This enables Seacore to provide the widest variety of fresh, high-quality seafood ranging from Alaskan crab legs to barramundi from Australia and salmon from Ireland.


    To keep up with the growing demand for its products from three distinct businesses and channels, Seacore had to automate core business functions including inventory management, accounting, route management, order entry, logistics and retail point-of-sale. Seacore staff was overwhelmed by the time-consuming manual processes which inhibited the company’s enormous growth prospects. Moreover, Seacore executives grew concerned about the potential negative impact that the tedious and labor-intensive manual processes could have on the company’s customer service, order delivery times and inventory control.

    Seacore Seafood Director of Operations, Sal Battaglia, sought an ERP software solution that would improve core business functions such as accounting, while offering specific food distribution, logistics and retail point-of-sale capabilities. Battaglia evaluated many different ERP software packages, but found VAI’s S2K software the most robust and flexible solution to meet the specialized requirements of a fast-growing seafood wholesale and retail distributor.


    With the installation of VAI’s S2K for Food software and S2K e-Commerce, Seacore automated and integrated key business processes across the organization. The company has dramatically improved its customer delivery times, order accuracy and overall customer service.

    Business Results

    After implementing VAI S2K Route Manager and S2K for Food, Seacore has realized tremendous business benefits that have allowed them to drive an impressive growth trajectory. Those key results include:

    Improved Accounts Receivables Management

    85% of Seacore’s account receivables are now current – which is almost unheard of in the food distribution industry.

    Faster Customer Delivery Rates and Reduced Order Picking Time

    Truck routing processes have improved by 50%, ensuring extremely high levels of prompt customer delivery. With S2K Route Manager, Seacore can view its orders and number of orders per route, enabling the company to set up its deliveries most efficiently. Utilizing bulk and wave picking, Seacore reduced its order picking time by 40%, further increasing its already impressive on-time delivery rates.

    Streamlined Fish Cutting Process

    Seacore removed lengthy steps from its fish-cutting process through the S2K automation, leading to an 80% efficiency rate. This allowed Seacore to save time and service more customers, thereby growing its business exponentially.

    Up-to-the-Minute Consolidated Financials

    The company can now view its consolidated financials at the push of a button and view instantly how retail sales are faring hour-to-hour or minute-by-minute. This is especially important during busy seasonal periods and major holidays such as Christmas, when the retail division realizes a 1000% sales increase.

    Greater Inventory Accuracy

    With three distinct divisions sharing a master inventory, Seacore wanted to do automatic transfers within each company, in real-time. VAI tailored the installation in such a way that if one Seacore division used an item that was purchased by another company, an automatic transfer would be made and the inventory along with the ledger accounts would be auto-adjusted to keep everything in balance. The S2K installation also introduced bin locations to the Seacore warehouse, allowing the Seacore staff to know the exact location of an item especially when there are multiple pallets in different locations.

    Faster Order Entry

    Seacore was able to hasten order entry as well as meet specific customer requirements. For example, a customer may want only certain items sold to their locations and their own item numbers would have to appear on invoices. With S2K, Seacore can create order guides from past history or from a custom list, and also restrict a customer to only buy those items on their order guide.

    Automatic Real-Time Traceability

    Seacore can now do full traceability on where the seafood is coming from and how it was caught – information which has become increasingly important to retailers such as Whole Foods, as well as its consumers. S2K enables Seacore to provide this information to its customers in real-time.

    Integrated Point-of-Sale

    VAI installed its Point-of-Sale application for Seacore’s retail operation. By accessing the same inventory files as its wholesale division, Seacore can instantly see inventory commitments from its retail store or warehouse operation.

    Integrated e-Commerce

    Seacore implemented S2K e-Commerce to allow customers to place orders through the Seacore website. In addition, customers can check their order status and access their account status and current receivables.

    Key benefits

    • Rapid implementation
    • More accurate and up-to-the-minute inventory management
    • Real-time consolidated financials
    • Automation of core business functions yielded more time to spend on sales and customer service, allowing for faster growth
    • Timely account receivables management
    • Faster customer delivery rates and reduced order picking time
    • Faster, more accurate order entry
    • Greater inventory accuracy
    • Faster route management processing
    • Full traceability of products


    • Immediate financial reports
    • 85% Current accounts receivables
    • Reduced order picking time by 40%
    • Greater inventory accuracy
    • Integrated retail and wholesale businesses into one system
    • Increased manufacturing by 80%
    • Improved customer service and web presence

    Customer Quote:

    “VAI’s S2K software allowed us to reach phenomenal efficiencies across the organization. The S2K installation dramatically improved nearly every part of our business – from accounting and logistics to inventory and warehouse management. By automating many of these key functions, our team can focus on critical aspects of our business such as sales and customer service. And we feel confident that we can continue our impressive growth trajectory knowing that our business is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.”

    Sal Battaglia
    Director of Operations
    Seacore Seafood


  • Wist Office Products


    Office supply companies face stiff competition and realize that on-time, next-day delivery is imperative to survival.

    Distributors of any size require accurate inventory data to function effectively, but when the firm is a large office supplier offering a selection of approximately 50,000 items, this becomes a non-negotiable requirement. The challenges of maintaining inventory levels, tracking sales and commissions and providing guaranteed in-stock, next-day delivery are difficult. As such, an integrated, real-time inventory management solution is essential. In fact, a comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is an important part to attaining and preserving profitability, and Wist Office Products knew that the right solution could help the company achieve significant bottom-line results.

    Customer Profile

    Wist Office Products has been serving Arizona businesses since 1955 and is the largest independently owned office supply company in the Southwest. Wist offers over 40,000 products including general office supplies, office furniture and janitorial supplies. Additionally, Wist’s ability to accommodate individual, custom orders and free next-day delivery is at the core of the company’s success.


    Wist was running an outdated ERP system that presented a number of problems for the distributor. The first primary concern was the system’s lack of flexibility. The software did not allow the company to implement process improvements, and this in turn required Wist to incur extra, unnecessary labor costs. Secondly, errors were common and prevented Wist from acquiring the information it needed for accurate reporting and data analysis.

    Quite simply, the industry specific ERP package that Wist was utilizing had become obsolete and forced the company to make an important, businesstransforming decision. Either Wist could convert to an updated version of a package that lacked the features and flexibility that the growing distributor needed, or it could seek out a new solution. The company had grown significantly since implementing its original distribution package and what had once provided ample functionality, now ate up valuable employee time for simple data entry tasks.

    Still, the biggest challenge was in effectively managing its warehouse operations. As a just-in-time supplier, Wist needed a distribution solution that offered accurate, timely data and automated features to streamline operations and get product out the door for next-day delivery. The company’s old system was simply too outdated to handle this request and required many employees, manually entering data and picking product to make good on its delivery promises.


    It was crucial that Wist tackle its excess labor issues without sacrificing the next-day delivery guarantee that set the supplier apart from the competition. To address this, the warehouse staff needed to know where product was located and how much was on hand—at all times. Additionally, since Wist stocks about 1,300 to 1,400 items, but offers over 50,000 products, the supplier required an automated purchasing system that could automatically transmit orders to its suppliers. This was an important and mandatory requirement since wholesalers are an integral part of Wist’s business model. An effective method to manage this procedure was crucial to the company’s long-term success.

    Finding the Right Partner

    Wist reviewed several distribution packages before settling on the one firm that offered the solutions and the expertise to deliver – VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) ( Not only could VAI provide a premier ERP solution, but VAI’s S2K Enterprise software suite would give the company all of the ERP capabilities enjoyed by larger distributors, at a fraction of the cost.VAI recommended its S2K for Distribution solution to address the company’s needs. Importantly, S2K handles next-day delivery and, because VAI has extensive experience working with distributors in every industry, the firm was equipped with the knowledge to design an automated purchasing solution to facilitate seamless communications and integrated operations with Wist’s wholesale partners.


    VAI worked with Wist to ensure that S2K’s Suggested Purchasing application met the company’s needs. Wist accepts orders for items that the company does not actively stock and these orders transmit automatically to the wholesaler, but when dealing with 30 wholesalers at any given time, this can become a time consuming and cumbersome process.

    Ryan Wuttke, Director of IT, Wist, explained, “The Suggested Purchasing module has helped us significantly because we go direct to other dealers. This can be a difficult process, requiring our buyers to make decisions on what, when and how much product to purchase. Essentially, we don’t want to carry unnecessary product. In addition, it is imperative to control costs by selecting the vendor with the most competitive price for each item. When dealing with tens of thousands of pieces, this can easily become an overwhelming responsibility, but VAI has helped Wist to eliminate wasteful purchasing.”

    Wist no longer runs an opinion-based purchasing system. S2K takes the guesswork out of the equation with a user-friendly, data rich suggested purchasing module, which keeps inventory levels lean, but still ample to meet customer demands.

    Using the Solution to Solve the Problem

    VAI’s S2K for Distribution has helped Wist reduce inventory levels, streamline operations and decrease overhead cost. Prior to the S2K installation, Wist required an excessive amount of employees to meet its promise of next-day delivery. Now, the company is able to get the up-to-date, high-quality information that it needs to run a competitive business using less payroll hours. Additionally, the company has incurred tremendous cost savings.

    “The Warehouse saw a dramatic decrease in labor,” said Mike Gallagher, Project Director, VAI. “With VAI’s advanced warehouse automation features including picking and order verification, Wist has replaced its manual processes with an efficient system that not only saves time, but also saves money.”

    Evaluation-Results and Benefits

    As Wist continues to grow, S2K for Distribution is flexible enough to grow with the company. Wist is empowered to modify the system to meet it changing business requirements. For any company that prides itself on providing accurate next-day delivery, customer service must rest at its core and it must continually reevaluate procedures and implementing process improvements to reduce errors. This is the trademark of an industry leader—and a characteristic shared by Wist and VAI. Overall, S2K has equipped the distributor to run an efficient operation with easy access to all of the data it needs to continue fueling its growth.

    Customer Quote:

    Robert Wist, CEO of Wist, summed it up best, “For Wist, the payoff has been substantial. In just 2 years, we’ve recouped the packages implementation costs and S2K has provided a 10% reduction in employee overhead, while gross margins have increased by about 4%– both considerable benefits for our company.”

  • Sheralven Enterprises


    Any profitable business understands the importance of effective time management. In today’s world of changing technology, it is no surprise that increasing amounts of once time-consuming, mundane tasks are now automated, freeing valuable hours in the workday to focus on other, more essential business ventures.

    This is easily accomplished with an advanced, comprehensive and integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution. Hampered by an outdated and unreliable ERP system, Sheralven Enterprises Ltd. ( sought a solution that would complement its need for facilitating effective warehouse management and sales operations.

    Customer Profile
    Founded in 1977, Sheralven Enterprises Ltd. is a one-stop shop for fragrances. The Commack, N.Y.-based company sells, manufactures and distributes a wide variety of brand-name and private-label perfumes, colognes, body lotions and other fragrances, while providing warehousing and logistical services for its customers. Sheralven processes and directly ships items domestically and internationally for national retail chains and independents.

    Sheralven encountered numerous problems with its previous ERP software package. First, the system was outdated and unreliable, and therefore hindered the company’s productivity and profitability. Additionally, obsolete electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities presented connectivity issues and difficulty processing large volumes of orders.

    For Sheralven’s warehousing and sales personnel, the older system required tedious, time-consuming and manual order processing procedures. The company’s distribution operations were note-driven – slowing down the accounting process and preventing a timely order fulfillment process. This directly affected customer service. A solution that could handle large volumes of orders, while simultaneously managing an inventory of over 5,000 products was essential.

    Sheralven needed a tool that could automate tasks, such as processing orders, tracking shipments and managing an extensive inventory. The distributor also required a solution that could handle greater volumes of orders, allowing the company to expand its customer base to include larger clients and more frequent orders. At the same time, Sheralven needed its ERP solution to be equipped with a reliable, user-friendly EDI interface to enhance communications between its sales and back-end personnel.

    Finding the Right Partner
    Sheralven had to look no further than VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) ( for an ERP package that fit its business requirements. Sheralven saw VAI as an industry-leading, reputable solutions provider. Sheralven also understood that VAI’s experts could be readily available for technical support. Moreover, VAI’s solution, S2K for Distribution, was both affordable and sophisticated, giving Sheralven the best value.

    By selecting VAI, Sheralven also knew that it would receive a better EDI solution from VAI’s partner, EXTOL International, Inc. ( EXTOL is dedicated to providing and supporting business integration applications and services.

    VAI and EXTOL worked closely with Sheralven to customize and integrate the right blend of ERP applications into one, comprehensive package. S2K for Distribution includes an EXTOL module—EXTOL Business Integrator (EBI)—seamlessly integrated within the package. The result is a unique solution for organizing and tracking orders, generating financial statements, improving customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities and automatically processing inventory.

    Using the Solution to Solve the Problem
    VAI’s S2K for Distribution, along with EBI, formed an integrated software package that immediately addressed Sheralven’s business needs. Upon going live with the solution, Sheralven dramatically increased its turn-around time by automating its data management and order processing.

    Through EBI, Sheralven’s received orders are automatically entered from Excel spreadsheets into the system, eliminating time-consuming, manual entry and reducing the likelihood of errors.

    “From the moment we receive an order, the process flows seamlessly,” said Sandra Parmentier, Controller, Sheralven. “We can upload, transmit and track orders almost instantaneously without wasting valuable time manually entering data or faxing and emailing invoices.”

    For Sheralven’s warehousing department, S2K removed the painstaking step of hand counting orders. Now, personnel can use a barcode scanner linked to the system to speed up order verification drastically. As a result, Sheralven can process more orders in a shorter time period, helping to meet customers’ needs.

    Furthermore, VAI incorporated an add-on that interfaces with UPS and Fed-Ex websites to provide shipment tracking information and an order summary for the sales team and the customer.

    Evaluation-Results and Benefits
    S2K for Distribution has yielded significant results and presents countless, ongoing business benefits for Sheralven. Internally, it has streamlined distribution and warehousing operations, reduced labor, increased turn-around times and improved customer service. Additionally, Sheralven is able to solicit more business because it can efficiently handle greater order quantities. By relying on VAI and its S2K solution, Sheralven expects to expand its e-commerce market and predict upcoming business trends.

    Customer Quote:
    Sandra Parmentier, Controller, Sheralven, said, “Prior to working with VAI, Sheralven’s internal processes lacked the efficiency needed to manage its growing business. In implementing S2K for Distribution, VAI dedicated countless hours to testing the system and making sure it was the perfect fit for us—and all without a moment of down-time. S2K for Distribution has already proven to be a great asset to our business and our customers.”

  • Mailender


    S2K Warehouse concentrates on productivity as a key business driver, optimizing operational efficiencies and cutting costs.

    Mailender is a privately held distributor of janitorial, health care, safety and food service supply products based out of Hamilton, Ohio. Founded in 1936, Mailender serves Property Management companies, Contract Service Cleaners, Foodservice providers, Industrial Manufacturers, Long Term Healthcare Facilities, and School Systems.



    Mailender was struggling with its inventory management – as a regional distributor, inventory was dispersed throughout various locations. As a result, time management issues became a concern, as siloed departments struggled to properly manage and track inventory levels and information was passed along through word-of-mouth, rather than through a consolidated, streamlined warehouse management system. Warehouse staff spent hours tracking orders and stocking and counting inventory, a process that became increasingly inefficient and ineffective, particularly when it came time to enter inventory data into the company’s ERP system, which was done manually.

    Another obstacle was the paper-based systems for processes such as transfers and vendor returns, which was labor intensive and subject to human error. In addition, it became difficult to track order status through the system as the technology was not built to manage the selecting, pulling and loading of inventory. All the while, the posting of sales and receipts of inventory was constantly delayed, thereby greatly hindering Mailender’s ability to achieve business objectives.


    The challenge was to employ a system that effectively streamlines inventory management processes to improve time management, productivity, and help to better achieve business goals.

    Finding the Right Partner

    Mailender was happy with its current legacy system and didn’t want to abandon what they already had built internally. However, they needed a Warehouse Management solution that would enhance performance by streamlining shipping processes, identify areas for improvement and facilitate transitional data between systems.

    To select the right technology solution to integrate into is legacy system and help improve these warehouse operational efficiencies, Mailender utilized a partnership with PCMS Datafit in Cincinnati, Ohio to identify the best vendor for its needs. The field of options was quickly narrowed after recognizing VAI’s ability to integrate its Warehouse Management solution with Mailender’s ERP system on the IBM Power™ Systems platform.



    After an extensive vetting process, Mailender selected VAI’s S2K Warehouse Management Software, which automates the inventory process, ensuring all operations throughout the warehouse management process are integrated. Because it offers real-time enterprise integration, the S2K Warehouse Management Software concentrates on productivity as a key business driver, optimizing operational efficiencies and cutting costs.

    Using the Solution to Solve the Problem

    VAI’s S2K Warehouse Management Software streamlines the warehouse management processes – Mailender’s physical inventory is easily tracked, thereby providing a controlled and accurate inventory system, and departments can access and share information, facilitating the ability to better see and recount variances throughout the day.


    Results and Benefits

    In terms of effectively utilizing labor hours, Mailender’s warehouse management team can now identify a product at any point throughout the order process and have clear paths of responsibility for order accuracy for each step. The physical inventory process has been drastically reduced, significantly cutting down on the hours spent on identifying and re-counting physical inventory prior to count completion. Product is located within minutes, negating the issue of manual discrepancies.

    In addition, purchasing is more accurate, payables mistakes are reduced and, because inventory movement is now tracked and recorded at an increased rate, sales are posted in a timely fashion, all of which result in improving cash flow to the business. This was accomplished through the use of triggers on the database files for any action applied to various master files.

    Rick Amato, Project Manager, VAI states, “We knew Mailender didn’t need an overhaul of its entire legacy system – it wanted an effective warehouse management tool that would integrate easily with what was already in place but would have significant impact on operational efficiencies and the bottom line. Our S2K Warehouse Management Software was the obvious choice for them, and because Mailender was implementing it as a standalone solution, the impact across all departments was felt almost immediately. We are currently exploring other ways in which VAI can help Mailender grow its business and improve its operational processes.”

    Customer Quote:

    Chris Ward, Vice President, Mailender states, “While the operational inefficiencies in our warehouse management processes never affected our customers, it was putting a huge strain on our internal resources. To ensure future growth for our organization and continue to provide the level of world-class service our customers have come to expect, we needed a standalone warehouse management technology that would easily integrate with our current legacy system and automate the inventory process. VAI really took the time to understand our business, and after analyzing our goals and challenges we agreed the S2K Warehouse Management software would be the best fit for our needs.”


  • Specialty Products


    Managing warehouse and manufacturing facilities is no easy task, especially if the organization is working with inefficient, outdated software.

    A complicated operating environment requires solutions with the ability to simplify data for ease of consumption and accurate and timely decision-making. To monitor inventory levels and obtain the ability to access sales information that the company knew was trustworthy, Specialty Products Company needed the help of an experienced solution provider to implement a completely integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

    Customer Profile

    Specialty Products Company is a family owned business that specializes in designing and manufacturing automotive suspension and alignment parts. Since 1972, the company has grown significantly. Headquartered in Longmont, Colorado, Specialty Products maintains and distributes over 1,200 pieces of inventory to customers worldwide. To make good on its commitment for next-day delivery, Specialty Products operates two warehouse facilities – one in Colorado and the other in Tennessee – and features three diverse product lines ranging from traditional automotive alignment and heavy-duty truck applications to off-road suspension systems and sport compact and rod/race suspension tuning solutions.


    Specialty Products’ daily operations were challenged with the use of an older material requirements planning (MRP) system that was ill equipped to handle the company’s growing business needs. Further, changes to the system proved complicated and cumbersome, and their previous software vendor offered inadequate technical support.

    These issues prompted Specialty Products to seek out a solution that could help move the company forward, while providing the outstanding customer support that it had lacked with its prior vendor. Additionally, the company demanded a solution that offered a flexible, feature-rich software package to handle its expanding business needs, streamline warehouse environments and provide an integrated platform to help Specialty Products speed ahead of the competition.

    Before settling on a particular vendor, Specialty Products reviewed several enterprise resource planning (ERP) packages, including companies that specialized in software solutions for the automotive industry. The manufacturer’s chief concern was to find a modern system that could easily integrate into its existing system, and also support a graphical user interface (GUI). No small request, as Specialty Products would discover.


    Specialty Products needed to address a variety of warehouse and manufacturing management issues. One important, non-negotiable requirement was that warehouse staff know, in real-time, the exact location of every product and the inventory counts for each item. Another key component was a one-step order processing procedure including the ability to pick, pack and ship product in one easy step. The requirement was to design a procedure whereby staff could simply scan a pick ticket that would automatically capture the freight charges and record all of the shipping data in a few easy steps.

    In addition, Specialty Products also needed a system to instantaneously pull up customer orders with attached tracking numbers, link these to its GPS website, and then interface the order with UPS WorldShip™, which is a software tool used by businesses with high-volume shipping needs to notify customers of shipment status.

    Finding the Right Partner

    Specialty Products conducted a thorough search and review process before concluding that only one firm could adequately address its needs- VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) ( In fact, Specialty Products was particularly impressed by the fact that VAI’s S2K Enterprise software suite would provide the company with all of the ERP capabilities enjoyed by larger manufacturers and distributors.

    As a small company, Specialty Products never imagined that a competitively priced enterprise software package would come equipped with standardized applications necessary to allow the company to compete, on a level playing field, with companies of all sizes. Mina Cox, Specialty Products’ Chief Operating Officer, noted, “VAI’s comprehensive, sophisticated ERP platform is a world-class system, and I would place it head-to-head with any major software developer. Companies like SAP and Oracle offer similar capabilities, but at a far higher price point.”

    In August 2004, Specialty Products selected VAI to implement its S2K Enterprise Software. Tasked with a tall order, VAI set to work to customize its solutions to meet the challenge. VAI’s extensive solution portfolio contained all the capabilities – and more – that Specialty Products required. First and foremost, VAI’s solution handles same day shipping – a promise at the core of Specialty Products’ philosophy. Additionally, with VAI’s ability to incorporate items such as, a virtual shop front and electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities; Specialty Products knew that VAI held the experience and expertise to meet its specific business and warehouse operating needs.


    In January 2005, Specialty Products Company went live with the entire VAI ERP package, including all of the financials. Throughout the implementation process, VAI worked with Specialty Products to customize certain modules to its exact specifications, in particular, the development of its MRP and inventory forecasting applications.

    With the addition of VAI’s software, Specialty Products gained new technological capabilities including e-Commerce and EDI functionalities. These applications alone have allowed Specialty Products to eliminate the tedious, double-check system that employees were completing for every order, thus saving the company a tremendous amount of time and improving its overall warehouse efficiency.

    Mina Cox, noted, “The best features of VAI’s software solutions are the extensive user-defined capabilities available in the major modules. This allows for a wide range of flexibility without requiring a great deal of additional programming. The software can be adapted quickly and easily— a real bonus for our fast paced industry— and the dashboard allows us, as executives, to monitor the performance of all the key areas of our business on one screen.”

    Amazingly, the entire ERP implementation process took about four months to complete, and when Specialty Products decided that a second warehouse installation in Tennessee was needed, it took less than one month to bring operations online and begin shipping orders out of the warehouse. VAI aided the ERP implementation by providing conversions from its older package to the latest version of S2K. The rapid installation process included all of the logistics and staff training. This process was made easy due to VAI’s product features and in the information that Specialty Products culled from VAI’s database. This advanced preparation made the process exceptionally smooth and provided Specialty Products with the necessary resources to run an efficient, flexible operation with direct impacts to their bottom-line.

    With VAI’s e-Commerce application, Specialty Products customers can quickly and easily order supplies through a Web portal. Further, VAI’s MRP Suggestion Manager makes inventory management a breeze. Specialty Products’ buyers are notified of items that require action – whether its items to purchase or items to manufacture – the software then determines the appropriate action when inventory counts go below a pre-established minimum.

    Using the Solution to Solve the Problem

    VAI’s S2K for Distribution and S2K for Manufacturing have helped Specialty Products to get the up-to-date, high quality information that it needs to run a competitive business. Additionally, the company has seen a tremendous cost savings. Notably, the cost of maintenance is significantly less than that of its previous vendor. In fact, with the help of S2K for Manufacturing, Specialty Products produces very little scrap, which is a significant cost saver. The company is able to control excess waste because it can manage its entire manufacturing process from one screen, allowing Specialty Products to prioritize and schedule the total production schedule—a unique feature of VAI’s software package.

    According to VAI Manufacturing Manager, Pete Zimmerman, “Quite simply, our S2K solution just works for Specialty Products—period. The company’s previous software had too many bugs in the system to provide an efficient enterprise platform from which to run a business, and it provided too little functionality to get the job done.”

    Evaluation-Results and Benefits

    For over four years, Specialty Products has reaped the rewards of S2K for Distribution and S2K for Manufacturing. “Every department has benefited from the implementation,” remarked Mina Cox. “Now, sales information is easier to track, manufacturing processes are streamlined and shipping and warehouse operations continue to meet, and exceed, the company’s goals. Easy access to financial information and the ability to see and understand the total business operation on one screen provide significant benefits for Specialty Products.”

    Additionally, Specialty Products is better equipped to provide excellent customer service. The company can boast 99.9% on-time shipments, 99.9% inventory accuracy, and a less than .02% error rate. This means that when a customer calls by the 3:30 p.m. cut-off time, Specialty Products can provide the product requested the very same day, even for very large orders. This is rare for a manufacturer, which usually requires a week to 10-days to turn around large orders. Also, an unforeseen benefit realized is that many of the company’s departments have gone paperless, a direct result of the S2K implementation.

    Customer Quote:

    According to Specialty Products’ Mina Cox, “When I speak to other executives and hear about the technical issues they have experienced with other systems, I realize that we just don’t have those concerns with VAI. Happily, we are busy running a business, rather than dealing with bad information or down systems. The bottom line is that VAI fundamentally provides a strong and dependable solution with the technical resources to provide back up and support if there is a problem.”

  • RefrigiWear


    RefrigiWear’s sales team now has access to a CRM system 24/7, whether they’re on the road or in a meeting with a customer.

    Customer Profile

    RefrigiWear is the leading manufacturer of insulated industrial outerwear. For more than fifty years, the Company has supplied a wide range of industries with insulated garments and accessories needed to keep workers warm, safe and productive. The Company manufactures and sells over ninety-five styles of insulated clothing, headwear, accessories and covers. RefrigiWear is located in Dahlonega, Georgia.



    In late 2010, RefrigiWear had reached a point with its growing sales force and customer base that required implementing a strong CRM system. Because RefrigiWear serves a broad range of industries, its international customer base is diverse and widespread. As such, RefrigiWear needed a flexible, easy-to-use, web-based CRM system that could be integrated seamlessly into the existing infrastructure and implemented quickly. What’s more, RefrigiWear wanted its sales force to be able to use the system with limited training or manual input.

    Finding the Right Partner

    To select the right technology solution to integrate into its existing back office system and help create efficiencies, RefrigiWear first looked at other web-based CRM systems in the market. Having already implemented VAI’s S2K Enterprise Management Software, RefrigiWear and VAI discussed possible integration options to S2K Sales Force, which is VAI’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software system. Given RefrigiWear’s success working with VAI and utilizing its S2K Enterprise Management Software, RefrigiWear elected to implement VAI’s S2K Sales Force.

    RefrigiWear found that the advantage to using VAI’s S2K Sales Force was that all its customer data would be integrated through the back-end system, and automatically uploaded into the software, as opposed to a third party add-on CRM solution that would require having to input the data manually. The software could be up-and-running in a matter of days and fully integrated into the existing infrastructure.



    In less than a week, RefrigiWear was up-and-running with VAI’s S2K Sales Force, which is designed to improve a company’s bottom-line by strengthening customer relationships and loyalty. With one central database, the software enables a company to use its existing technology while providing a company-wide, real-time view of all interactions with customers and prospects. VAI’s S2K Sales Force has an integrated contact management feature that provides real-time access to all customer and product information, and marketing automation tools that generate effective, consistent and timely campaigns.

    Using the Solution to Solve the Problem

    Since VAI’s S2K Sales Force is easily integrated into RefrigiWear’s existing VAI S2K ERP system, the manufacturer could quickly and easily facilitate complete order processing and customer or prospect tracking. This software enabled RefrigiWear to perform functions such as: track specific opportunities, review current order statuses, check prices, view account information and history, and create to-do lists to flag follow-up activity.


    Results and Benefits

    In terms of effectively utilizing the sales force, RefrigiWear’s sales team now has access to a CRM system 24/7, whether they’re on the road or in a meeting with a customer. For example, the sales team is able to access customer information on the fly using a smartphone, tablet, netbook or laptop. This has proven very useful to those sales team members who need to check a purchase order or pull up contact information for a contact while on the road and headed to meet with them onsite. What’s more, the system is very user-friendly and the sales team has collectively enjoyed the experience of working with the product to facilitate customer relations.

    In addition, follow-up with contacts is more efficient and more accurate – RefrigiWear is able to flag a customer request or request to follow-up with a prospect. This information is automatically distributed to the sales force, so there is no lag in communications and necessary follow-up can be executed at rapid pace.

    Customer Quote:

    “VAI’s Sales Force was the perfect choice for Refrigiwear to integrate into our existing VAI S2K system. We needed the software to be fully functional very quickly, and VAI delivered,” said Robert Scarboro, IT Director, RefrigiWear, Inc. “Our sales force was immediately impressed with the product’s ease-of-use and mobile capabilities – our team is always on the move and it’s crucial to be able to use a web-based CRM. Our sales force is creating better follow-up with our customers, which increases our customer satisfaction.”


  • Smith Drug


    What happens when a wholesale and distribution company grows exponentially? Over the past decade, Smith Drug Company found out when it experienced enormous growth.

    The company knew that it would soon push the limits of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. In order to maintain its growth potential, remain competitive, respond to the dynamically changing industry and supply its customers with unparalleled service, Smith Drug Company developed an aggressive initiative to enhance its technology.

    Customer Profile

    Smith Drug Company ( is a $2.5 billion pharmaceutical wholesale/distribution firm that services over 1,000 independent pharmacies and long-term care facilities in 18 states throughout the southeastern U.S. Established in 1944, Smith Drug Company is headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., and has two other distribution centers in Paragould, Ark., and Valdosta, Ga. Its inventory includes prescription and over-the-counter drugs, beauty supplies and medical equipment.

    As a 66-year-old company, it was inevitable that Smith Drug Company would need a new ERP system possessing features essential to a growing business with an expanding customer base. “The company’s legacy system, written in-house, was no longer able to accommodate the business’ needs, especially in the areas of inventory management and customer service,” said Claudio Gallina, Project Manager, VAI. Smith Drug Company had simply outgrown its technology.

    Without ERP software that improved inventory accuracy, distribution operations and customer service, the continuously growing company was confined to just two warehouses and unable to reach its potential. The primary reason for this was that employees had to manually enter inventory information—a time consuming task considering the high volume of orders received. Manual data entry also impeded Smith Drug’s replenishment process. This made it difficult for users to determine exact quantities of product in the warehouse.

    Smith Drug Company aimed to implement a solution that would streamline the inventory management process and help the company achieve its growth capability. The ideal solution would be highly functional and capable of interfacing with existing modules, while adhering to industry regulations.

    With a strong need to expand beyond its two warehouse facilities, Smith Drug Company understood that investing in a state-of-the-art ERP system would allow the company to do this. With the ability to scale its technological resources to an ever-growing client base and product portfolio, Smith Drug Company was proactively preparing for the future and its anticipated growth.

    Finding the Right Partner
    Smith Drug Company found a reputable, knowledgeable ERP vendor in VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) ( VAI’s S2K product line offers leading edge, customizable technology solutions that can easily interface with existing systems.


    In order to best meet Smith Drug Company’s needs, VAI recommended its S2K Enterprise for Distribution Software. S2K for Distribution provides integrated applications for warehouse, wholesale, purchasing and customer service management.

    Smith Drug Company realized that using an ERP with a robust, integrated warehouse management system (WMS), and incorporating this into other key aspects of the business would maximize the solution’s potential throughout the organization. This initiative included automating Smith Drug Company’s warehouse operations with voice picking software and automated and semi-automated picking machines. These were integrated with an intelligent warehouse control system (WCS). The software, installed on an IBM Power System™, was also customized for Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) compliance.

    Using the Solution to Solve the Problem
    Upon implementing a customized version of VAI’s S2K for Distribution, Smith Drug Company began to experience an improvement in the efficiency and simplicity of its everyday processes.

    S2K fulfilled Smith Drug Company’s need for inventory accuracy by alerting employees of errors as they occurred and by tracking inventory movement more closely. With S2K, Smith Drug Company can easily check received item quantities during the put away process, and also check return quantities processed through its restock program. S2K also provided Smith Drug Company with the ability maintain infinite locations for one particular item in the same warehouse facility. This was important because the previous solution only had the capability to accommodate two locations for each piece of inventory.

    Additionally, S2K gave Smith Drug Company the ability for automated replenishment, eliminating the mistakes that can come with manual data entry. Moreover, the system schedules purchases before products runs out, ensuring that the company always has adequate inventory on hand to service its customer base.

    Another issue solved by S2K was the accessibility of information, such as customer and shipping data. Such information is now readily available at employees’ fingertips, consequently improving customer service and virtually eliminating the need for employees to consult the IT department.

    Evaluation-Results and Benefits
    By implementing VAI’s S2K for Distribution, Smith Drug Company enhanced existing, and acquired new and valuable technological capabilities. Due to S2K’s user-friendly interface, employees can quickly create reports and retrieve customer and order information. As a result, calls to Smith Drug Company’s IT department dropped 75 to 80 percent, noted Isaac Rogers, Vice President of Operations. This allows personnel to make better use of time, focusing on exceptional customer service and accurate inventory management.

    However, the most significant result has been in the addition of Smith Drug Company’s third warehouse in Valdosta, Ga. The new location is a major step forward in the company’s expansion, allowing it to reach additional customers and drive more business. By enhancing its efficiency and inventory accuracy, Smith Drug Company now has room to grow and is poised for continuous expansion in the years to come.

    Customer Quote:
    Isaac Rogers, Vice President of Operations, Smith Drug, said, “VAI worked to fully customize S2K to meet our needs and interface with our existing modules. The solution has helped improve the company’s efficiency in warehousing and distribution operations, thus allowing us to open a third location, one of our primary goals.”