Visual World is a Business Technology Platform that empowers our Clients to implement their business Vision
Visual World is a fundamentally different approach to how technology powers business.
The platform is built around business processes and is designed to be configured exactly to the specific needs of our clients – As the business strategy is implemented into the tactical operations of the day to day, Visual World business objects are mapped to the exact processes and individuals operating the system.
As the strategy and the tactical requirement changes, the system has been designed to be reconfigured to address those desired changes – Examples include:
- Locking in customers by adding additional functions via Sales Rep and Customer portals
- Rerouting work processes and flows based on changing internal operational needs
- Easily adding new product lines with all of the quoting, kitting, distribution and other rules
- Deeply integrating new online and/or offline marketing & promotional opportunities
- Easily addressing changes in distribution relationships, and more
Visual World takes this approach due to the new technological demands on business.
Software has moved from purely tactical considerations that focus only on helping a business account for its internal operations (“accounting packages“ of the 1980’s & 1990’s) into a strategic decision that includes deep electronic integration upstream into suppliers, and downstream into customers, and provides the flexibility for internal operations changes to allow businesses to adjust and keep pace with changes in the market. This approach to technology is powered by strategic software platforms and not tactical software programs.
Legacy Packaged Software versus modern Technology Platforms:
A packaged software program is like a scientific calculator. A user enters in the variables and gets a result. To change what the calculator does, you need to reprogram it. Businesses today spend untold sums to attempt to reprogram their software packages in order to achieve the most modest of changes, because this legacy approach to business technology is not inherently designed to accept deep, substantial changes.
An example of a technology platform is MS Excel.
In Excel, you can build a workbook with relationships and rules that you define based on your specific definition. You create the logic/rules, and Excel manages the result. If you want to change something, you don’t reprogram Excel, you change the workbook. Adding a new formula, row or column, doesn’t disrupt any pre-existing formulas or data. Excel manages this by separating out the engine, the data, and the logic.
MS Excel is an example of a mathematical technology platform. Visual World is a business technology platform. Like Excel creates extensible, changeable, worksheets that perform logical analysis based on user rules and definitions, Visual World creates an extensible, changeable, virtual world of business and processes based on user rules and definitions.
The Visual World difference:
We do this using our unique methodology and supporting business objects. Our business objects, to name a few – Cards, Forms, Trays, Calendars, Desks – are brought together to create a ”well formed business process“ that virtually mirrors their real world counter parts. Complete business processes are configured exactly as to our client definitions – As the needs of the business change – new markets, new customer requirements, new supplier requirements – the underlying business process changes are then reconfigured into the platform, without disrupting all of the already working componentry, much like inserting a column into an existing workbook in Excel.
Virtual Business Objects
Visual World contains a set of business objects that operate against a process engine. Each Visual World Business Object corresponds to a component of a real business:
- Cards are used to keep track of ”Things“ such as companies, people, products, vendors, etc.
- Forms are used to keep track of work. (see Well Formed Business Process Methodology). Forms can be sales order, service orders, loan applications, etc. Forms are ”pulled“ through a business process using Attraction Rules (see Trays below)
- Trays are used to pull instances of Forms through a business process. Each TRAY contains an Attraction Rule that ”attracts“ instances of Forms based on the ”state“ or ”status“ of the object within the process. When used with web services, Attraction Rules provide for ”just-in-time“ query to web service functions.
Using our technology platform, we have created the best in breed Wholesale Distribution Application that offers a range of functions and processes ”out of the box“ and then are configured to the exact definition of our clients.
Functions include: bank reconciliation, inventory and non-inventory AP, reporting and more.
The management of outstanding receivables is fully integrated from order entry through credit and collections.
Allows for product allocation based on inventory and customer priorities.
Auditing & Security of System activity
The system provides a many layered approach to user security. With our Keys and Locks, business leaders can define, in detail, the level of access each individual staff member has. Additionally, key process activities – customer entry, deal management, product card changes – are auditable with notifications to key business leaders when certain problem conditions happen.
Includes various internal methods for total Customer Relationship Management.
Customer Portals include product announcements, order management, customer contact details, invoice history, payment history, on-line statements, online payments product search, order entry and more. We understand that Stoller does not want to utilize these portals at this time.
The promotions manager allows for special pricing and product promotions to customers. You setup pricing and promotional “vehicles” (box inserts, flyers, online ad space) and the system handles the rest. Promotions are integrated into Sales Rep Portals, Customer Portals for display of promotions and Supplier Portals for easy management of purchasing payment and bill back reporting.
eBay Marketplace Integration
Integrated into all of the eBay marketplaces – eBay Auctions, Stores, Half.com, etc. – allowing those clients that need access to secondary markets to do so from within the same application. More online channels to follow.
General Ledger functions to support other financial componentry to the business.
Visual World provides unlimited and customizable information fields for use. This includes fully searchable product reference, cross product integration (vintage to vintage product links) along with full integration into the Customer Portals and Sales Rep Portals.
Invoicing is designed to be done quickly and accurately. It is implemented based on the existing business processes and is integrated into the Customer and Sales Rep Portals.
Packing & Shipping
Packing and Shipping processes are matched to the existing workflows found in the warehouse and will support the delivery routing system currently used by Stoller Wholesale.
The system offers significant levels of pricing including:
- Multiple Tiers & Types
- Product Grouping Planning
- Integrated Chargebacks
The promotions system includes many different levels of both product costing and pricing schemes based on a variety of product and/or customer definitions. This system is integrated tightly into all areas of the system.
Public Facing Web Site
We will provide a basic template website. We can work with a designer/html professional to show them how to implement any design changes. Customer and Supplier Portals will also be integrated into this website.
The purchasing system includes Recommended Ordering Quantity (ROQ) for “rules based” inventory management plus sales history for as many years as desired. Additionally, recommended buying reports provide this information on paper.
Receive & Put Away
This provides for fast and accurate receiving along with stocking bin location and overstock location management.
The system’s internal report writer and the system integration into Excel provide Stoller business leader a significant range of options for generating reports.
This includes product returns from the Customer and product returns to the Supplier. This function is integrated into the Customer and Supplier Portals.
Sales Order Entry
Sales Orders are entered via the phone through a live Customer Representative and/or online through the Customer Portal and/or the Sales Rep Portal. Phone Order entry screens have been designed for fast inventory look up and processing. Portal screens use the familiar shopping cart technique.
Sales Representative Portals (Laptop Login & PDA Login)
The Sales Rep Portal provides key information to the Sales Representatives calling on customers in the field including ordering, accounting, customer activity details/sales history, placement activity and promotional opportunities available.
Supplier Portals include purchase order retrieval, supplier inventory levels, promotional activity and accounting details.
The system allows for a wide range of approaches to Warehouse Management approaches.
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