"It has brought the required discipline and systematic approach from design to production" includes Mr. Gagan Kahlon in his words of acknowledgment for Lawson PLM solution.
How the implementation of Lawson Fashion PLM enabled 'Giny & Jony' team to manage information flow, optimize design to production time and efficiently reduce the time-to-market?

Gini & Jony is one of the leading kids wear company in India. We have our brands like GJ Jeans Untld, Gini & Jony , GJ Baby and Palm Tree at the same time we also design and manufacture for brands like Levi’s KIDS. We have our own manufacturing facility, which manufactures the samples and does mass production. Earlier Design, Merchandising, Sourcing, Sampling and Production teams were working together to create and approve the product. All teams were spread in different geographical locations. Besides key people are constantly traveling between multiple offices. This would lead to delayed decision making, incorrect samples being made, longer lead times, increased development costs. Hence we wanted to implement a system that could link all the keys functions, all the style data was available in a central place. We have been using Lawson PLM since 2007. We have gained lot of benefits by implementing the solution in our business.

Ptex Solutions, Lawson’s partner in India played a crucial role in the implementation process. During the PLM implementation, we got the chance to review the current business process and re-engineer and streamline our business processes. PLM was configured to meet our new business processes. It has brought the required discipline and systematic approach from design to production. The system contributed toward the reduction in lead times. After implementing the system we reduced the lead times by 20%.

Designers, Merchandisers and Souring teams are working at the same time to develop multiple styles. Since it is a web-based system, no matter where the people are based they update the system so every one is accessing the latest information. Once the information is updated then relevant people are notified about the update or change in the information. This allows everyone to remain on the same page. So the information exchanges and sharing became very easy after we have started using Lawson Fashion PLM.

All the samples requests are made from the PLM. Designers send the sample request from PLM to the sampling team. The sampling team receives a notification with the sample requirements. Since all the information is available, sample team simply accesses the information online and updates the development status. Once the samples are developed, design and merchandising team provides the sample evaluation details. The sampling process in PLM ensures that samples are developed as per the specification and provides visibility of the sample status everyone.

During the development process we have put certain stage gates. This ensures that people have access only in certain stages. Once the style is approved, it gets locked in the system and only few authorized users can make changes in the style. For example when the samples are being developed, the designers can make changes in the style specification.

Building techpacks has become very easy with the system. Designer starts the development process by uploading the sketch and adds basic style information, Merchandisers update the Bill of Material, Print and Embroidery details, Sampling team creates the spec charts. So the Techpack is build through collaborative efforts by multiple people. The Techpack can be printed in a specific print format or it can be saved as a PDF file that can be sent by email to vendors.

We have developed various operational and analytical reports. This includes sample status, style development status, fabric development report and costing report. These reports allow us to stay up-do-date and facilitate better decision-making.

Currently the information has to be entered twice once in PLM and then the approved styles are entered again in ERP system. We plan to integrate PLM with our ERP system so that we there are smooth data exchange between both the systems. The style masters, approved BOM, quantity and cost of all approved products will transfer from PLM to ERP based on certain triggers. This will create an integrated Management Information System for us and this will increase data accuracy.

Besides we plan to roll out PLM to our vendors so that we can collaborate with them using PLM. This will allow us to request samples and quotation online. Besides the vendor will be able to download the required style specification and update the status of samples online.

This interview was published in fibre2fashion's website in December 2009