Producing clothes and getting quantities right is a tricky business that has been taking its toll on the environment for decades. Overproduction and full warehouses are common problems that the industry has to deal with, be it on manufacturer, brand or retailer side. Many of them thus downsize order quantities to avoid these issue but may then get below minimum order quantities.
German Seidensticker (Overseas) Ltd. is investing in technology to tackle this problem: The vertically-integrated manufacturer of men’s shirts and women’s blouses has teamed up with software provider Coats Digital to allow for smaller, more complex order requests and to reduce the time and cost challenges when meeting customers’ last-minute change requirements.
Meeting customer demand changes
“Companies that invest wisely in the right digital technologies to plan effectively, optimise operational efficiencies and respond quickly to demand changes will be in a much stronger position to weather the storm, and we very much look forward to supporting Seidensticker’s robust digitisation programme to ensure it consistently retains an ‘ahead-of-the-game’ competitive advantage,” commented Wesley Ekman, senior global sales director at Coats Digital, in a statement.
The family-run business found that without good visibility to key planning and workflow data, capacity management and line planning teams did not have the accurate data they needed to seamlessly manage higher quantities of smaller orders that often required style variations that increased complexity. Seidensticker also found it challenging to manage late customer changes to orders since business-critical data was siloed in multiple sources, which meant teams could not work together from a single source of data, to respond to late order change requests quickly and effectively.
Tackling faster, shorter and more complex orders
“With higher basic cost-to-make outgoings and raw material costs industry-wide, as well as increasing requests for faster, shorter and more complex orders, we needed a solution that would provide total visibility to global capacity planning and workflow processes so we could make business-critical decisions quickly and ensure early discovery of potential delivery challenges to enable us to action these fast and effectively,” explained Peter Tornow, managing director of Seidensticker (Overseas) Ltd.
Seidensticker has adopted Coats Digital’s FastReactPlan to provide full visibility of its capacity planning and critical path, which involves supporting four own factories with a 2,300-strong workforce in Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh, which produce 420,000 Seidensticker-branded garments a month. In addition, there are five partner factories that provide garments for other brands, producing between 550,000 and 800,000 pieces a month. The company generates an annual turnover of 145 million US dollars and is headquartered in Bielefeld, Germany and has its Asian headquarters in Hong Kong.
“We expect the implementation of FastReactPlan to significantly improve production efficiencies, increase on-time delivery performance and reduce workloads, as well as reduce last-minute firefighting for our planning teams across the whole business”, added Tornow.