Whether business outfits, service or safety clothing in all sizes: CWS, a leading expert in textile services, supplies around 13,000 pre-produced items for the production of work wear. In addition, there are another 6,000 raw materials such as zippers and sewing thread. The different complex production methods and the complex logistics processes make precise advance planning of order processing necessary. To ensure that the goods are stocked in sufficient quantities at all times, CWS manages its warehouse and production sites with LogoMate, Remira’s inventory management software. The aim of the implementation was to map the complexity of logistics and scheduling and to control the processes in such a way that out-of-stock situations can be avoided. The stock turnover of actively managed textiles has increased from 1.4 to 2.3 since the introduction. At the same time, the delivery capability was stabilized at a level of 95 percent.
CWS manufactures and rents out individual work clothes for every need throughout Europe. As one of the leading providers of hygiene solutions and textile services, the company takes over the washing and storage of clothing for its customers in addition to the purchase and production – whether it is a craft company, an industrial company or a supermarket chain. In six manufacturing plants in Europe, garments are sewn and embroidered with company logos, for example. The European logistics sites regularly supply the production companies with raw materials. In the Customer Fulfillment Center in Poland, the finished goods – i.e. textiles that have already been produced or purchased – are then individualised and adapted to the customer’s wishes.
Precise forecasts for best service quality
“We offer our customers the best service as well as fast and flexible production processes. This includes, for example, bringing replacement garments from the warehouse to shipping in just one hour,” explains Lutz Leischner, Head of Inventory Management at CWS. Demand planning for work pants, blouses, aprons and coats was previously based on Excel lists and using SAP’s standard functions. However, in order to have all the necessary materials for follow-up and new orders in stock at all times, the service provider needed a more precise forecast calculation tool. To this end, the company relies on LogoMate from Remira. Initially, CWS had planned to use the software only for sales planning. However, it quickly became clear that the application of LogoMate can also be easily extended to the scheduling and planning of production capacities. “The main thing that was convincing in the selection process was that the software can be individually extensible and can be adapted to the specific customer requirements,” says Lutz Leischner. “Together with Remira, we worked out what the software should do in our case using a test scenario.” With LogoMate, CWS benefits from transparent processes in scheduling, automated inventory management, verifiable underlyings for reporting and a flexible and accurate tool for forecasting as well as for sales planning within the scope of actions and New launches.
Plan ready-to-wear sizes in a forward-looking manner
The intelligent forecasting function of LogoMate provides CWS with information about which goods will sell and how in the future. The data is calculated based on sales figures from previous years. LogoMate also dynamically adjusts the safety stocks for each item: If, for example, short-sleeved shirts are ordered due to seasonal factors, the software reacts in advance and initiates orders early. Overall, CWS was able to significantly minimize the risk of out-of-stock situations while increasing the number of active items in the warehouse. “Textile production is both the largest and the most complex area in logistics. In addition to the required quantity of items, we also have to take into account the distribution of the individual dress sizes in production,” says Leischner. This was largely calculated manually before logoMate was introduced using simplified size keys. The result of the often error-prone calculations were large quantities of old stocks. “Very small and very large sizes are rarely in demand. Our purchasing therefore requires precise information as to which dress sizes we need and in what number,” Leischner explains. This is achieved with the advanced forecasting function of LogoMate: The software first calculates the forecast for an article and then splits it up to the individual dress sizes.
LM capa+ manages capacity planning
Another concern of CWS was to be able to plan the production processes precisely and to be able to react flexibly to peak orders. The company organizes production planning in each production plant by posting a specific quota of sewing minutes. Especially with varying order volumes, it is important for the service provider to optimally utilize the companies at all times. For this reason, the company has recently started using the LM capa+ LogoMate module for capacity planning: With the module, CWS books exactly as many sewing minutes per week in the individual plants as are required for the production of ongoing orders. LM capa+ thus enables the needs-based planning of personnel and machine utilization and can be connected to time recording systems, for example. The module automatically balances all current and future orders as well as the utilization of the individual sewing operations in minutes. The system detects overloads and underloads immediately. In order to ensure that agreed delivery dates are met at all times, LM capa+ makes suggestions as to which order work can be brought forward or transferred. “We supply our production plants with raw materials on a weekly basis. LogoMate’s support allows us to react flexibly to peak orders and to coordinate delivery dates in a forward-looking manner thanks to the precise planning of the system,” leischner describes.
Better product availability with LogoMate
Due to the company’s growth in recent years, the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) ordered in professional clothing increased by 15 percent. At the same time, unit sales increased by more than 25 percent. With the help of LogoMate, CWS increased the stock handling for the items actively managed via the software from 1.4 to 2.3, thus laying the foundation for short delivery times and high availability. “Reducing old stocks was not our main goal, but it is a welcome side effect,” says Leischner. “It was much more important to us to manage the complexity of the production and logistics processes in such a way that as few out-of-stock situations as possible arise. We have achieved this together with Remira. Our product availability has improved sustainably to over 95 percent.”