In another life Lee Mathews, founder of her eponymous brand, would have been an artist. Much of her joy comes from looking at a rail of clothes in the abstract – taking a painterly viewpoint in terms of their colours, textures and patterns and observing how they juxtapose in a way where one piece contributes to the dynamism of another.
Since Lee Mathews first collection, launched in 2000, they have built a loyal community of women based on their core brand beliefs.
LM collections are designed, patterned and sampled in Sydney, Australia – where their company is still 100% owned and operated – including their print development for key silk, linen and cotton pieces. LM designs revolve around high quality, natural woven textiles. Sourcing signature cotton and linens from Japan, silks from China, wool from Australia and Italy and cashmere from Italy. They aim to work with small mills who are experts in their craft.
Lee Mathews was using an ERP type solution called DANT. It was an older legacy system that was US based. It was server based and support was provided from the US. The biggest issues it had was its lack of connectivity to their e-commerce store, wholesale customers (JOOR Marketplace), large retail (David Jones), and most importantly not having any clear insight into their inventory levels at a shop/retail level as well as in the multiple warehouse locations.
The solution was Cin7 without a doubt. Cin7 caters for fashion as well as has all the necessary connections to e-commerce, EDI, JOOR marketplace, 3PL, and gives you real-time visibility of your stock.
Lee Mathews had never really had to deal with stock at a system level, despite being a stock driven business. The reason was, that DANT was so poor at managing inventory, stock management skills were almost forgotten. Predominantly DANT was used to manage sales at a retail level, and it was quite good at doing that.
The reason I mention this is that the team at Lee Mathews really struggled with stock management skills. This made the implementation a bit more cumbersome and we did have to spend a lot more time from a consultative point of view in assisting the Lee Mathews team to understand things like:
- Stock takes
- Inventory costing methods
- Supply chain management/ordering
- Product integrity in the system
- Inventory management
These were just a few concepts that did not have a system, process or a knowledge base present prior to Cin7. As such this presented quite a unique challenge to assist in trying to grow the knowledge base/internal systems, as well as implementing Cin7.
Despite the challenges and the large team of 50 plus workers that needed to be trained across retail and operations, the system was implemented, and Lee Mathews is now in the fine-tuning faze and looking to us to create a dashboard across a number of different systems for them.