Posts tagged ‘footwear’

Red Wing Shoes Reveals Supply Chain Basics on YouTube

JW Yates

New York City, New York

Red Wing Shoes has been manufacturing some of the highest-quality work-boots and footwear in the United States since 1905, and this Minnesota-based company wants everyone to know about their ongoing commitment to the “made in USA” label.


In a series of recently produced promotional videos, Red Wing has gone inside their manufacturing plant and talked with the people who actually cut, sew and glue their notoriously rugged boots and shoes. The result is an unexpected YouTube viral marketing hit.

It appears that folks on the web are fascinated by the ins and outs of supply chain, and have a certain fascination with the antiquated methods of today’s factory cobblers. Perhaps the videos are so popular because it is exceedingly rare these days to see someone repairing old boots, or shaping leather by hand in an economy that is increasingly based on high-tech IT jobs.

The lush and vivid videos were produced by the Minneapolis-based advertising company Brew Creative, and serve as a primer on modern shoe manufacturing. They give a brief glimpse into the complexity of a factory supply chain in action. Anyone interested in learning how basic raw materials get fashioned into shelf-ready boots should take a look at Red Wing’s new promos. Not only do the American-based workers seem intent on bringing quality footwear to market, but they also seem committed to carrying on the long tradition of taking pride in American-made products.

With so much competition coming from overseas manufacturing, and so much pressure to cut the bottom line, it is encouraging to see a stalwart American-based corporation making a commitment to US production. We only hope that their newest promotional efforts inspire a new generation of workers who seek to make the “made in USA” label mean something substantial in the new economy.

So, we at BMS say, “Right on Red Wing!” Thanks for making your supply chain such a visible part of your corporate identity, and thanks for taking pride in the sourcing of your materials and labor.

March 30, 2011

Business Management Systems

330 West 38th Street

Suite 705

New York, NY 10018

(800) 266-4046


March 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment

American Apparel Faces Market Forces

News is in that American Apparel has delayed filing its 2010 annual report. Speculation in the media has it that the popular T-shirt and basics retailer will report stiff losses over the past year. The company—whose popular line of primary-colored socks, tights and shirts are ubiquitous among certain demographics—has seen a spate of bad press and disappointing financial numbers recently.

According to some reports the increasing price of yarn and textiles over the past year, coupled with “labor inefficiencies,” has led to the declining profits at American Apparel. The company was forced to hire hundreds of new workers at its Los Angles manufacturing plant after a federal investigation into worker eligibility led to mass firings. The inexperienced labor supply has in turn led to a less efficient manufacturing process.

It is interesting to look at American Apparel as a case study on the forces affecting today’s clothing manufacturers and retailers. Even though the brand is high-profile and popular, the various complexities of the market have compounded to threaten the underlying viability of the company.

No manufacturer is immune to market forces. Many of the factors pushing against American Apparel are well-known obstacles. Fluctuating raw material costs, regulatory compliance, labor efficiency; these are all factors that people in the clothing industry are well acquainted with. In fact, many manufacturers use Supply Chain Management or Product Lifecycle Management software in a concentrated attempt to bring these chaotic forces into check. For example, there is very little your company can do to affect the increasing price of cotton on the global market. However, with a well-implemented PLM system you may be able to foresee potential supply issues and enact design changes to avoid making costly mistakes. Likewise, if you use contractors or subcontractors in the manufacturing process, a PLM or SCM system can help you track and verify regulatory compliance.

So take a look at your operation and decide if you are doing everything in your power to stay on top of the kind of volatile market forces which are battering American Apparel right now. It may be necessary to implement a supply chain software system to help you oversee your efforts, and help avoid serious financial issues that result from compounded market forces.

JW Yates

New York City, New York

March 21, 2011


Business Management Systems

330 West 38th Street

Suite 705

New York, NY 10018

(800) 266-4046

March 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

Women’s Liberation from…Stilettos?

UK news website The Independent reports a new movement taking place overseas. A movement to free working women from the treacherous snarls of…high heeled shoes?

Don’t get them wrong. Although they believe that high heels are “sexist” and “good for glamming up but not good for the workplace”, campaign leaders from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP) are not looking to ban high heels from your place of business–only for women to be afforded the choice to wear more orthopedically sound shoes.

While it may seem ridiculous at first, consider women such as flight attendants and retail saleswomen who, despite the active nature of their jobs, are required to wear high heels as a part of a uniform or dress code.

Ah, yes. The proverbial “gray area”. I think we’ve found it.

Ready to sink your teeth a little deeper into this burgeoning debate? Read the full article HERE.

Pretty...or hazardous?

Pretty...or hazardous?

October 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

PLM for Inventory Control – ‘Storing Cash’ from Footwear News

I recently read an excellent article in Footwear News called Storing Cash by Jocelyn Anderson, which focused on inventory control as a means of improving cash flow in times of economic decline.

SVP of RMSA Retail Solutions Paul Erickson is quoted as saying, “Inventory is No. 1, and the faster you sell it, the better your cash flow.”

To achieve this delicate balance, Bob Schwartz, president of of Eneslow Pedorthic Enterprises says, “If you think of each shoe box as dollars, the most important thing to do is tighten your inventory. Never be out of your core and don’t worry about the fringe—there’s no room for B- and C-level product right now.”

As a member of the PLM industry, it got me to thinking about and appreciating PLM in terms of inventory control and economic soundness.

Anyone’s who’s looked into PLM knows the gist of what PLM achieves—it creates a more efficient business and saves appreciable money, materials and labor, all while generating outstanding ROI. But when you break down the big picture, just like Erickson says, inventory control really is at the heart of it all.

For example, one of the core ways PLM saves a company money is by allowing a user to determine not only how much of a material is needed to create a product, but to determine exactly how many passes of the needle are required to stitch it together. This allows for laser-precise inventory control, saving fabric, thread, labor and time—and money on all of the above. Once a product is created and sold, meticulous records are generated, logging how many pieces where sold and delivered to each store, making it easy to re-order materials and produce the correct amount to fill another order.

One could argue that during an afore mentioned period of economic decline may not be the time to invest in a PLM system. I would like to argue that PLM may be the one safe investment during times of economic hardship. In my experience at BMS (where our clients enjoy 100% successful implementation and customer satisfaction rates) it is the one investment statistically proven generate profits, and could be just what the doctor ordered in terms of inventory control and economic stimulation.

Has anyone else read the article? I’d appreciate any comments or thoughts you may have on this topic!

September 24, 2009 at 9:06 pm Leave a comment

Charles David Magenta Platform Sandal (File Under: “Things that make you go ‘Mmmm…'”)

We were flipping through our Footwear News in the office the other day and these luxurious magenta platform sandals from Charles David literally stopped us in our tracks:


And yes, that’s a photo of the page in the magazine. We couldn’t find a photo online but we were just THAT desperate to share the glory of these shoes with you, cyberspace. Don’t you appreciate our resourcefulness?

August 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

About BMS

Business Management Systems (BMS) has been a leading provider of product lifecycle management software solutions to the apparel & textiles industry for 15 years, delivering VerTex Toolboxes--an easy-to-use modular system uniquely configured to meet every company's specific needs.

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