Panache Lingerie has implemented an innovative omnichannel strategy including what is described as a unique Click, Fit and Collect service, supported by Indigo WMS.
In doing so, the company has become the first lingerie manufacturer in the UK to offer a multi-level omnichannel model and give customers the ultimate in convenience and service.
One of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of plus size lingerie, Panache has developed an excellent reputation for fit, technical ability and quality over the past 35 years. The company now exports to over 53 countries from its 54,000 sq ft warehouse in Sheffield. Panache has experienced significant export sales growth in recent years, particularly in central and eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Asia. “We operate in a niche market and there are very few companies producing such high quality lingerie as Panache for the same price, making our products very sought after internationally,” says Paul Webster, Logistics Manager at Panache.
Panache’s business has been transformed in recent years as the company implemented a complex, 4 tiered omnichannel business strategy. Traditionally Panache has sold its products through major women’s retailers like Next, specialist lingerie boutiques and department stores, including Bravissimo, Selfridges and John Lewis, plus mail order specialists including JD Williams and Littlewoods. In addition, these outlets also sell Panache products online, with Panache being responsible for much of the e-commerce order fulfilment, drop-shipping directly to the customer. More recently Panache launched its own e-commerce shop, allowing customers to buy direct and, its recent innovation, Click Fit and Collect. This latter offering provides the ultimate for customers, allowing them to combine the convenience of e-commerce with a personalised in-store service.
Processing such a wide range of orders requires a warehouse management system (WMS) capable of handling a high degree of flexibility and Indigo has proved an essential technology partner for Panache. Integrated with the company’s Infor ERP, Indigo WMS ensures the warehouse can run with real-time visibility of sales orders plus their status within the supply chain and achieve key customer KPIs, such as OTIF (on time in full) targets.
“Indigo WMS has really increased our stock integrity levels. If we tell a customer we have an item in stock we definitely do, which is very good for customer satisfaction,” says Paul Webster at Panache.
Key benefits of Indigo WMS for Panache
Introducing Indigo WMS has enabled Panache to introduce the following key warehouse and business operations improvements:
- Efficient management of 1 million stock items and over 11,500 individual SKUs, ensuring 98% stock availability;
- Create multiple warehouse zones to support different omnichannel order profiles, including Click Fit and Collect, and handle the reverse logistics processes associated with e-commerce sales. Indigo WMS is integrated with Panache’s transactional website and orders placed are immediately visible in the warehouse for the fastest possible turnaround – most orders are fulfilled within 24 hours;
- Two step custom marshalling process giving Panache full visibility of exactly where an order is within the supply chain, for a full audit trail and improved customer service;
- Achieve bonded warehouse status, enabling significant cash flow savings, since duties are only paid on stock when the items are despatched to relevant regions. HMRC requires a full audit trail of all sales and Indigo WMS facilitates this by monitoring all stock movements and providing live stock updates, to simplify compliance reporting procedures;
- Perpetual inventory stock management, eliminating the need for year-end stock counts, which previously disrupted operations for 2 weeks and prevented any trading;
- Supporting a 80% reduction to the amount of packaging materials used, especially plastics. 15% of stock items held within Indigo WMS are packaging related and by managing them within the WMS together with garment stock, increases the level of control possible;
- Flexibility to create customised, fully automated replenishment processes to accommodate different packaging formats, further reducing the level of carton packaging used;
- Inventory accuracy levels average 99.85% and Panache is routinely achieving 97% OTIF targets. Despatch lead times have reduced and customer complaints have disappeared.
“Panache has created a really efficient warehouse operation managing over 1 million stock items and we couldn’t have done it without a really good WMS in place. We have 98% stock availability, know exactly where every piece of stock is, where it came from, its age and when we need to re-order. Trying to do this for over 220 SKUs per file is a huge challenge and the functionality within Indigo WMS makes things very straightforward,” adds Paul Webster.