Over the past few years, those of us in the fashion industry have been working tirelessly to overcome three major challenges: sustainability, digitalization, and consumer shifts. Many creative and forward-thinking fashion businesses have found success through innovative solutions that help them adapt to changes in consumer expectations as well as the way work gets done—both in the design room and on the shop floor.
The Rules of Business Changed in an Instant During COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion businesses have also had to make significant changes to keep workers safe and productive. Many factories have reduced the number of workers on the shop floor to maintain social distancing and instituted other measures such as increased hand sanitizing stations and mask-wearing requirements. Designers and other office staff are working remotely. These changes and economic conditions we now face highlight why it’s so important to gain better insight into day-to-day operations and have the flexibility needed to pivot and adapt to rapid change.
“We went live with Exenta Shopfloor Control in 2016 and there was almost immediate payback. It paid for itself in less than a year and it continues to do so. It’s a great productivity-boosting tool and it never stops—it’s always tracking and assisting with real-time feedback for both employees and management.” –Vice President of IT, global manufacturer of branded and private label apparel
The need for business agility and quest for enhanced profitability is what led one global manufacturer of branded and private label apparel to choose Exenta’s unified fashion supply chain software, starting as an Exenta ERP customer in 2010. As a manufacturer for the largest multi-national big box general merchandise retailers in the United States, this fashion giant produces more than 120 million units each year. Using Exenta’s purpose-built fashion solutions, our manufacturing client is able to respond faster to new market demands and dramatically improve productivity.
“We’re able to respond faster to new market demands because Exenta is such a great development tool. We can do things faster…and so that always puts us at an advantage, even with the COVID-19 pandemic, not just with respect to manufacturing.”
Exenta Solutions Provided the Flexibility to Adapt Quickly
This apparel manufacturer values the flexibility that is built in to Exenta’s supply chain software solutions. Just as a fashion style is more than a single product, a global apparel manufacturer needs a system to manage a wide range of products, facilities, and more. As a global company, they’ve had to make several quick adjustments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Exenta’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Shop Floor Control (SFC), and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software have allowed them to design and implement creative and effective solutions.
Now that most of their designers are working remotely, they value Exenta’s cloud-based PLM software which allows employees to log in to the system very easily from home using a web browser and/or the Adobe Illustrator plugin. They’ve also been able to bring on a third-party logistics warehouse in just three weeks, with full EDI automation. The system’s flexibility has enabled them to bring new contractors online very quickly using the Exenta Vendor Web Portal. For example, they’ve had to expand their use of outside contractors in Asia during the pandemic and PLM has also improved their ability to do accurate costing.
In addition to the tools they need to speed great designs and send desirable products to market, Exenta’s solutions emboldened this global manufacturer to creatively address social distancing in their facilities. Using employee QR codes and digitized cafeteria menus, they were able to build a process in just five days to track and manage cashless transactions for cafeteria purchases for about 2,000 employees. Here’s how it works:
Each employee has a badge with a QR code. The cafeteria staff sets up a menu of items and their associated prices in Exenta’s ERP system. Once the employee orders, the cafeteria worker selects the menu items. The employee scans their badge to record the items purchased. Once a week, that information is sent to the payroll system and it gets recorded as a deduction. No cash needed.
In addition to helping implement safe practices for workers, Exenta’s SFC software is helping this global manufacturer gain better insight into the production impacts of having fewer people in the plants. SFC provides visibility into WIP and production efficiency through real-time notifications so that management can see how production is running in all of their facilities worldwide instantly. This enables them to increase order size with another facility to offset one that is running at reduced capacity or add new contractors as needed.
Ready to Enhance Your Agility and Flexibility?
Business conditions are always changing and fashion moves quickly. Exenta’s supply chain software solutions are designed to help you measure results faster and make better projections about the financial impacts of COVID-19 or other factors on your production costs, inventory levels, and sales. Register for a free software demonstration and find out how our innovative solutions drive increased productivity and profitability.