Ellery Homestyles Taps BPM Tool as Backbone for Execution, Management Portal

Home furnishings supplier uses business process management solution from HandySoft to meet critical deadlines, reduce costly errors

Home furnishings supplier uses business process management solution from HandySoft to meet critical deadlines, reduce costly errors

Vienna, VA — November 16, 2004 — Home fashion products company Ellery Homestyles has deployed a business process management (BPM) solution from HandySoft to manage its manufacturing and quality control processes, as well as to insure efficient workflow.

Headquartered in New York, Ellery supplies major retailers with private label home fashion products. The company, which traces its roots to 1924, has a 240,000-square-foot distribution and design center located in Lumber Bridge, North Carolina, as well as international offices in China, India and Pakistan. Currently its annual sales are about $75 million.

Ellery works through a global network of manufacturers to provide products for some of the nation's largest retailers, including Bed Bath & Beyond, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Target and Wal-Mart. The company sells only original products, so it must develop items from scratch that meet each customer's diverse specifications. Then Ellery must have these products designed, approved, manufactured and shipped within 60-90 days.

"Our customers expect consistent quality products delivered on time without exception," said Drew Schwartz, director of operations with Ellery Homestyles. "So once we get an order, the clock is ticking."

As a central component of its "E-Team" Total Execution and Management Portal, Ellery has deployed HandySoft's BizFlow solution. According to the solution provider, BizFlow enables Ellery to cut costs by reducing errors associated with the management of more than 60 product development steps, involving offices and factories around the world.

"Working internationally, you can waste days trying to manage your product development processes via e-mail," said Schwartz. "BizFlow makes sure that actionable items are always moving forward in a parallel fashion, enabling people to work on steps simultaneously, no matter where they are located around the world."

Schwartz added that BizFlow assures that sign-off steps have taken place and alerts key personnel when activities have the potential to, or are, falling behind the projected timeline.

BizFlow also enables Ellery to focus on customer satisfaction by customizing their quality control processes, such as product testing and factory inspection, to meet their customers' specific requirements, according to HandySoft.

"BizFlow helps us meet our primary objective of being a top supplier to our customers in yet another way: we are now able to customize our processes to mirror those of our customers," Schwartz noted.

As an example, Schwartz said that JC Penney has a strict requirement that each of its suppliers provide factory inspection audits for all goods shipped to the retailer. In the past, it was unclear who owned this process, and it might have slipped through the cracks.

"With BizFlow, the factory inspection audit is managed as part of the product development process, and the final factory declaration is electronically attached along with the purchase order and other documents," Schwartz explained. "Having one central location for all documents and status for each program we develop is an invaluable addition to our more effective operations."

Concluded Budd S. Goldman, CEO of Ellery Homestyles, "BizFlow will allow us to manage our supply chain, control inventory and maximize profitability so we can operate on narrower margins and provide aggressive pricing to our customers."

For more information on solutions for business process management, see "BPM Rising," the Net Best Thing column in the October/November 2002 issue ofiSource Business (now Supply & Demand Chain Executive) magazine.