The VRLink Story
In the summer of 1993, Mark Barrett and Marc Bugbey began sharing office space in an old federal savings and loan building in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The two met in 1990 at the PGA TOUR: Barrett as CEO of the PGA TOUR's Tournament Players Clubs, and Bugbey in the Golf Course Design department managing the CAD systems for the design and construction of TPCs. By 1993, both had begun endeavors in the golf industry utilizing their skills and talents from years of experience at the TOUR. Barrett had begun a management business, buying and selling goods in volume to golf resorts in central Florida. His day-to-day operations included meetings with golf apparel reps. One November afternoon, a rep told the story about his five days on the road, coming home on Friday in time for dinner with his family, and then doing days worth of paperwork over the weekend. He had saved up some cash for a new laptop and hoped to hire someone to help him organize his order writing. That was the genesis of VRLink, and Barrett and Bugbey put their heads together and immediately began its development.
The Size Run Screen
At the core of VRLink is the Size Run screen… a succinct presentation of products, sizes, prices, dates, and embroidery specifications that make it easy to create a professional order. Bugbey found a way to customize that screen… and many others, for the specific needs of each client and user.
Customized Business Rules and Interfaces
For six years, Barrett and Bugbey developed the business with a strong group of mostly golf apparel clients. Any company that sells sized products is a great candidate for the organization of VRLink. After nearly a quarter century, our clients have included the top selling companies in golf apparel and hard goods, shoes, sports wear, swim wear, and tailored goods. All of our clients have required custom software to meet their business needs, and the architecture of VRLink has made it possible to deliver changes quickly.
Since 1999, VRLink has hired four other software developers, each with their specialties that enhance the variety of software VRLink Corporation produces… from Windows client server applications, to iOS platforms for iPad and iPhone, and now Cloud based applications.
Windows to the Cloud
In the early 1990s, sales reps needed to be able to do their work disconnected from the Internet. The original VRLink application was designed to retrieve needed data with a variety of data communication applications and then disconnecting so reps could make their sales calls while still using the program. Today, Internet communication is ubiquitous, so the sales rep has the ability to communicate any time giving them even better data to make good sales, and the ability to book their orders throughout the day.
While this software architecture remains a solid foundation for the remote and mobile user, it has its drawbacks: each user must install software on their desktop, laptop, or iPad; each installation must be supported and maintained; and each must download a fair amount of data each day. While VRLink Corporation employees are very good at supporting this architecture, the Internet and modern programing schemas give us the ability to develop Cloud based applications that are much easier to distribute and support, and don’t have the overhead of data downloads - that’s where the VRCloud is now the application of choice. A user logs on to the VRCloud from any computing device, and has instant access to his or her applications and data. The VRCloud allows the assignment of a wide variety of applications to each user based on their business needs: order writing, order status, product availability, reporting, planning, and CRM.
Please visit our Software Suite presentation for a more in-depth look at all of the VRLink Corporation offerings.