Since 1931, Tanner Companies has been creating quality women's clothing and accessories under the Doncaster brand. The Rutherfordton, North Carolina-based company offers its products through a network of more than 2,000 "wardrobe consultants" who host private showings of the clothing line for their customers across the United States. Customers can also place orders by calling the company call center or using its eCommerce website. The only retail storefronts the company operates directly are liquidation stores. In house, the company employs 200 people to handle design, merchandising, sourcing, order placement, and distribution of the clothing. Tanner's design offices are in New York and production facilities are in China. Finished goods are brought into Tanner's main warehouse in North Carolina. Sunrise helped the company replace JD Edwards with Microsoft Dynamics AX, bringing apparel industry expertise and solutions to the project. As a result, Tanner significantly reduced their total cost of ownership while gaining a customized solution to meet its needs that has been updated since the early release.

CHALLENGES

  • Inflexible, highly cusotmized legacy systems were expensive to maintain and operate
  • Lack of real-time order processing, impacting the entire shipping and delivery cycle
  • Unique apparel and consulting model requirements that could not be accommodated by existing systems
  • Disparate financials and supply chain systems limited visibility from sourcing to retail
  • Slow response time to meet market demands

SOLUTION

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX offered an integrated solution to run all financials, sales, supply chain, distribution, and retail functions
  • Solution offered an easily customization and highly scalable platform for growth
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX offered a strong road map for additional features and version releases
  • Sunrise offered a strong blend of product expertise and apparel industry solutions that would maximize value
  • One integrated solution from one vendor

BENEFITS

  • An integrated financial, supply chain, distribution, and retail solution all under a single platform
  • Adaptable solution that meets future needs with simple customization
  • Faster, more accurate operations with real-time order processing
  • Rapid return on investment achieved with a quick deployment and simple customizations
  • Reallocated resources, saving thousands in staff hours
  • Reduced total cost of ownership by consolidating outdated legacy systems

 

Tanner was using JD Edwards enterprise resource planning software and i2 supply chain management software. However, these solutions were very expensive to maintain and too inflexible to be completely customized for the company's specific business model. Moreover, Tanner was beginning to outgrow these solutions and was coming to a point where it needed to either upgrade or replace them. Another concern for Tanner was time. The JD Edwards solution was running in an AS/400 environment, which required that orders be processed only in batches, generally run at night. This delayed the entire shipping and delivery cycle, something the company found increasingly unacceptable in the competitive, time-sensitive fashion and apparel industry.

Tanner Companies made the decision to move to Microsoft Dynamics AX in February 2004 in order to completely replace its existing architecture with one that was much more easily customizable and highly scalable for the future.

To minimize business disruption, the customer service functionality was active from day one. This allowed for order placement tools for the call center and helped smooth the sales flow. Tanner deployed financial and distribution functionality, including capabilities for managing accounting, inventory, warehouse operations, order handling, and calculating consultant commissions. The company now has more functionality and flexibility to grow the business and realized significant time and cost savings, improving the overall total cost of ownership for the infrastructure.

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