Clothing designer and manufacturer AS Colour has become the first company ever to implement Manhattan Associates’ warehouse management solution (WMS) remotely, while under COVID-19 lockdown.
AS Colour’s Auckland distribution centre was unable to operate during New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown from March 25 to April 26.
However, along with other retailers across the globe, the company experienced a huge spike in online orders.
This motivated the company to push forward with its plan to roll out the Manhattan SCALE WMS to help them better manage e-commerce orders.
“After we were forced into lockdown, more people were heading for the e-commerce space to buy goods," said Lawrence Railton, managing director and founder of AS Colour.
"But with many lines of distribution brought to a halt in New Zealand, we saw an overflow of orders once restrictions eased, which put a lot of pressure on our distribution centre to catch up."
This fluctuation in demand was exactly the type of situation that drew AS Colour to implement Manhattan’s WMS technology in the first place, as it would prepare the company for future shifts in the market.
"When rolling out the new system, we really had to use remote working to our advantage, which in the end allowed us to launch the new system two weeks ahead of schedule and save plenty of money on travel and overheads in the process," Railton said.
AS Colour was founded in Auckland in 2005 after Railton realised there was a gap in the market for a clothing store supplying high-quality blank apparel including t-shirts, singlets, sweatshirts and more.
With nine stores in Australia, ten in New Zealand and four distribution centres globally, AS Colour plans to implement Manhattan SCALE to all other distribution facilities in the future. The first of these will be its new 18,000 square metre facility in Melbourne, which is set to go live and begin receiving inventory by mid-October.
“We were thrilled to see how well this project turned out for AS Colour, which is reflective of their decision to prioritise business innovation even during a pandemic,” said Raghav Sibal, managing director of Australia and New Zealand for Manhattan Associates.
“The ever- changing nature of eCommerce and consumer demands means that businesses need to have agility and scalability built into their systems and processes in order to seize new opportunities while still maintaining operational efficiencies."