Haggar Clothing needed a planning solution that reflected its desire to increase e-commerce sales. Pravin Rangachari, vice president of planning, relates the story of the implementation.
SCB: What was the supply-chain challenge that Haggar faced?
Rangachari: We face a couple of challenges in the apparel space. We have a lot of complexity with our product, because we deal with many different styles, colors and sizes, in high volumes. The other big challenge is that our business is going through a transformation, moving from brick-and-mortar retail to direct-to-consumer.
SCB: How did you come to choose Logility as a planning solution to help address these challenges?
Rangachari: We initially implemented Logility even though our business was primarily brick and mortar. About three and a half years ago, we noticed that our business was going through an evolution, and began evaluating other tools as well. Eventually we realized that the framework we had with Logility for demand planning and inventory replenishment was the right one to meet these new challenges.
SCB: How did you go about extending the system to the e-commerce side? What were some of the challenges you faced, and lessons you learned along the way?
Rangachari: We had already built the customer and product-location hierarchies as part of the design and inventory-planning solution, and we just extended that to support the direct-to-consumer base. That was a natural extension in Logility, and we also added vendor-managed inventory to the same solution. It took about 12 weeks to implement the entire VMI solution from scratch, and we could do that because we already had the framework in place with Logility.
SCB: Is there a difference between what’s purchased online versus what’s purchased in a traditional retail store?
Rangachari: The challenge with e-commerce and direct-to-consumer is that we have to offer a broader range of product. With brick and mortar, you've got limited fixtures and floor space. In e-commerce, that restriction isn’t there. We need more variety of product, but a fewer number of units. And that adds a big layer of complexity.
SCB: As you extended the technology within your organization, did it require any change in business process or the roles of your planners
Rangachari: There definitely was a change. We had to put a good process into place, and we wanted to leverage the tool to automate a lot of the low-volume, high-SKU count processes,. That way, the planners could focus on things that made a difference, like high-margin SKUs.
SCB: How long did it take to extend this into the e-commerce side of the house?
Rangachari: We started in late 2016 and early 2017. It probably took three to four months overall, from a process and implementation perspective.
SCB: Did things go as you expected?
Rangachari: They did. We were learning things along the way, but overall it went as planned.
SCB: Now that the system has been in place for a while, what benefits have you realized?
Rangachari: One is increased planner efficiency. Because we've automated a lot of processes, the planners are able to focus on things that make a difference. The second benefit is being able to grow our revenue as the business continues to evolve. We know that over a period of time, the direct-to-consumer and e-commerce channel is going to grow significantly, and brick and mortar's going to become a smaller and smaller portion. We need a system and process to support that transformation. If not, we're going to be out of business, and our competitors are going to eat our lunch.
SCB: Going forward, how might you continue to collaborate with Logility?
Rangachari: What we're focusing on now is coming up with a single version of the truth for our customer forecast. We have customer, shipment and demand forecasts. Our focus is to get to a single version, and then we're going to try and implement S&OP [sales and operations planning] and S&OE [sales and operations execution] processes using the tool. We have processes in place, but the next step is to automate a lot of it, leveraging Logility.
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