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Crystal Martin achieve rapid ROI through FastReact Planning

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(DERBY, UK, JULY 10, 2009) Since investment in Fast React Planning 18 months ago, Sri Lanka-based Crystal Martin (lingerie and sleepwear manufacturer for Marks and Spencer) has achieved rapid Return On Investment and savings.

The Company

Crystal Martin, Sri Lanka, part of Hong Kong based Crystal Group, manufactures mainly lingerie and sleepwear for sole buyer Marks & Spencer. The company currently manufactures and exports around 3 Million garments per month from Sri Lanka, with some of the total manufacturing capacity being supplied by external contractors. To maintain full control over their orders, the Crystal Martin team plans even the subcontract suppliers in detail; effectively using FastReact to plan a total of around 200 sewing lines.

The Solution

Crystal Martin invested in FastReact towards the end of 2007 following 2 years of steady growth, coupled with increasing demands from the customer to reduce lead times, improve flexibility and maximize sales opportunities on fast selling products.

Carl Morley, Supply Chain Director at Crystal Martin, Sri Lanka, says “FastReact has given us full integration of our planning and pre-production activities as well as much improved visibility on WIP and potential delivery issues. In 2008 we have seen a 3.5% improvement on factory efficiencies due to improved planning and the ability to react quickly and earlier to supply issues, thus avoiding unnecessary line idling. Our first quarter of 2009 has seen a further 3% improvement in factory efficiencies – The proactive warnings that FastReact provides in advance of a problem has been key to managing this process more effectively.”

Dimitri Suraweera, Country Manager Fast React commented “Typically, an apparel manufacturing company in Sri Lanka with 1,000 machine operators would save around US$ 150,000 annually for every 3% improvement in productivity; for a factory with 3,000 machine operators this would mean savings in excess of US$ 450,000 every year!!”

The Conclusion

Carl goes on to describe how in addition to improving their processes, Crystal Martin, Sri Lanka, has also successfully reduced airfreight costs by 38% in 2008 and that the first quarter of 2009 has seen further improvement in this area. Since implementation of the ‘Flow Planning Module’ within FastReact, the business has been able to reduce their UK warehouse stock by approximately 15%. This was achieved by aligning the production plans to more closely suit the customer’s requirements.

Andrew Brown, Managing Director Fast React Systems explains “Crystal Martin’s ability to work to shorter lead times and be more responsive to customer needs has helped the business to continue to grow. It is interesting to note that be it economic boom or gloom – increasing costs, shorter lead times and more demanding customers are something that apparel manufacturers have come to accept – In order to remain competitive it is absolutely necessary to improve your current business process. The only certainty in the fashion industry is that it is not going to get any easier!”

Apparel manufacturers around the world are now realising that yesterday’s tools and excessively manual technologies will not help them move forward – the smarter ones are looking to get ahead of the game by investing in solutions that have been proven to work within the apparel industry. FastReact is the obvious choice for any of these manufacturers – it’s quick to implement, works with existing business systems and has been proven time and again to provide ROI in less than a year.

Source: Fast React Systems Limited

Ben Hanson Ben Hanson is one of WhichPLM’s top contributors. Ben has worked for magazines, newspapers, local government agencies, multi-million pound conservation projects, museums and creative publications before his eventual migration to the Retail, Footwear and Apparel industry.Having previously served as WhichPLM’s Editor, Ben knows the WhichPLM style, and has been responsible for many of our on-the-ground reports and interviews over the last few years. With a background in literature, marketing and communications, Ben has more than a decade’s worth of experience, and is now viewed as one of the industry’s best-known writers.

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