Freeborders: Australian for PLM

Aussie clothier Yakka taps product lifecycle management solution to improve supply chain communications, speed products to market

Aussie clothier Yakka taps product lifecycle management solution to improve supply chain communications, speed products to market

San Francisco — March 1, 2006 — Austrailian clothier Yakka will use product lifecycle management solutions from Freeborders to streamline its development processes and speed products to market by improving supply chain communications and data sharing between its affiliate companies and suppliers.

The largest manufacturer of work and corporate clothing in Australia, Yakka, along with its affiliate companies NNT, Dowd Corp, CTE and Icon, will use Freeborders FB Product Manager, FB Fabric & Trim and FB Workflow solutions.

Yakka needed to ensure that style specifications could be updated across the entire enterprise, which includes Yakka Hard Wear and sister brands Neat N Trim, Dowd, Can't Tear 'Em and Icon, the Australian distributor of Lee Jeans. It also needed to ensure that users could globally search the database to ensure efficiencies and speed production.

With the Yakka Hard Wear brand alone providing more than 50 percent of Australia's work clothes and as the private label supplier of work apparel for many leading corporations and banks, the ability to quickly create styles and replicate them was critical.

"Through Yakka's recent acquisitions, we inherited companies that had disparate systems and processes for developing and maintaining specifications," said Stephen Ryan, systems manager of shared apparel services, one of Yakka's enterprise IT services groups. "It was a major challenge having all of those files all over the network and not being able to find anything easily or to do global replace easily."

FB Product Manager enables retailers and brands to create, review and approve all elements of a product specification, including the bill of materials, colorways, fit, samples and costs. Summary and drill-down views allow users to gain visibility of multiple styles, SKUs, orders, and other critical data.

Using FB Fabric & Trim, companies have access to a single checkpoint for material specifications, sample and cost requests. FB Fabric & Trim facilitates collaboration with textile and trim suppliers on raw material data. Brands can communicate with textile and trim suppliers, quality and testing facilities, agents and factories with greater ease to ensure their products have the right physical standards, colorways, print, weave, composition, fiber content and cost.

FB Workflow provides time and action calendars so retailers and brands can proactively track progress through the product lifecycle. FB Workflow allows supply chain partners to view product and order milestones and receive automatic, configurable status alerts.

Ryan said that Yakka chose the Freeborders solutions for their ability to provide efficiencies and ease-of-use. "In addition, one of the biggest reasons that we chose them over any other provider was because their solutions are Web-enabled," Ryan said. "Now it's easy to get our suppliers to come [into] our LAN and get the most current spec and even tell them there is a spec change they need to retrieve."

Additional Articles of Interest

— Read about the five phases of global sourcing that, if followed, allow an organization to implement a successful global sourcing strategy in the short-, medium- and long-term. See more in "Making Global Sourcing Work," only on

— All that glitters may not be gold when it comes to outsourcing manufacturing productions to China. First, weigh the costs and learn the facts with this helpful guide. Read "China or Bust: Recognizing the True Costs of Outsourcing" on