Kavio! Overhauls IT With Softengine and SAP

As a manufacturer and distributor of basic and fashion apparel for the printing, decorating and promotional markets, Kavio! knows the importance of a quality T-shirt. The company — which sells its merchandise online via retail and wholesale channels, and as private-label brands through retailers such as JC Penney, Sears, K-Mart, and Wal-Mart — operates its own state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to ensure the consistent high quality of each and every garment.

It takes the same exacting approach when it comes to the IT systems that power its business. Kavio! recently completed a technology overhaul, selecting a variety of solutions aimed at streamlining and boosting inventory, ordering, and accounting processes — all of which were suffering because of Kavio's outdated business systems.

During a multi-phase process, Kavio! worked with business solutions provider and SAP partner/reseller Softengine to implement SAP's Business One ERP solution, and integrate it with Softengine's Business One-Fashion One extension, an apparel-specific product. Softengine also helped Kavio! integrate the SAP solution with an e-commerce platform from Magento.

The result? Kavio! now has a fully integrated solution that fulfills its manufacturing and distribution requirements and delivers a dependable e-commerce platform that maximizes customer convenience. The project also delivered on another of Kavio!'s primary objectives: the complete automation of its warehouse and inventory allocation.

It's a far cry from the way Kavio! functioned prior to the implementation project, as COO Lisa Tran explains. "Our staff resorted to a cumbersome copy-and-paste approach when entering data in one system and then reentering that data in another. For example, since we couldn't open multiple windows at one time, we had to exit an invoice screen in order to open an inventory screen. Also, it was not unusual for the whole system to freeze, causing data corruption issues that caused downtime and required immediate attention," she says.

In addition, the previous system provided only limited reports, leaving Kavio!'s management team with few tools to accurately analyze the business. "Our numbers were in a constant state of flux and it took hours to reconcile data from the disconnected business systems," Tran adds.

Kavio!'s previous e-commerce program was also outdated — it was slow, unreliable and lacked integration. "Our customers want the ability to place orders quickly, so we knew the time had come to upgrade the online customer experience or risk losing them," Tran explains.

After a technology overhaul, customers have a drastically improved experience shopping and ordering from Kavio!, which serves the printing, decorating and promotional markets. Internally, its new systems have automated inventory tracking, streamlined order processing and sped up report generation.

In addition, the abundance of manual processes — staff took a hand count of inventory in the warehouse and then entered that number into an Excel spreadsheet — were compromising inventory accuracy and tracking. And the system did not provide a way to generate warnings or alerts to prevent against insufficient inventory to fill orders, or customers' exceeding their credit limits.

Kavio!'s partnership with Softengine has changed all of that. Today, Kavio! gets superior inventory management functionality and quick and easy SKU generation from the Matrix Manager component of SAP Business One-Fashion One. Plus, its retail and wholesale customers benefit from a horizontal sizing and pricing "grid" that streamlines the ordering process.

In addition, SAP Business One-Fashion One offers an open-to-sell/available-to-promise function that is able to predict how much of a particular item can be promised to customers at a future date. This capability ensures that Kavio! can meet a customer's desired timeline for delivery of an item.

The completely integrated system also means Kavio! staff members no longer have to re-enter customer, inventory, sales orders, payment, or current pricing information. "When our customers place orders online, all the order information flows instantly into SAP Business One, updating the associated customer, sales and inventory files. Then, when that order is shipped, customers can click on their tracking number to view current status of their shipment," Tran explains.

The system also provides alert functionality and approval procedures that give Kavio! greater control over its business. Another feature of the web-ordering processing enables management to track the number of online orders by posting date, which can help Kavio! determine the impact of specific marketing campaigns.

Overall, Tran says, Kavio!'s IT wish list has been fulfilled. "Our new e-commerce system has dramatically improved our customers' online shopping experience. Now, they can often place orders in just minutes and receive their shipments very quickly," she says. "For management, reports that used to take two to three days to complete now only take a few hours. Our warehouse staff is having a much easier time processing orders. And inventory tracking is now fully automated and our counts are

Now, Kavio! knows it has great high-quality systems to match its high-quality garments.

Kavio! Was a 2013 Apparel Top Innovator Award winner. If you'd like to nominate an apparel retailer, brand or manufacturer for the 2014 Awards, please click on the link below. Nominate an innovative company in our industry: a retailer, brand or manufacturer that has demonstrated innovation at any point along the supply chain. Examples of innovation may range from apparel companies that are unveiling revolutionary new products/designs, tackling social/local/mobile, reinventing their supply and sourcing chains and scoring omnichannel successes to those that are breaking barriers with RFID, merchandising, analytics, CRM, unique fiber/fabric applications, PLM, 3D technology, distribution, sustainability...the possibilities are endless. Click here to nominate a company now.
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