MSA Releases VendorExpress for Distributor-Manufacturer Connections

Management Science Associates Inc. (MSA) announced its intention to market VendorExpress to enhance and streamline information exchanges between wholesale distributors and their suppliers. VendorExpress is an expansion of an in-house product developed by Pine State Trading Company called mypinestate.com, a collaborative business platform that provides the Maine-based distributor’s suppliers with 24×7 access to the most critical and timely information needed for efficient wholesaler-supplier relationships.

VendorExpress is designed to offer significant benefits to convenience store wholesalers and their trading partners in terms of both back-office and relationship management, including:

* Allowing suppliers to check on inventory levels, purchase orders and other transactions, preserving valuable time during in-person visits for sales planning.

* Recovering promotion revenue and chargebacks that otherwise fall through the cracks.

* Reducing costs and eliminating errors by monitoring the entire business process flow through purchasing, receiving and accounts payable.

* Establishing strong vendor collaborations by easing participation in distributor marketing programs.

* Centralizing customer, product, vendor and contract information.

MSA will transform mypinestate.com into a many-to-many offering with VendorExpress, allowing all distributors to provide higher service levels to suppliers via a single, reliable outsourced solution. For their part, suppliers will be able to access one location to see near real-time information on their distributors’ performance, payments and promotion opportunities.

“At Pine State, mypinestate.com has transformed the efficiency and quality of our supplier relationships and delivered back to us recovered costs and revenue,” said Keith Canning, managing partner of Pine State and 2011 Chairman of the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA). “By sharing this technology with a proven solutions provider like MSA, we are confident that VendorExpress will allow us to further streamline these interactions and strengthen our supplier relationships.”

Today, MSA works with some 1,000 distributors and 2,500 warehouses in supporting CPG manufacturer trade programs and other business processes. It has securely managed distributor data for more than 25 years. MSA first developed a browser-based reporting system in 1995 – prior to Microsoft’s first release of Internet Explorer–and today supports thousands of users on web-based platforms maintaining databases as large as seven terabytes.

“MSA understands that today’s distributors and their trading partners need to transform their supply chains into efficient, cost-effective entities that generate profit, not tap already limited resources,” said Suzy Silliman, Managing Director of MSA’s Information Management Solutions Division. “We’re delighted to roll out this exciting new product with a recognized leader like Pine State that understands the value of process automation in ways that deliver ROI through increased efficiencies and reduced costs.”

MSA specializes in the development of software and other systems that facilitate the collection, processing, analysis and delivery of business data and information. Data sources managed by MSA include distributor shipments, inventory and reference data, as well as manufacturer shipments, syndicated sources and consumer takeaways, among others. MSA develops software delivery systems that include reporting tools, web-based portals, dashboards and analytical applications. Additional information about MSA can be found at www.msa.com.

MSA will be hosting informational webinars and sessions on VendorExpress for distributors in the coming weeks. Please contact Alice Greene, AGreene@MSA.com for information.

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