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South Bend - VSI, 130 S. Main St., has been providing design and software productivity solutions since 1976. Over the past eleven years, VSI has developed a comprehensive Progress-based supply chain solution which has grown to have competitive functionality found in Baan, SAP, J D Edwards, Oracle Manufacturing, and others. Needing more flexibility, B2B and B2C needs, VSI determined to rewrite VS+ in a more powerful language.

This precluded VSI's relationship with Compuware, a world leader in the practical implementation of enterprise and e-commerce solutions. Devoting a year to the rewrite with documentation development using Rational Rose models, their flagship product, Manufacturing Systems + (VS+) is now deliverable in Uniface. Having installed well over 350 MRP/ERP systems since 1976, founder Sally Allen is excited about the new offering. VSI is negotiating with companies in Hong Kong and Australia toward providing services and ASP versions of VS+ for (their) countries. The newly announced VS+ Uniface version provides web-enabled manufacturing, including lean, TOC, financial and distribution functionality for multi-company global needs. Containing 30+ components and supporting API technology found in competitors Baan and SAP, VSI expects to have over 500 seats running in the non-ASP environment by the end of the year.

VSI's key is a design utilized with Progress which led to the Rose-modeled design with Uniface. VSI's next step in technology is to provide automated testing suites throughout the product allowing automatic testing with scripts assuring the customer of code accuracy. Developed in an N-tiered CBD UML, 4GL, the functionality of VS+ is as rich as the acronyms the literature contains. The component based design (CBD) allows the components (AP/AR/GL/BOM-/CRP/CRM, etc.) to be integrated with other systems allowing reusable code for better design and product control. The system is documented using a UML (Universal Modeling Language) permitting the design of tasks of industry standard APICS and GAAP information allowing models to simulate processes within the company.

Uniface is database independent, thus the code may run across DB2, Oracle, Solid, Sybase, SQL and other mainstream databases. With typical software installations running for years and costing companies millions of consulting and modification dollars, not only has VSI developed a product in rapid development time (less than one month for a new component), but an accurate, rapid implementation as well which often takes as little eight (8) weeks once initial business process modeling and training are completed. With a new port on the IBM S390 scheduled for late July, the product is internet and intranet ready, the rewrite completed and beta sites nearly installed, VSI is looking to take VS+ internationally by using ASP hosts, planning on visiting Scotland to establish an office, and develop offices around North America to provide local service for the product. With a growing staff of 25 "been there, done that" people focusing on business improvements, best business practices and roi, VSI is looking to double numbers within the next year and establish relationships with consultancy firms providing installation services.

New relationships are being headed up by VSI's Business Practices Group. For further information, contact VSI at (219)289-7911 or by email:

Mike Allen, VSI's Director of Operations and Sally Allen, CEO/President, Director of Design & Development, have been providing design and software productivity solutions for nearly a quarter of a century.


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