Tailoring Business to Operations

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Tailoring Business to Operations

By Nicole Giannopoulos - 10/17/2014
American fashion retailer and iconic brand, Brooks Brothers, is rapidly growing its global presence. With more than 600 locations across 30 countries and a drive to expand, the retailer recognizes the increasing complexity of today’s changing business dynamics. The retailer’s focus is set on developing new business processes and systems to better define roles and improve efficiency around the globe.

To support its growth initiative, the retailer established distribution hubs in the U.S., Italy and Hong Kong. However, communication and coordination is a complex task as centers are spread around the globe — the biggest issue to address is the company’s existing Excel-based processes. Rapid international store expansion coupled with creating a global organization, further complicates the matter.

“We needed to realign supply chain processes, customer-facing assets, organizational structure, and technology to support the future global omnichannel business model,” says Joe Dixon, SVP of sourcing and production at Brooks Brothers. “To achieve this organization-wide transformation we would need massive technology interventions.”

Additionally, the lack of visibility into the product development process was creating excess sampling, which escalated the cost of development.

Systems to Suit Company Growth
The transformation began when Brooks Brothers invested in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and product lifecycle management (PLM) platforms. “Our aim was to select a PLM system which could improve speed-to-market for new products and reduce the design-to-production time, while providing the flexibility to capture local preferences and product requirements,” Dixon says.
To accomplish its goals, Brooks Brothers selected PTC’s Windchill FlexPLM solution and ITC Infotech as its implementation partner.

Seamless global Visibility
The rollout allows the retailer to gain visibility and enables better management of the design and product development process — helping Brooks Brothers transition from two seasons to four. It also provides real-time visibility to the international sourcing offices, allowing them to work in parallel with the U.S. office, which creates a seamless global enterprise. The new end-to-end visibility reduces duplications across the company.

As with any deployment, the success of this transformation rested largely on internal adoption. To achieve this Brooks Brothers developed a change management program, which trains end-users and sets up a “super user” cross-functional team for better buy-in.

“It is important that as a company we understand the benefits and take advantage of them. The ability to share what we do across the company — across the globe — without spreadsheets has been huge,” concludes Dixon. “We are leveraging the system for structured, data-driven processes and are now extending it to the vendor community, as well as international buying partners in Japan and Europe.”