IRCE is turning 10 this year ! The world’s largest e-commerce trade show and conference has become an annual event at McCormick Place in Chicago. The show is big. Really big. Last year almost 9000 people went through McCormick Place with close to 650 exhibitors showing their wares. This will be VL’s third year exhibiting at IRCE. So we consider ourselves veterans. This year we are working closely with two partners and a customer to provide a solution pavilion for the ecommerce retailer. This year we will be joined by our friends from Bluelink ERP, MapsBI and Maple Logistics. In teaming up, we collectively want to provide ecommerce retailers with the option of proven solutions from partners who work together. Each is best of breed in what they do, and each know the others applications and processes. Its a win.
It doesn’t take long before an e-commerce retailer starts to sell. Hey isn’t that why we are all in business. The business grows and the once trusty spreadsheet becomes a cumbersome thing. The solution for many SMB web retailers is QuickBooks or some other entry level accounting software. Now what happens when the business really takes off? They choke. They choke because they really need to graduate to a proper ERP but are terrified of the implications and what it means expense wise. We see it all the time. The business can’t scale because their systems are holding them back.
Enter Bluelink ERP. I am going to quote directly from a recent blog article, “For many eCommerce businesses, and especially those who are also wholesale distribution companies, proper inventory and accounting management can be the difference between your company succeeding and failing. In such a saturated market, consumers will not easily forgive those eCommerce sites who sell inventory they don’t have, lose orders during shipment and are slow to respond to customer service issues. In order to avoid these problems, it is important for eCommerce companies to invest in proper back-end ERP software in conjunction with getting their online store set up.” Sound about right?
Maple Logistics Inc.
At some point the cheap priced 3PL or fulfillment house will let you down. I know it, I see it every day because I talk to companies who are looking for reliability. Unfortunately today anyone with warehouse space, and a slick web site can call themselves a logistics company. They hang a shingle out, compete on price and low and behold they are a logistics company. Not so fast. There is a huge problem here. Logistics today is no longer about just warehouse space, and being able to pick and pack its ALL about technology. If your logistics provider is trying to do things on excel spreadsheets or with a home grown DIY system you will ultimately pay the price. Peel the onion when it comes to your logistics provider. Ask the hard questions on technology.
Enter Maple Logistics. These guys rock. After 38 years in the business I think they may have learnt a thing or two about order processing, fullfilment and shipping. You also don’t get to 500,000 square feet of warehouse space by running your systems on excel spreadsheets. Your logistics provider should first and foremost have solid systems. Take a listen.
In today’s fast paced world of e-commerce knowing in real time what is happening on your web store is critical. Are your marketing programmes producing the results, are you attracting customers? What is happening with your logistics providers and are your products selling the way you think they should. These are all critical questions for a web retailer that wants to scale.
Enter MapsBI. These guys have a cloud-based geospatial platform that can be used to analyse your web store data in real time. They are slick. These were created as teasers so the sky is the limit.
So why would these three companies partner up with VL? Hey its a good question because what we do isn’t very sexy. We don’t have slick web demos showing cool maps, we don’t have lots of visuals. We are plumbers, yup plain old plumbers, we connect things together. So here is why.
Sooner or later as an e-commerce business scales they start to out grow their systems. Happens all the time. In out growing their systems and as their supply chains get more and more complex they also out grow the point to point plug in integrations. Sound familiar? We see it regularly. This is where VL enters the picture. We provide top drawer, customized integrations.
Virtual Logistics Inc.
Think of us as plumbers who tie things together, that is exactly what we do in the e-commerce world. VL integrates and streamlines, synchronizes data movement amongst disparate best of breed systems. Want to tie your e-commerce site to your ERP, marketing automation, logistics and analytics platforms without doing custom coding or using limited point ot point plugins, then VL can help you. Don’t want to go offshore and risk your business with someone who thinks they can do integration? We are not coders, we are supply chain process people. We understand data movement both in batch and in real time. We have the tools and the expertise after doing this stuff for 20 years. If you are big we have on-premise solutions, if you are smaller we can host your integrations for you in our cloud. Best of all we can customize the integrations so you use data the way you want to. Finally if you hit the big time and need to do EDI, we are there for you. We speak EDI not as a tourist but as a native.
So to come full circle we provide integration to all our partners solutions so you are in good hands with people who can help you scale your business. That’s why you want to come and visit us at IRCE in Chicago. See you there and tell us you read about us on the web.
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