Microsoft Office 365 and Project Pro
Tailoring Management System Helps a Textile Manufacturer Automate Manual Processes and Achieve Operational Excellence
Arvind Limited is a textile manufacturer and the flagship company of the Arvind Group, headquartered in Ahmedabad, India.
In addition to manufacturing and exporting cotton textile, the company also owns and operates apparel retail stores. These stores sell off-the-rack clothes, raw fabric, and also provide customized stitching/tailoring services.
To provide customized stitching services, Arvind follows the Fabric-to-Garment Stitching Process. In this process, the pre-stitched fabric is sent from the store to the factory, where they are stitched and converted into clothes.
The Fabric-to-Garment Stitching Process was people-driven, and involved time consuming and manual paper-based activities.
Arvind wanted to develop a Tailoring Management System (TMS) which automates and streamlines the activities involved in their Fabric-to-Garment Stitching Process. They wanted to use TMS for multiple stores and factories, located at different physical locations, to maintain data transparency.
After evaluating various productivity software, Arvind chose to build the TMS server on Office 365 (O365) as it has minimal downtime, and is easily manageable and accessible by users.
Solution and Approach
Using O365 as the platform, Indusa developed a TMS for Arvind that smoothly handles the activities involved in Arvind’s Fabric-to-Garment Stitching Process, from stitching order creation to finishing the order and the final dispatch.
The key activities involved in the Fabric-to-Garment Stitching Process and the TMS are:
- For every store, the manager initiates the Fabric-to-Garment Stitching Process by creating a stitching order in the ERP system. The ERP system pushes the stitching order data, via web methods, into the TMS.
- A receipt confirming delivery is generated, and the store manager transfers the stitching orders from the store to the factory.
- Receiving – Fabric is received at the factory for stitching. The stitching order data that was previously pushed in the application is used to check and approve the fabric received.
- Sorting – Using the TMS, the factory employee sorts the fabric into segments for cutting, remake, finishing, and return.
- Cutting – For fabric cutting, fabric is sent to the tailor. The TMS maintains tailor details against the order they handle.
- Making – In this stage, the fabric is finally woven into a garment by the tailor. The TMS maintains the tailor’s details against the order they handle.
- Quality Control – After the apparel is ready, it is sent for quality check. The client’s quality standards determine if the item is accepted or rejected.
- Finishing – The stitching orders that have passed the quality checks move forward to the finishing stage. Here, the orders are packed and made ready for dispatch.
- Dispatch – Delivery invoice is generated, and the orders are dispatched from the factory to the appropriate store.
Email notifications are sent to the appropriate users whenever an activity is completed or an alert (such as activity failure or activity on hold) is detected. This process is managed on Office 365.
The TMS monitors and tracks status of any item in real-time, allows store users to review order status, and allows the factory manager to track the work done at any interval of time.
Data security for the factory and the store users is managed on Office 365 infrastructure. Due to this, all access is performed via strict role-based access control (RBAC) techniques. For example, for a particular store user, the data access permissions are managed such that only he/she is authorised to add, update or delete his/her store related data; no other store user can access this data. The administrator has the rights to set or modify the data access permissions.
In order to manage large volumes of data, TMS is connected with SQL Azure Database, using an integration connector.
Quality Control Module
Through workflow automation with TMS, Arvind has effectively prevented the expensive costs associated with errors and inefficiencies that existed due to the previous people-driven Fabric-to-Garment Stitching Process.
As the TMS is developed on Office 365, it facilitates data transparency. Users (store managers, factory workers, tailors, and sewers) can view and access data from any location in real time. They no longer need to manually notify each other when a task is complete or when an item moves from one stage to another. As a result, Arvind saves approximately 5 hours of their working time, per day.
Protecting sensitive data is now easy for Arvind, due to the built-in robust security features of Office 365. Data is monitored continuously, and granular controls are applied automatically to limit access to and the distribution of sensitive data.
TMS has proven to be an effective workflow automation solution for Arvind, and provides them with a powerful tool to achieve operational excellence and meet new demands.