Kenneth Cole Deploys YuniquePLM to Improve Collaboration

Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., the iconic fashion house known for its footwear, has implemented Gerber Technology's YuniquePLM software for its men's, women's, and children's apparel and footwear lines. Gerber's Yunique Solutions business unit is helping Kenneth Cole manage its broad product portfolio by ensuring its many teams are able to collaborate and communicate optimally to increase speed and efficiency.

Kenneth Cole Productions is best known for its extensive footwear line; after all, the footwear business is how Kenneth Cole got its start. In 1982, rather than take a booth at the Hilton Hotel during the New York shoe show, Kenneth sought a creative alternative. He reached out to the Mayor's office to see about parking a trailer on the street for an extended period of time and found out that it could be done only if you were a utility company servicing the streets, or a production company shooting a film.

So, that day, he changed the name of his company from Kenneth Cole, Inc. to Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., hired a cameraman to shoot the film The Birth of A Shoe Company, and parked a 40-foot trailer in front of the Hilton Hotel. In three days he received orders for 40,000 pairs of shoes, many from the top stores in the country. Today, the footwear business comprises a third of its revenue. With seven clothing, accessories, and footwear lines, wholesale operations in eight different countries, and 6,000 department and specialty stores, effective communication internally, and between suppliers and vendors is undeniably paramount.

In order to manage an operation of this size and diversity, it's important to have everyone on the same page," says Arthur Bargonetti, senior vice president of operations, Kenneth Cole. "With YuniquePLM, we can avoid the holdbacks of small errors that snowball into larger ones due to miscommunication between our designers, sourcing teams and international vendors by having all of the information in a single location."

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