Spanish clothing retail store Zara revolutionised the fashion industry in Europe a few years ago with its formula for fast fashion. Struggling British retailers including Marks & Spencer studied the store's success and based their own recovery plans on Zara's model.
Zara's secret? It moves fast. With an in-house design team based in in La Coruña, Spain, and a tightly controlled factory and distribution network, the company says it can take a design from drawing board to store shelf in just two weeks. That allows Zara introduce new items every week, which keeps customers coming back again and again to check out the latest styles. (Bloomberg Business Week April 4, 2006)
Having the right tools for the job is the first step to making shorter lead times a possibility. Conventional business systems do not typically provide flexible, industry specific tools for scheduling & critical path management. Most companies still use spreadsheet-based systems, meaning that individuals control their own environment, invariably resulting in poor planning, coordination & a high risk of error. Not to mention the time consuming process of manually uploading & changing spreadsheet data.
The overall solution to achieving the shorter lead times demanded by today's market is a combination of the right tools & an open approach to change. Sync, the revolutionary ERP system from South African based iSyncSolutions , is that tool. Designed specifically for the clothing industry, Sync provides a visual interface to manage production planning through its Task Management module. Critical path updates are fed directly into the latest production plan allowing for management of both in-house production and production at CMT's. This makes it possible to identify potential late deliveries & overdue employee tasks at the click of a button.
With Sync you can view the statues of all running orders instantaneously, making it possible to anticipate bottlenecks & avoid late deliveries. The efficiency of the system saves a huge amount of time by eliminating time consuming administration and manual processes that are otherwise needed to perform day to day business functions.
As efficiency in business processes & shorter lead times become more & more important, South African businesses in the apparel industry can't afford to be operating without Sync. See the iSyncSolutions press office for more information or visit their Web site on www.isyncsolutions.com.
Wendy Booysen (Marketing Consultant for iSyncSolutions)