Chateau Lingerie – Watson’s

Château Lingerie succeeds in being innovative and efficient with the fully integrated erpWizard suite

Château Lingerie Mfg. is constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to stay efficient and at the top of their industry by better serving their loyal customer-base as well as by offering innovative base layer garments under the Watson’s brand. Read how this Canadian company replaced their outdated management system that was holding them back with a more flexible, scalable ERP solution, perfect for growth.

About Château Lingerie Mfg. Inc.

Château Lingerie Mfg. Inc. is one of the leading underwear/baselayer manufacturing and distribution companies in North America. This family-run business, which has over 60 years of operations, originally started as a domestic manufacturer of undergarments. However, due to market and industry changes in 2000, they quickly and efficiently transitioned into an import business, with manufacturing in Bangladesh and China, all the while keeping product development, design and store distribution headquartered in Montreal, Québec.

Challenges

Château Lingerie’s previous IT system, developed with the Magic Software platform, was implemented in 1995. At the time, it was cutting-edge technology, which allowed the company to gain a competitive advantage in their industry. However, business requirements and technology are constantly evolving and, after 20 years and numerous software tweaks later, Chateau Lingerie’s IT system was getting to be too complex and inefficient for their current business needs.

It was time for a complete IT solution upgrade. In order to meet the needs of their employees, business partners and customers, this system needed to be flexible, scalable and efficient.

Why NAMTEK Consulting Services?

Choosing a software solution developed by NAMTEK Consulting Services was an obvious choice, as stated by Jeff Khoury, Executive Vice-President of Château Lingerie Mfg. Inc.

Having worked with NAMTEK Consulting Services since January 2000, and seen first-hand the amount of support the NAMTEK Team offers its customers, is what made the decision that much easier for Château Lingerie.

“ Many changes were done to our previous system by the NAMTEK Team with no major hiccups, something I cannot say about past IT developers I’ve worked with ” – Jeff Khoury, Executive V.P. of Château Lingerie Mfg.

The transition to upgrade to erpWizard, NAMTEK’s latest fully integrated ERP management suite, began a little less than a year go. This software suite included the necessary business modules that Château Lingerie needed, such as Purchasing, Invoicing, G/L, A/P, A/R, Forecasting, Duty Relief Tracking, etc., along with add-on modules EDI2XML, for their EDI communication with business partners around the world, as well as WIMS 2.0, a complete mobile real-time Warehouse Management System.

According to Mr. Khoury, the decision to go with erpWizard and its add-ons was due to 4 main reasons:
1. Simplicity; The management system was simple yet was developed with detailed business functions.
2. Ease of Transition; There was an ease of transition that he liked, which made transferring an abundance of past data from the old system to the new one that much easier.
3. Cost; In Mr. Khoury’s experience, a fully integrated system like this would typically cost his business hundreds of thousands of dollars. NAMTEK provided an efficient fully integrated business system that was developed with the latest technologies at an affordable price.
4. Support; Once again, having seen what the team at NAMTEK Consulting Services can do and how they work impressed his own staff. Everyone at Château Lingerie was able to call, email or even meet with NAMTEK’s team of developers at any time.

Implementation

Mr. Khoury knew full well that implementation of any software solution at a company is always a scary thought, not only for executives but also for employees. It would mean asking his team to accept change and learn a new system. However, according to him, “implementation was smoother than anticipated”.

The time it takes for everyone at the company to get accustomed to the new changes of course varies between individuals and the area of responsibility each one has. In the case of Château Lingerie, user training began well before implementation and continued afterwards as well. In this executive’s eyes, training was imperative. Prior to the actual transition, Chateau Lingerie’s employees were able to run a demo of the system with real data in order for everyone to get a feel of how the system works. During and after implementation, a complete training program was conducted by NAMTEK so everyone at the company knew how to use the solution properly and to its full potential.

How has NAMTEK Consulting Services helped?

As Executive V.P., Mr. Khoury was able to see major positive changes to the company with erpWizard, beginning with its greatest impact:

Reduction of EDI issues
o With an abundance of EDI transactions going in and out on a daily basis, it’s important that the EDI communication with their business partners was flawless. The old system had many limitations that caused problems for Château Lingerie; it was only able to handle 12 digit UPC codes, EDI mapping was hard coded and always required a programmer’s help for changes and selling prices were only assessed by style. The new system, integrated with NAMTEK’s EDI to XML translation software, EDI2XML, now allows them to verify EDI mapping internally, with no limits to UPC codes, allowing them to process EDI transactions requiring 14 digit UPC codes, and they can handle different selling prices by SKU rather than solely by style.

Creation of products
o Today, the team at Château Lingerie can create a full product item profile in order to better analyze sales and future trends through their integrated Business Intelligence software, Tableau. On top of this, they now have the ability to price and sell the same item in different units of measure (in units, dozens, or by case packs) without having to create a different item number.

Tasks, Reminders, Comments and External document attachments
o Attaching any kind of document, be it an Excel spreadsheet, Word document, PDF or Image, as well as tasks, reminders or comments to just about anything is now possible. This has allowed for better transfer of information between users, no matter their department or physical location.

Printing
o All printing documents are now produced as a PDF file, which allows for ease of use and is environmentally friendly. Sharing important reports and files with colleagues is now easy and quick.

Apart from the day-to-day visible improvements that the team at Château Lingerie was able to quickly see and benefit from, the new system has allowed this leading Canadian undergarment company to be more efficient overall and to respond much more quickly to customer needs and industry changes.

“ In terms of business process efficiencies, erpWizard has given our company the ability to keep up with our customers’ needs and requests. With our old system, it was a struggle to stay in line with the ever-changing business world we must all accept ” – Jeff Khoury, Executive V.P. of Château Lingerie Mfg.

Looking forward, Mr. Khoury predicts labor efficiencies and better communication between his staff, customers and suppliers. In his own words, he is “completely satisfied with the system and sees so much potential for more add-on modules in the near future.