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Volume 11, Number 5 -- February 8, 2011

ManH Takes the Guesswork out of Warehouse Management for Jeans-Maker

Published: February 8, 2011

by Alex Woodie

When GUESS? first contacted Manhattan Associates about helping it to streamline its distribution and warehouse management activities in 1999, the jeans maker was "exploding at the seams" due to huge demand, according to the IBM i software vendor. Over a decade later, GUESS? attributes some of its supply-chain successes to Manhattan's ability to efficiently manage inventory.

GUESSS? was struggling to keep up with demand for its products when it called up the consulting firm KSA, which recommended that it open a second distribution facility. At the time, most of the company's customers were on the East Coast, but its only warehouse was in Los Angeles.

KSA also recommended that GUESS? check out Manhattan Associates, the Atlanta, Georgia-based software company whose IBM i-based warehouse management system has an excellent track record. The clothes company installed Manhattan's IBM i-based application to run its new warehouse in Louisville, Kentucky.

According to a recent case study by Manhattan, the Louisville warehouse was run so efficiently that GUESS? decided to shut down the Los Angeles warehouse (which was running a different WMS, presumably), and instead build a new warehouse in Montreal, Canada, and to expand with 3PL sites in Asia.

GUESS? has grown its business considerably since it installed the new distribution points, all of which are managed by the Manhattan software. According to Manhattan's case study, the company has increased the amount of inventory it processes by 30 to 40 percent every year. More than 21 million units are handled each year in Louisville, which accounts for about two-thirds of the company's throughput.

Under the Manhattan WMS, GUESS? has improved its inventory accuracy "through the roof." The entire system is so advanced that GUESS? customers can return their products to any licensed retail outlet, even if they bought the jeans (or glasses or shoes or jewelry) at a different retail chain or even over the Web. This flexibility is due to the ManH WMS being interfaced to both the retail and distribution ERP systems that GUESS? uses. This capability to present a unified brand to a multi-channel audience is rare in the retail world.

"Without Manhattan's Warehouse Management solution, we could not have achieved the growth we have to date," Tom Boyle, project manger for GUESS?, says in the case study. "The scalability of the solution has allowed GUESS? to target our systems and processes to the ever-evolving world of retail and wholesale distribution."




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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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