Managing an intricate manual-based garment designing and production business can have its challenges, especially when you have various stakeholders for procurement, design, legal, production and quality control. A single Purchase Order's creation with 200 plus line items is prone to have errors where a slight overlook in the item's quantity or misspelling can result in a do-over. Effective communication between production line, designers and vendors is the key for quick turnaround.
The customer required an automated system where manageability of various POs could take place simultaneously with the completion turnaround time to be reduced to up to 5 times than the manual procedure.The company wanted to take ownership of the created designs where it was crucial to ensure that they were no intellectual property infringement issues. As such matters could lead to severe loss of capital and reputation for the company.
They wanted to have an easy way for the creative design team to share designs and keep a structured approach towards managing these designs. The designs need to be tagged and associated to different styles for easy selection during garment design process. They also needed a solution to communicate effectively with various vendors providing materials for the end product. They also needed more visibility and control of material quality.
The solution needs to be integrated with various 3rd part solutions used for inventory management, Sales, eCommerce and ERP.
The need was for an intelligent solution with oversight for all the relevant users by allowing them to contribute and collaborate on various aspects of design, procurement, production, inventory and quality control management.
As we looked for out of the box solutions, most of 3rd party solutions were rigid in nature and had a very heavy boiler plate foundation that requires a lot of effort to configure and customize. Mapping out the requirements for LulaRoe PLM to what's available in the market, we quickly realize that they need a home-grown custom solution that is easy to adapt and follow the established business practices. The solution needed to be flexible yet secure. The Purchase orders LulaRoe is doing are unique in the aspect that they have a large number of items with quite a bit of detail for each line item. They were hitting the 10 million inventory items per month and needed a solution to manage procurement, transfers, storage and efficient retrieval.
The LulaRoe PLM system is an advanced design, PO, Inventory, and audit management system that allows easy creation of POs, managing designs and performing audits and quality control so that all the users are able to contribute on their specific roles. Custom Dropbox app helps designer drag drop their designs and post it to the system with ease. The compliance & legal team runs trademark verification with US patent and trademark office API and then use Google vision to run intellectual property rights check.
The system automatically catalogs the designs and make it accessible to PO creation team to create Pos. Managers can review the PO and approve or edit it. Pos can be voided, canceled, or duplicated from the interface. Detailed audit and actions logs are available, segmented based on various roles and departments. Email alerts and dashboard notifications keep all stakeholder in sync with any changes and approvals.It's also a workflow management system that allows users to come together in performing their tasks and continue the overall operations running for the longer picture. Integrations with NetSuite ERP, Warehouse Management System (RFID based solution), Quality control apps and Vendor systems help effectively communicate inside and outside the organization and provides a 360-degree view to decision makers.
The system offers a robust REST API and exposes its data to authorized clients. The API serves vendor applications, helps with integration to NetSuite, provides data for BOSS Mobile app for vendors and warehouse management team. The API also serves API endpoints for RFID scanners at receiving and shipping lines at warehouse locations.
Hosted on AWS with autoscaling infrastructure the application has 99.99% uptime and fine-grained security control. Using the best and latest technology available the application is serving the business well. The infrastructure scales up automatically based on load and user demand and scale down when the traffic is normal. This offers significant cost saving during low hours and allows to provide seamless operation on high usage hours.
This is a holistic solution designed specifically for LulaRoe vendors and employees. Despite having a very concentrated audience, the product itself is robust and extremely scalable to ensure quick search, retrieval and higher visibility of data within the system.
The solution is built using Laravel 7.0 and VueJS 3.0 framework with MySQL 8.0 as backend on Ubuntu 16 virtual box. Redis Cache is used for storing backend jobs while Supervisor is used to manage workers and job priorities. Horizon is used as a dashboard for background jobs. Google Vision is used for intellectual property right compliance while MarkerAPI is used for trademark clearance. AWS S3 is used for storage of all digital assets. Dropbox is used for syncing of design files between designer's desktop and S3 storage. JQuery and bootstrap is used for CSS and dynamic layout rendering.
The solution is hosted on AWS infrastructure with autoscaling facility and multi-zone deployment. The servers are provisioned dynamically as per the load and requirement. Requests are distributed through application load balancer. Redundancy at DB and Server level ensures 100% uptime. Microsoft Azure is used for source control, continuous integration and auto deployments.
Like they say: the rest is history. But when you're on square one, it's hard to imagine where the road would take you. When LulaRoe collaborated with Techliance, it was just more than a project outsourced. Techliance teamed up with the company to ensure that the project starts off on the right path i.e. comprehensive capture of business requirements. Shahzad Atta, played the role of not just a Consultant but an Account Advocate with a visionary product roadmap. It was not just about understanding what was required but also reading between the lines to finely craft a business blueprint of what needed to be achieved.
Then began constant deliberation between the Design and Analysis team to come up with a complete solution that catered to multiple user personas with end-to-end flows – all this beautifully captured in a form of a flawless yet easy-to-use design. Once, the road was set; the Development unit brought it home! Knitting together best industry practices of coding so that the end-solution is efficient, with higher output.
It takes close association, paying attention to details and constant tab on the market pulse to create a viable product with an entire roadmap.The LulaRpe Boss PLM system is on the path of continuous evolution only for the better.
The solution has been a huge success and becomes the master of record for designs, inventory management and production processes. LulaRoe staff can manage 100+ POs per day and integrate with most of the vendors via REST APIs saving time and costly communication errors. Mobile app helps the production team manage inspection lines, inventory and provide production and inspection guides. Cycle count functionality helps count the total inventory in a warehouse in a matter of minutes. 360 degree view is available to decision maker thanks to the reporting engine.