Thought (established in 1995) is an eco-friendly clothing company with a mission to create beautiful, earth-kind clothes using natural fabrics like organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. Its’ easy-wear pieces come in classic silhouettes with a supersoft feel, created to make sustainable dressing (and living) a joy.
Rapid expansion – that has seen the workforce of Thought Clothing more than double – is with thanks to business solution specialists Sci-Net, following its appointment as part of a competitive tender.
Amid ‘extraordinary circumstances’ of 2020, the planet-friendly brand saw an increase in trading and took steps to support its growth ambitions, migrating its ecommerce platform and introducing a new ERP system with partner of choice, Sci-Net.
Kamal Daniels, Business Development and Systems Manager at Thought Clothing, explains: “We traded very well during the two year period of the pandemic. Wildlife was flourishing, there was less pollution, and an acute sense of regeneration, which I think brought to the forefront of consumer thinking – and spending – the issue of sustainability and the move towards a thoughtful mindset”.
“While we don’t have bricks and mortar stores, we have concessions and we observed growth across the retail and wholesale parts of the business. Our legacy IT system was clunky and was based on manual integrations with various partners. It was beginning to hinder us, so it was the right decision to bite the bullet and move to a platform that could support a significant level of growth, with Sci-Net working with us to implement the changes.”
As a Tier-1 Microsoft Gold Partner, Sci-Net supported Thought Clothing to introduce Dynamics 365 Business Central, with its ERP>Fashion system.
Kamal adds: “It was the best fit for us from a cost perspective, but also for its rich functionality and the fact that it is a well-known platform. It enables us to manage all of our finance, logistics, and our supply chain effectively. It is our ‘Bible’ and gives us visibility of where the business is at any given time, from our stock position to our future commitment on product lines. And because it integrates with other platforms available, we are now technology agnostic”.
“I’ve been doing this for around 25 years, and although every implementation is a bit bumpy, I think it was executed well by Sci-Net. It has been really positive for us.”
In fact, planning and implementation was executed remotely, partly due to COVID but also to minimise the carbon footprint of the project, with use of MS Teams calls and electronic tools to progress activity, in lieu of face to face meetings. This approach was in keeping with the sustainable ethos of Thought.
Tim Adams the Sales and Technical Director at Sci-Net, who managed the changeover, adds: “It’s fantastic that Thought Clothing has seen vast benefits to efficiency and productivity through the solution we implemented, which we believe offers the critical launchpad to their business growth, thanks to on-demand reporting that can inform decision-making.
“They told us that, previous to the ERP>Fashion system, they had inadvertently created a cottage industry internally for how they managed staff, invoicing, suppliers and payments, plus other processes. Thanks to the system they have in place, which includes a website built on the ecommerce solution from ERP>Fashion with Shopify integration, they can now automate a lot of tasks and streamline ways of working, futureproofing their whole operation.”
Kamal says: “We are a relatively small retailer and we found that once we implemented ERP>Fashion, there were other areas within the business that were extremely inefficient. Our new system helped us to highlight, isolate and then target those areas. Any strategy or forward planning has to be based on what you know, and the quality of what you know is key. Where there used to be question marks, today we have complete clarity and clean architecture”.
“We can now easily manage KPIs monitoring progress and sales growth and this offers us the flexibility to quickly adapt according to market need. Having data at our fingertips is crucial and has definitely helped to drive the company further”.
“The value Sci-Net offered was an in-depth knowledge of the platform. The team is very good at keeping us on track with new solutions or enhancements and showing how they could benefit us. We really appreciate the personal touch too, when it comes to support. We have a good rapport and it feels like we’re on a journey together, which is why I think the partnership has been such a success.”
Sci-Net’s ERP>Fashion (enterprise resource planning) solution is built around Microsoft’s world-leading platform, Dynamics 365 Business Central, and has been tailored for the fashion sector. It offers fashion retailers, and brands like Thought Clothing, a single solution which replaces often complex business insight and management tools. To learn more contact us.
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