Q: What is your name and job title?
My Name is Kati Reid and I am the Marketing Manager at Vitech Business Group, Inc.
Q: What does your company do?
Vitech is a Supply Chain Solutions company that focuses on helping customers move product more efficiently and accurately through the four walls of their distribution center or warehouse. More specifically, we specialize in warehouse management systems (WMS) and Vocollect Voice installations. The solutions that we provide to our customers carry them through the sales process to installation, customization, and all of the ongoing services and support that they might require. We are able to do this because our in-house team includes sales people, project managers, programmers and a dedicated support staff.
Q: How did your company get started?
Our company was founded by Keith Batt and William (Bill) Ryan in 1994. Before moving to Bellingham, both worked in the WMS and data collection world with a company called HighJump out of Minnesota. For several years Vitech focused on HighJump projects around the country and continued to incrementally add staff. In 2004 the company made a decision to invest in Vocollect Voice technology, and we haven’t looked back since. Vitech is recognized by Vocollect as a Total Solutions Provider (TSP) which insures our place as one of their premier partners.
Q: Who are your typical customers?
Our typical customers are companies with manufacturing and/or distribution operations. Their facilities can range from 30,000 sq. ft. to well over one million sq. ft. From an industry standpoint, our customer footprint is quite extensive. We are not necessarily limited by the type of business that our customers operate, although we have had great success in years past with retail distribution, consumer packaged goods, and produce manufacturing and distribution. Our customers are scattered around the US and Canada and we now have a small office operating out of Raleigh, NC to offer better sales coverage in the Eastern Region.
Q: What are some interesting trends in your industry?
In the last several years as the economy has stalled, companies have been forced, perhaps more than ever, to find ways to exist on smaller budgets and with fewer resources. While the technology packages that we focus on do require a significant investment, we have been fortunate in that they provide fairly short ROI terms, and they allow companies to focus on finding long lasting efficiencies within their operations. Vocollect Voice technology, for example, has proven time and time again to increase worker productivity, decrease employee training time and improve order picking accuracy. All of these factors are easily quantifiable for most warehouse operations teams, and fortunately, they have kept our solutions in high demand despite the downturn in the economy.
Q: What are some reasons for locating your business in Whatcom County?
It sounds cliché, but like many business located in this area, we appreciate the lifestyle that it affords our employees (affordable housing, manageable commute times, and access to the outdoors). From a hiring perspective, we are also very fortunate to have top-notch university talent at our fingertips coming from Western, Whatcom Community College and Bellingham Tech. In fact, I think about three quarters of our employees are Western graduates (myself included). While the work that we do spans from New Jersey to California and many points in between, we are proud to call Whatcom County home.
Q: What benefits do you most enjoy from your TAG Membership?
The opportunities for networking at the luncheons have been the most fruitful for us so far. Going forward we would like to find better synergies with TAG in terms of employee recruiting.
Q: If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring one electronic device, what would it be and why?
Definitely a satellite phone. As nice as a desert island sounds in March in Washington, I would definitely look forward to calling for help and heading home.
Vitech Business Group