Liz Claiborne Fashions Award-winning Supply Chain

Designer firm honored by Aberdeen Group for international logistics excellence; on-demand system addresses global sourcing and supply chain complexities

Designer firm honored by Aberdeen Group for international logistics excellence; on-demand system addresses global sourcing and supply chain complexities

San Mateo, CA — March 1, 2006 — Liz Claiborne Inc., a leading designer and marketer of women's and men's fashion apparel, accessories and fragrances, has received Aberdeen Group's Best Practice Award for International Logistics.

The award was primarily based on the benefits Liz Claiborne has realized through the use of TradeBeam Inc.'s on-demand visibility and trade compliance applications, key components of the company's global trade management (GTM) platform.

With more than 250 million units of product sourced from over 3,000 factories in 35 countries, Liz Claiborne needed to increase control over its supply chain with better shipment visibility and streamlined import compliance. TradeBeam's on-demand applications connected the company's global logistics and business partners, and provided an automated solution for managing governmental freight requirements.

The on-demand model was attractive, said Lois Davis, Liz Claiborne's vice president of global logistics. With this delivery model, our IT department didn't have to worry about installing and upgrading software, acquiring and supporting hardware, or managing [electronic data interchange (EDI)] connections. This model also gave us the ability to load acquisitions quickly onto the system to maintain enterprise-wide visibility. Now, we're spending time managing rather than chasing information.

Roughly 100 daily users across 37 divisions can now monitor and manage shipments from the time they leave the manufacturer through their final destination, redirect cargo if necessary and more accurately plan customer allocations.

Because of the increased visibility, Liz Claiborne's import group is able to manage international shipments proactively to keep the supply chain moving, commented Beth Enslow, Aberdeen Group vice president of supply chain research and author of the report. For instance, staff members may redirect cargo into a different transload facility or an alternative port to avoid congestion or to make up time because of unanticipated supply chain delays. Activities such as freight payment and return of empty cargo containers are also monitored through the system.

Quantifiable benefits of the system include reduced import transit times by five to seven days through improved visibility and more proactive shipment management. The resulting shorter lead times allowed for the removal of seven to10 days of inventory from the supply chain in the first 18 months, given the increased confidence regarding where goods are in the supply chain. Operational efficiencies have allowed the company to increase the number of shipments processed with a reduced headcount.

It's not surprising that Liz Claiborne is being singled out as a leader in international logistics, said Graham R.F. Napier, president and CEO of TradeBeam. They are strategic thinkers that long ago recognized the need for this type of system in response to the growing complexity of global sourcing and logistics as well as government regulation. Their foresight has served them well.

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