The Venture Information System


Thank you for your interest in the Venture Information System. Picking up this document represents the first step on your journey to a better way of doing business. The Venture Information System (VISCO) is designed to provide a comprehensive view of the financial and logistical information that is the life-blood of your importing business. That translates into many things, but the three chief functions of VISCO are costing, supply chain visibility, and customs compliance (generation and management of the documents required for the importation of goods).

“Our approach to the development of the Venture In-formation System was from the sales, financial and logistic perspectives…” says VISCO Vice President of Sales, Tim Peck, “…Rather than beginning with a system for record keeping and accounting; then trying to incorporate inventory tracking and financial analysis, we completely reversed the development process.” From customer inquiries through final delivery/ receipt, VISCO was designed specifically to address the distinctive needs of importers.

We have bridged the gap between the four traditional silos in importer’s organizations: sales & purchases, logistics, inventory, and finance. We offer sophisticated financial analysis tools, easy to understand inventory position across the entire supply chain (at source, in-transit, delivered/ received), as well as automated documentation and detailed shipment tracking. The movement of goods and associated financial information is tracked at the purchase order shipment level. Actual and accrued costs are applied to inbound shipments in-transit, al-lowing for progressively more accurate dynamically-generated projections of landed cost. VISCO posts sales against specific inventory to produce profitability information at the shipment level. The system also allows for flexible product specifications & analysis, and matches customer requirements to vendor specifications to assure accurate order fulfillment.

Iterations of VISCO have been in use since the project was begun as a custom application in 1990. Over the last 15 years, our developers have logged tens of thou-sands of hours refining and enhancing the system.

Today’s VISCO 2.7 is a fully Web-Based application, utilizing a SQL© backend. Our use of Micro-soft’s® .NET Architecture will ensure that the system will remain fully scalable for many years to come. Additionally, by design the system is available at the semi-customized industry specific level. This means that a customer will see a package that incorporates the terms and information relevant to their specific industry vertical. Further customization is available to provide the terms and information specific to each company.

What is a venture?

•A venture is a purchase order shipment of one product. It is the heart of our logistics, inventory, and financial tracking.

•A venture is used to track inventory, calculate costs, and to fulfill sales orders.

•A container may hold one or many ventures.

•A venture may be used in part or in whole to fulfill an order.

The Top Ten Reasons Companies Are Buying VISCO

1. VISCO revolutionizes Landed Costs!

The “landed cost” provided by the vast majority of systems marketed to importers is calculated with data collected from completed transactions over a period of time (Q1, Q2, etc.). This produces an average landed cost for the time period. VISCO’s Latest Projected Cost feature calculates landed costs at the single shipment level while the venture is in-transit. It is as close to real-time as you can get. Using the original purchase price as a base, VISCO users apply additional costs (like freight, insurance, etc.) while the venture is in-transit. These costs may be drawn from invoices you’ve received, or you may accrue for costs you anticipate (changing to actual costs as they become known). You will never have to rely on average costs again! This gives you the ability to know that the pricing you give your customers will always produce a profit.

2. VISCO revolutionizes Profitability!

We will configure VISCO to your current inventory method, whether FIFO or LIFO. VISCO will allocate goods automatically according to the default method you choose, or you can manually match exact inventory to a customer order if necessary.

Whichever method you use, VISCO always knows exactly what inventory was matched with a sale. And when we match specific inventory (and its Latest Projected Cost) to a sales order, we get instant profitability! Our Venture Analysis page shows all this and more: sales to date; cost of sales; gross profit to date, gross profit as a percentage of sales, inventory value and more. You always have everything you need to know to understand profitability at the click of your mouse!

3. VISCO shows you what’s over the horizon!

Whether the importer’s typical transaction is direct-to-inventory or direct-to-customer, one of the most significant challenges is inventory visibility. One of the most powerful reports in VISCO is called the Product Position Sheet. Product Position is a view of all the shipments of a product currently in your supply chain. Generated using MS Excel, this report shows inven-tory “at source”, “in-transit”, as well as what has been received in your warehouse(s). Product Position will also indicate which shipments are going direct-to-customer, and the corresponding sales order to which the shipment is matched. You will always know what you have to sell, and a clear picture of what you need to order.

4. VISCO bridges the gap between organizational silos!

The typical importing organization has no easy/ efficient way to share information between departments. Sales & Purchases, Logistics, Inventory, and Finance are completely separate processes, often using different, unconnected software applications. VISCO bridges these gaps in two ways: 1) All the information is stored in the same database, so the same information can be easily accessed across your organization. This allows your team to be completely in synch, and results in extreme increases in operational efficiency. 2) The VISCO database structure enables us to recreate the relationships in the application that already exist in the real world, such as the one be-tween Sales & Purchases and Logistics. That is how we can produce Latest Projected Costs and Profitability so accurately.

5. VISCO bridges the gap between your organization and the outside world!

Today’s importers are constantly on-the-go and the ability to connect with back-office applications is crucial. Whether your implementation is VISCO Net-work or VISCO Web Service, the application always runs in a browser. This enables us to set up access for your team from any computer with an internet connection. Your sales team always knows in real-time what they have to sell and can even answer many customer service inquiries from a client’s office or a hotel room without needing to talk to other staff. Does traveling to Asia leave you out of the loop with your home office? Log into VISCO 24/7/365. You may even set up customer or vendor access. You always have the information you need to be successful at the click of a mouse!

6. VISCO eliminates double-entry!

Well over 90% of the importers who call us for help use a combination of a standard accounting package and multiple spreadsheets to manage their importing operation. We’ve already seen how that kind of dis-jointed approach severely limits the ability to leverage information. But there is another danger to this as well: in addition to wasting time, relying on human entry of the same data multiple times across multiple applications almost guarantees errors at some point. VISCO eliminates double entry!

7. VISCO matches customer specifications with ventures!

If you use Certificates of Analysis, you know that the ability to match customer specs with inventory is crucial. This is one of the most complex processes an importer manages. Chemicals, food, electronics, and metals are high priced products so mistakes can be very costly. VISCO will automate the management of specs both from the vendor and customer perspectives. When it comes to matching actual inventory with a sales order, VISCO will not allow allocation of goods that are out-of-spec without a manual override. You never have to deal with the pain of returns or adjustments due to out-of-spec deliveries again!

8. VISCO can prepare all your documents!

VISCO is heavily integrated with Microsoft Office. We generate sales orders, purchase orders, invoices, and other documents using MS Word and MS Excel. We can also generate specific forms required by US Customs and Border Protection for companies who do their own brokering. These documents are all generated using information drawn directly from the VISCO database with no double entry!

9. VISCO manages all your pre-order processing!

Do you work with inquiries, quotes, and offers? VISCO enables each of these to be created and tracked inside the system. They may be assigned to individuals on your team for follow up and resolution by an expiration date of your choice. Your team will use this powerful tool to ensure that no opportunity slips through the cracks!

10. VISCO is custom software at an off-the-shelf price!

VISCO is the result of a custom software development project. The original application was developed over the course of ten years. This kind of process would be out of the question (financially) for any of the customers we now serve. When we productized the application, our goal was to give our customers the benefit of the vast importing experience that went into the original application without the multi-million dollar investment. We also wanted to build a tool that would be malleable enough to be relevant in multiple industries and that’s why we have such an extensive configuration process. Finally, we wanted user companies to be able to customize VISCO should they desire, for a truly custom solution at an off-the-shelf price!