A well-crafted road map provides an approach for strengthening both the balance sheet and customer relationships.
After examining a fashion company's supply chain, West Monroe helped the company achieve more accurate and timely deliveries and prioritize the actions that will provide the best ROI opportunities.

Established in 1991, this company builds exceptional brands in the competitive world of fashion and home decor. Its goal is to bring design in general, and fashion in particular, to people by offering families well-designed products at unexpected prices.

Improving performance to retain customers.
In a competitive retail market, this company’s success is dependent on its distinctive and innovative design capabilities. By 2007, though, its business environment required that it re-examine certain business practices. The company’s management wanted to ensure that its service continued to meet customers’ needs. But, given that its long order lead times resulted in a long cash-to-cash cycle, it also needed to identify and make certain process changes that could improve its cash flow.

To support its growth over the long term while improving its cash flow in the short term, the company sought to: 

  • Improve margins
  • Reduce distribution and delivery costs
  • Reduce inventory
  • Speed up deliveries
  • Improve its fill rate and cycle time

To demonstrate its value as a strategic importer while strengthening its balance sheet, the company worked with West Monroe Partners to create a road map for re-engineering key business processes, reviewing enterprise applications, and redesigning its distribution center layout.

A road map for achieving critical goals.
With the company’s new business strategy as its foundation, West Monroe employed several tactics to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement:

  • Process mapping all critical business processes, including product lifecycle management, demand planning, distribution operations, order processing, and purchasing processes
  • A supply chain diagnostic questionnaire
  • Interviews with all executives and middle managers in the company’s design, purchasing, distribution and logistics, customer service, IT, and sales departments
  • Process benchmarking and financial analyses
  • IT strategy review and benchmarking

Then, the project team prioritized recommendations that supported the company’s high growth goals, with emphasis on actions that provide the best opportunities for return on investment.

With the road map as its guide, the company sought and received approval from its Board to implement short-term process improvements in its distribution center and enterprise application. These improvements, which it is implementing with assistance from West Monroe Partners, will result in more accurate and timely delivery to its customers, as well as greater visibility into operations for the company’s managers. In addition, West Monroe Partners is assisting the company with enterprise resource planning (ERP) selection and distribution center layout optimization.