Inter-County Bakery Supply describes itself as a leading bakery supply distributor that offers true brand and ingredient choice, peerless service and reliability, and passionate commitment to its customers.
The company’s inventory spans over 3,500 items, including raw ingredients and mixes, refrigerated and frozen items, and unbaked, par-baked and fully baked goods. From its new headquarters in Deer Park, Long Island, N.Y., Inter-County serves a growing number of customers throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Due to an increasingly demanding market, Tony Lotito, COO, says he knew the company needed to modernize its processes and automate capabilities to evolve alongside its customer base, as well as streamline its supply chain. “We decided an ERP solution would give us the best bang for our buck by providing a software system, including mobile and analytic applications, allowing us to view our data in real-time and make more informed business decisions across multiple departments,” he says. “Our inventory spans over 3,500 items, and with customers across the East Coast, we needed an ERP solution that could handle complexities of our warehouse operations and purchasing needs, as well as a trusted software partner who could take care of the technical side of the system and help us reach our sales goals.”
Selecting the Software
When it came to choose an ERP partner, Inter-County knew they needed an ERP solution that understood its business needs intimately and could provide ROI quickly.
“VAI’s S2K Enterprise for Food is designed for companies like ours by offering real-time insights into inventory and purchasing trends, automatic food safety compliance, and web applications for customers to easily navigate our services and purchase products,” Lotito says. “It became clear that VAI was not only up to the challenge of expediting our sales, but that they would be a trusted partner that could consistently ensure our IT infrastructure was running smoothly.”
Inter-County also recently implemented S2K applications S2K Mobile and S2K Analytics to help its team in addition to the ERP solution. Lotito says these applications integrated seamlessly into the company’s software environment to equip sales and marketing teams with the insights needed to increase order entry frequency with mobile options and generate reports that can analyze high-level trends and department metrics. “All of these capabilities were instrumental in our growth the past few years, and VAI has exceeded our expectations of what an ERP solution can do for a business like ours.”
Inter-County was just entering the holiday season when they were implementing the new ERP system. So how did they navigate through such a transition during their busiest season?
“The 4th quarter can make or break our year,” Lotito says. “Our customers depend on us. Moving to a new ERP system cannot be an excuse to let down our customers or potentially ruin our year. VAI understood and worked with us to make sure we were better than previous years.” Then in early 2020, right after the ERP system was up and running, the coronavirus pandemic hit. The new system was installed just in time to help Inter-County meet the new demands of an essential food business.
“Our business is an essential business delivering food to our customers. We did not miss a day of taking orders, delivering product, while having staff work remotely. VAI was there to support us.
“We also use S2K Mobile Order Entry daily, and we currently place 4,000 orders per month between our sales team of 12 people both direct in S2k and Mobile Order entry,” he says.
“Modernization is increasingly important for business continuity, but it’s just as important to choose your software partners carefully. The [baking] industry looks very different from even other food and beverage companies in the space, which is why having an ERP solution designed for our food safety needs has been crucial to our success.
“On top of that, the VAI team has created a comprehensive interface that allows us to run multiple applications at once that integrate with each other, providing data insights that can be used by warehouse executives, sales representatives, marketing teams and the C-suite. VAI’s S2K Enterprise for Food has transformed our business operations and we look forward to continued modernization efforts with their ERP solution,” Lotito says.