News, views & analysis blogs by: Ronald Garand


Ronald Garand :


Ronald Garand :
When MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust greeted customers at the grand opening of their new Oceanside, CA Distribution Center in September, the main feature of the event was not the location or the announcement of Indy Racing League Driver Marco Andretti as MagnaFlow’s newly signed spokesperson. It was the brand new functionality that Vertical Development, Inc. built into their state-of-the-art catalog management system.

“For the first time, customers can export all of the data on our catalog CDs into the Excel program on their hard drive,“ said MagnaFlow’s Director of Product Services Bob Spano. “One CD can be used throughout each customer’s company – from their counter personnel to the web design team. That’s the first time we’ve even been able to do that – and VDI built it,” he added.

The introduction of the CD is the latest innovation from MagnaFlow, one of the world’s leading suppliers of stainless-steel performance exhaust components, specifically dyno-tuned cat-back exhaust systems, mufflers and related components for gas and diesel light trucks, muscle cars, SUVs and sport compact cars. The MagnaFlow brand is part of Car Sound Exhaust Systems, Inc., a major manufacturer of premium catalytic converter products sold worldwide.

A significant part of the company’s growth has been with tech-savvy performance shops and mass retailers – customers who prefer application data in electronic rather than print format. “Our new CD is ideal for these customers,” said Spano, who began working with Vertical Development last year, using their e-Publisher system to consolidate MagnaFlow’s product information into a single relational database. “Our customers prefer receiving our information electronically, so our plan is to continue using the system to output all of our data on CD rather than in print.” E-Publisher also enables MagnaFlow to map their files in the industry standard AAIA ACES format for delivery to Activant, Wrenchead and other e-Cat companies.

Spano expects even more attention for the new CD when customers see it at MagnaFlow’s booth 24525 during the 2007 SEMA Show. Featured on the CD’s label is another Team MagnaFlow spokesperson – racing legend Mario Andretti – who will be on hand at MagnaFlow’s booth, along with his grandson, Marco.

“We’re very pleased with the knowledge and expertise that VDI has brought to our company,” added Spano, who will be working with VDI later this year to map MagnaFlow’s 2500+ part numbers sold in Europe to TecDoc, the European e-Cat standard. “They’ve done a fantastic job for us.”

Vertical Development’s e-Publisher program is ideally suited to all types of companies, especially businesses like MagnaFlow. By consolidating part numbers from multiple spreadsheets into a single user interface, they enable companies to map to AAIA standards, generate catalogs in print and on CDs, and offer online lookup systems, easily and economically. Solutions in place range from small 32-page catalogs to 3,000-page mega-catalogs.

A leading provider of content management systems, Vertical Development, Inc. offers e-Publisher, e-Catalog, and e-WebCatalog systems that support simultaneous publishing to print, web and CD-ROM formats from a single data source. Their ShowMeTheParts system is dedicated to publishing catalogs on CD. Vertical Development also offers mapping services to companies without systems, allowing them to export their data in AAIA (ACES, Legacy, PIES), Activant, NAPA (Attribute, PartsPro), Wrenchead and other retailer formats. VDI’s software has streamlined data management for companies nationwide in a variety of industries, including many of the largest manufacturers in the automotive market. Founded in 1983, the company has offices in Downers Grove and Huntley, IL, as well as Fremont, CA.

To find out more about the systems and services available from Vertical Development, please call (847) 609-9540, or e-mail More information can also be obtained by visiting the company’s web site at

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