Warminster, PA, August 02, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- SP Apparel’s been making sports jerseys since 1999 and developed a great expertise in the conception of creative designs, pattern making, sublimation printing as well as producing innovative personalized custom team apparel. They sell more than 250,000 jerseys every year, into 27 countries, for 110 customers including big names like Nike, CCM, and Reebok.
Well-known in the hockey industry, SP Apparel also provides a wide variety of quality athletic uniforms for soccer, football, baseball, lacrosse and basketball under the brand name of SSP.
What differentiates SP Apparel from other apparel manufacturers in NA is not only very high quality products, but the ability to customize small quantity orders of jerseys to very specific customer needs. It’s this scenario that also brings complexity in regards to their ERP.
“Our ERP system is an essential part of our business,” said Steve Berard, Executive Vice President and co-owner. “We had been working on a very efficient and customized system for the last 17 years. But it was out of support and putting our company at risk should any issues come up. While we were not experiencing any problems, there were many changes to our business processes and we felt updating our ERP system to a more technologically modern, functionally rich solution would help our growing business.”
Berard joined the company in June 2016 bringing a strong background in IT and a focus on implementing modern, innovative technology. He wanted to have a new system that not only had all the functionality of the old system but provided room for growth and the ability to expand to quickly meet future needs – like new acquisitions, new factories, or anything regarding ecommerce.
Berard approached this very strategically, realizing this could be an opportunity to not only upgrade the system, but to make changes to improve efficiency and reduce overall costs.
Berard identified 3 steps to manage this move:
1) Creating an RFP, evaluating 5 vendors on their ERP solution, including Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and Infor.
2) Short-listing Infor & one other vendor.
3) Evaluating TOC and complexity of implementation for this new ERP system.
“We got responses from all these companies quickly and they all seemed to think it would be an easy implementation – but each time we had the first meeting and discussed the customization – every production project we are doing is custom, not repetitive – we got the same response, ‘this is more complicated than we thought,” said Berard. “Based on their response, we decided to contact Infor, the company that had owned the Movex system that we had.
Infor referred him to Shiv Kaushik, CEO at ICCG an Infor Gold and Global Alliance Partner focused on supporting Infor M3 with deep experience in the Fashion & Apparel industry. Shiv and the ICCG team traveled to Canada to meet and make a proposal for Infor M3 which was exactly what SP Apparel needed as a product since it represented a continuity of their present system.
“ICCG has deep knowledge of Infor M3 and has more than 20 years’ experience implementing different versions of M3 over this time period,” said Kaushik. “This made us the absolute right choice as implementation partner for this SP Apparel. They had a defined budget and timeline and working closely with Infor, ICCG managed to meet the budget and schedule expectations. ICCG also made a commitment to help SP Apparel go live before their peak season hit in June 2017 and we kept our promise, by going live on May 29, 2017.”
Changing an ERP system in a manufacturing company is a major conversion and it’s typically very complicated. It can jeopardize your operation making it critical to implement the right solution. Ultimately, Berard chose Infor M3 as the ERP solution and ICCG as his implementation partner.
Implementations of this type can typically take up to 2 years but SP Apparel did not have that amount of time. It had to be live by June 2017 or risk more cost, more time, and ultimately would consume resources dedicated to other projects. ICCG and the fully focused SP Apparel team pulled it off in just under 7 months.
“This was one of the best experiences I’ve had in so many IT projects that I led in my career,” said Berard. “Besides offering me turn-key solutions, ICCG was honest and transparent in communication. ICCG certainly understands the application, provided great support, and most importantly, stuck to their word and delivered on-budget, on-time.”
“Shiv, was very involved, in every step,” said Bala Anantharama, ICCG Senior VP. “He made a commitment and left no stones unturned to deliver what we promised. He’s a great strength and asset for ICCG because he is one of few business leaders that understands the application, and takes the time to support a customer. Most importantly, he sticks to his word.”