March Supply Chain Madness

IT Platform, PLM system is a slam dunk for AND 1 basketball apparel company

Miami, FL — March 17, 2003 — Answerthink Inc., a business and technology consulting firm, announced the implementation of the SAP Apparel and Footwear (SAP AFS) solution for basketball footwear and apparel company AND 1.

The company, based in Paoli, Pa., is using SAP AFS to improve logistics, distribution, financials and reporting and to create its first comprehensive product lifecycle management (PLM) system.

Additionally, AND 1 selected Answerthink to help the business build a PLM system and an overall information management infrastructure to support its mission to become the leading basketball company in the world.

AND 1 is a $200 million company founded in 1993. It specializes in the design and marketing of basketball footwear and apparel, which is sold through leading retail outlets such as FootAction and Sports Authority. More than 70 NBA players wear its products, and, according to the company, it has developed a strong reputation among players of "street basketball."

"We are aggressively pursuing our mission to be the No. 1 basketball company in the world," said AND 1 Chief Operations Officer Christina Houlahan. "After years of incredible growth, we recognized that it was time to implement an IT platform that integrated all aspects of our work and helped support our dream. I was impressed with the individual talent Answerthink brought to the table; we appreciate that they're as aggressive as we are about moving our business to the next level."

With its business growing both domestically and overseas, AND 1 identified the need for an IT system that could ultimately support its work with customers and suppliers worldwide. The apparel company replaced a mix of legacy systems and software with the SAP AFS solution, which enables apparel and footwear companies to assess consumer buying patterns and leverage market opportunities while keeping costs under control. It was integrated with additional SAP solutions and functionality, including mySAP Product Lifecycle Management (mySAP PLM), mySAP Financials and mySAP Human Resources (mySAP HR), among others.

During the process, Answerthink worked with AND 1 to create a business blueprint for the system based on a careful analysis of its business challenges, known best business practices and plans for growth. AND 1 said it wanted to improve the planning, prototyping and distribution of its product lines, which include 150 new shoe designs yearly for three selling seasons. This is one of the first implementations of SAP AFS that interfaces with the functionality of mySAP PLM, allowing the company to better manage product version control; design/development timelines and milestones; and to better plan, forecast and manage sales and financial performance.

AND 1 will also implement additional functionality in Phase 2 of the project, including strategic enterprise management capabilities with mySAP Financials, and Internet Sales with mySAP Customer Relationship Management.

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