Success Story July 3, 2024

Luxury Apparel Company: Optimizing Productivity and Preparing for Scale with NetSuite

By: Simon Dubuc

July, 2024 | 3 min read

Luxury Apparel Company Captures 27% in OpEx Savings through Comprehensive Digital Transformation

Apparel companies tend to stay away from business software for as long as possible. They build complex spreadsheets to track their inventory and designs, manually fulfill their orders one-by-one and rely on rules of thumb for quality control. And in most cases, companies can operate like this for a long time before they get to a point where they just don’t have a choice anymore. Tech packs are scattered across messy SharePoint sites, e-mails from outsourced manufacturers pile-up in an inbox somewhere, and controllers spend countless hours reconciling invoices from god-knows-who for god-knows-what.

LIDD recently completed a digital transformation roadmap for a luxury apparel client facing these challenges. The client is now undergoing this transition, moving towards a modern technology ecosystem that will scale alongside the company’s growth.


General Context

The Client: A leading manufacturer of high-end goods requires full operational and digital transformation to support expansion

This company designs, produces and distributes high-end apparel goods through retail locations, wholesalers, and an e-commerce website. Using specialized co-manufacturers, they manage the whole CMT (cut-make-trim) processes and manufacture almost everything locally, in Los Angeles. They own a small distribution center where they fulfill most DTC orders, and utilize a 3PL for bigger, wholesale orders. Here’s what we noticed:

  • Their current apparel-specific ERP was implemented without adequate training or documentation, leading users to question its full utilization.
  • A fragmented software lineup complicated the accounting department’s reconciliation efforts in QuickBooks, requiring extensive data manipulations.
  • The design team lacked organizational tools for efficient product development, leaving the production team with challenging issues and tight deadlines.
  • Without clear tasks and real-time inventory updates, warehouse operations suffered delays, errors, and increased customer service inquiries.
  • High-end apparel customers means higher standards when it comes to white-glove service. The company’s reliance on workarounds to enhance customer experience without investing in supporting technology resulted in increasingly complex back-end processes, putting pressure on staff members as the company grew.

    LIDD’s Mandate

    Operations and Technology leadership has asked LIDD to provide a comprehensive review of resources and org structure, and make recommendations to support a lean, technology forward environment. LIDD initially performed a Digital Transformation Roadmap. This helped LIDD identify challenges and propose a solution. LIDD then agreed to implement these recommendations.


    LIDD’S Recommendations

    After getting to know their operations and company culture, here’s what we recommended to solve for these challenges:

    • Make the move to a new ERP with an extensive implementation partner network, ensuring through a selection that their new partner could support them through training and post go-live continuous improvement initiatives.
    • Move all operational processes within the ERP, automatically mapping all financial transactions to their respective G/L accounts with minimal reconciliation work.
    • Implement a user-friendly and collaboration-oriented PLM to allow better organization between the design and production teams.
    • Implement basic warehouse management features to streamline warehouse tasks and track inventory across bin locations without unnecessarily complexifying operations.
    • Prioritize customer facing initiatives by understanding the impact of said initiatives and evaluate underlying technology and its cost before implementing new processes.

    LIDD recommended a NetSuite ERP implementation fitted to the business’s operations and future state.

    Why NetSuite? NetSuite is a robust, widely used, and versatile ERP well-suited for food manufacturers and other small and mid-sized enterprises. LIDD recommended this ERP because NetSuite:

    • Provides a source of truth for master data, inventory, and planned and actual transactions
    • Includes financial value at all stages of production, enabling easy financial analysis
    • Streamlines information through its integrated, all-in-one system
    • Is a customizable system that can be tailored to the client’s needs and future state
    • Is easy to buy, implement, and support
    • Has hundreds of thousands of users, making it relatively easy to recruit key positions if NetSuite experience is required


    Learn more about LIDD’s supply chain and business technology services. and how we help retail and apparel businesses achieve NetSuite supply chain success. 
     

     

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