Global fashion manufacturer optimizes stock levels to maximize sales
Powerplay Brands has over 25 years of innovation and excellence in design, manufacturing, and the production of licensed apparel for men, women and children.
To enable its growing team to innovate and deliver quality fashion lines to the global customer base, Powerplay Brands sought to unlock the insights in its business data.
With a growing team of 40, based in the UK and a new distribution site in Poland, the IT team at Powerplay Brands, led by Martin Draper, IT and systems controller, was keen to streamline existing business data processes.
Slow reporting hindered market responsiveness
The existing ERP, STYLEman from Option Systems, offered functional reporting but required data to be exported to CSV files and manually managed via pivot tables with additional work required to combine the various sales, purchase and stock reports due to their differing layouts. Whilst this had been a manageable task when Martin had joined Powerplay Brands in 2014, business growth and the doubling of personnel now made the daily requests for reports a significant drain on his department’s resources.
On the consolidation and management of the various data exports, Martin told us “It became quite apparent that we needed a reporting system.” The additional challenges of version control with manual excel document and open calculated fields created further opportunities for errors with the final reports often being out of date before being ready to review.
Whilst looking for a solution, Powerplay Brands reviewed solutions that required technical skill or advanced search knowledge to operate. “We are a simple business. We just want to get goods in and out of the door quickly and efficiently. I didn't want people sat at desks all day trying to get a bit of information.” said Martin Draper, IT and systems controller.
Finding the right BI fit for Powerplay Brands
On a recommendation from Option Systems, Martin and the team were invited to review Phocas Software as a reporting solution. Martin explained, “We got half a dozen people in a room, sat through the demo, they all said, ‘When can we have it?’”
Not only did Phocas offer a simple user interface and an easy drill into business data, but the team could also review data sets previously not directly available from STYLEman such as margin and time periods as out of the box features. Plus, the speed and expertise of the implementation team at Phocas enabled a quick data load and onboarding for Powerplay Brands.
“If we’d gone for any of the other products, we'd still be looking at data dictionaries on building interfaces but all that was done for us thanks to Phocas’ partnership with STYLEman.” Martin Draper, IT and systems controller
An agile business overview
With the data from STYLEman and additional IT data streams feeding into Phocas Analytics, the team at Powerplay Brands can now quickly see stock, sales, and purchase order information on one screen as a report or dashboard. “That ticks a big box as we couldn't do that before.” said Martin Draper.
Moreover, customization and the ability to create tailored reports allows departments and individual team members to focus on the data they need for their role. Once created the data updates twice daily delivering powerful insights. No longer needing to spend time on office based manual reporting processes, teams have more time to dedicate to face-to-face meetings with customers, armed with the latest sales trends, stock and customer purchase data thanks to Phocas’ cloud hosting.
“The reporting process before would take at least a full day, but now, thanks to Phocas, it's one click.” Martin Draper, IT and systems controller.
Proactive alerts for maximum efficiency
The team at Powerplay Brands now utilize customizable reports and dashboards within Phocas that provide instant access to the data that matters for each user. Plus, automated alerts delivered direct to their email inboxes ensures that every team is up-to-date and informed to make the best decisions to drive business growth.
Prior to Phocas, the team relied on manual system check to monitor stock, purchase requirements and sales. Using Phocas, Martin setup a stock minimum alert for the buying team that prompts them to place new purchase orders as sales orders are taken. The continual optimization of the stock now enables the business to maximise sales across all its product lines.
Powerplay Brands is already planning on expanding their Phocas suite. The first addition is the introduction of a weekly sales, stock and intake data (WSSI) system that will address the over stock of third-party goods whilst highlighting any potential lost sales due to stock levels.
The new Finance Director is also investigating Phocas Financial Statements to gain an accurate view of business costs such as overall output margin across both sites (UK and Poland), a process that is currently manually calculated.
“The whole team at Phocas are really responsive. Phocas just works! We've had one data load failure in the 2 years we've been using Phocas – and to be honest, that was our fault!” said Martin Draper.