For more than 100 years, this leading company has been manufacturing top-tier athletic apparel and footwear all over the world. The brand supplies its own retail and wholesale channels offering products for men, women and children. They operate globally and maintain a manufacturing presence in the United States for their “Made in the USA” products, as well as in the United Kingdom for the European market, where they also manufacture some of their most popular models to expedite fast delivery.
The company lacked visibility of all purchase orders – which restricted their ability to collaborate on the multiple ‘change orders’ across a supplier base of several hundred vendors and factories. They also struggled with shipment tracking, resulting in a lack of end-to-end visibility - a key to supply chain success. The merchandisers with this company handle thousands of orders every month, managing vendors located around the globe.
These merchandisers were using various, divergent processes such as mailing or faxing hard copies of POs to all of their vendors. This provided no common method for the brand to have visibility into their supply chain, and no means for their vendors to react in a timely manner.
As an example of the challenges faced, often shipments that were late in production required expediting by air, escalating the transportation costs. Further downstream, customer service teams had no immediate access to order or shipment information to provide to customers, leading to customer dissatisfaction.
Since each order involves collaboration with globally-distributed vendors on changes and multiple tasks, alongside the need to collaborate with internal departments, a formalized process and a centralized platform were required.
The Amber Road Purchase Order Collaboration solution was implemented in a cloud environment to facilitate communication with the company’s ERP system and their vendors around the globe. After the ERP generates the original PO, it is approved for submission to vendors. All changes are managed via the collaboration tools in Amber Road and fed back into the ERP, maintaining a single PO number for the entire process, and cutting down on miscommunication or confusion about changes.
This solution allows the company to seamlessly deliver on orders with multiple touch points. The company sends booking requests to their third-party logistics provider, and receives booking information and shipment event tracking updates. This full, end-to-end visibility of the production process and simplification of PO management allows the company, their vendors, and their service providers to be on the same page.
With Amber Road’s solution and integration to other systems, the company now has full visibility into its PO and production management, factory shipment preparation, and shipment processes. The quantifiable results include:
- The reduction of administration resource required to change or cancel purchase orders, track acknowledgements, and document each transaction reduced the PO process from 3 people in 3 weeks, to 1 person in 2-3 days.
- Internal users at the company can see shipping events in real time, eliminating the need for inquiries with their third-party logistics team.
- Customer fill rates have increased by 20% and order accuracy has raised customer satisfaction levels, which are immeasurable in this competitive economy. Customer service can also provide up-to-date information about orders.
- The collaborative digital approach eliminates errors caused by the previous manual relay of purchase order information, greatly improving the consistency and accuracy of information shared by vendors and merchandisers.
- Visibility into the production schedule provides dashboard views and alerts into exceptions and delays, reducing the manual effort to look at each order status.
- Availability of milestone data triggers other events, i.e. quality inspections and shipment bookings, cutting delays in third-party scheduling by 70%.
The company analyzed the return on investment and realized payback in the first year of deployment.