Under Armour Taps Manhattan Associates for WMS
June 15, 2010 Alex Woodie
Under Armour, the $850 million maker of form-fitting athletic apparel, is a happy customer of Manhattan Associates‘ i/OS-based warehouse management system, the software vendor announced last week.
Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Under Armour became well-known for its pioneering use of compression and moisture-wicking technologies to create a T-shirt that could better regulate an athlete’s temperature, therefore leading to higher performance.
Over the years, the company’s clothing has been endorsed by many professional and collegiate athletes and athletic programs in sports ranging from football to baseball. Even soldiers and Marines based in Iraq and Afghanistan have worn the products (although the U.S. military decided to create a non-synthetic version that didn’t pose the same burn hazards).
Behind the recent success of Under Armour is a bullet-proof WMS from Manhattan Associates. The company, which was founded in 1996 and went public in 2005, decided to upgrade to Manhattan Associates in 2006 after its previous system for tracking and distributing goods failed to cope with demand for the company’s products.
Picking the best-of-breed WMS was not a difficult decision, according to Eric Olsson, director of distribution systems for the apparel company. “We met with several industry players; however it was clear Manhattan had the most mature product offering not only in the warehouse management niche, but also in our vertical market,” Olsson says in a press release.
Under Armour implemented three Manhattan Associates products: the core Warehouse Management for IBM i application, as well as Extended Enterprise Management and Slotting Optimization.
The products have enabled Under Armour to drive greater efficiency into its warehouse. In the first September following the WMS rollout, the company reported no overtime for the month, which is its busiest month, despite shipping record-levels of apparel from its warehouses. “We credit Manhattan’s Warehouse Management for the increased efficiency we gained,” Olsson says in a case study posted to the Manhattan Associates’ Web site.
Meanwhile, the Extended Enterprise Management component paid dividends by enabling the company to make good on its available-to-promise and direct ship orders. “It’s the difference between making an accurate commitment or not,” Olsson says. The Slotting Optimization module has helped by enabling the company to allocate “golden zones” in the warehouse where highest demand items are stored based on seasonality.