Velosio Case Study: Video Corporation of America
Download “Video Corporation of America: Bringing Business into Focus”
About the Company
Once a storefront business, Video Corporation of America (VCA) has grown to become one of the largest system integrators and resellers of visual communication systems in the Northeast. Founded in 1972, the New Jersey based company provides turnkey audio and video communications solutions for corporate and media clients. Today, with annual sales revenues exceeding $60 million, VCA employs a staff of approximately 125 across three locations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
With new project-based work encompassing full scale design, engineering, project management, installation and support services, VCA found they needed more than top notch equipment and technical skills to meet customer needs. They needed a new accounting system. As audio, video, and IT began to converge, VCA recognized the growing importance of service as an essential part of their product portfolio.
“We started business as a distribution company, a straight reseller of audio visual equipment,” said Chuck Heuer, Vice President of Information Technology for VCA. “Today, we’re a technology integrator as well. Professional services are now a substantial part of our business that wasn’t there 20 years ago.”
“Ours is an unusually complex business model,” said Heuer. “We have a competitive advantage in that we offer our customers a single fixed price for both equipment and professional services. To accomplish that objective and quote new projects accurately, we need the right business intelligence data for project analysis, historical reports, detailed services tracking, and accurate inventory reporting. Once the project begins, we also need to track work in progress in real time to identify potential issues before they become a problem and bite into profit. An integrated project management, distribution, and accounting system was of critical importance.”
According to James R. Bowman, Jr., Chief Revenue Officer of Velosio, “We brought a combination of financial expertise, technical know-how and change management skills to VCA’s situation. By exploring their existing business environment, analyzing their needs, and exchanging dialogue, we ultimately identified Microsoft Dynamics SL as the right choice for Video Corporation of America’s business model.”
When accounting and project management applications operate in individual silos, they cannot provide the level of business management support and reporting required for real time project management and control. In contrast, Microsoft Dynamics SL is fully integrated, bridging documents, spreadsheets, project accounting transactions, inventory management, and accounting into one cohesive system.
“We chose Dynamics SL because it was clearly evident we’d need far less customization than would have been required with other packages we looked at. I credit Velosio for articulating a clear plan for installing, implementing, and configuring the software to suit our specific needs in a reasonable amount of time. They proved to be both creative and highly effective in guiding us to the right technology.”
Chuck Heuer, Vice President of Information Technology, VCA
By integrating accounting, project management, and inventory control in a single system, VCA can run real time reports and detailed cost analysis which, in turn, enables quick and informed decisions. “With our fixed price business model, it’s important to identify issues on a project before they become a problem,” says Heuer. “The detailed project reporting in Dynamics SL allows us to do just that.”
“We didn’t want to lose the inventory control capability of our old system in exchange for labor tracking functionality,” says Heuer. “We wanted both … and that’s exactly what Dynamics SL delivered.” He adds, “With our old system, labor was set up as ‘fake’ inventory items as a way to assign costs to a project. Needless to say, this played hell with inventory reports. But that’s all in the past now.”
VCA also benefits from Dynamics SL Business Portal and remote access. Project Managers can access web based project reports and personnel in the field can submit time sheets and other project transactions. Heuer notes, “Our personnel are no longer desk-bound. They can access the application from anywhere using a web browser.”
Heuer closes in saying, “We now have a full scale project management application and fantastic technology partner in Velosio that has helped our business become more efficient and flexible. As business demands change, we have the tools and technology to make informed decisions and adapt accordingly.”