NTD Apparel, Inc. (NTD) designs and markets clothing under license for well-known brands such as Barbie, Spider-Man, Betty Boop, Care Bears, Hello Kitty, McDonalds, Curious George and Kellogg’s. Their commitment to reinvent themselves has enabled them to become one of the largest apparel suppliers. They offer high quality service and quick order turnaround to major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Sears and Bluenotes and they are constantly looking for new and effective ways to keep their competitive edge.
At NTD, the order approval process involves the circulation of a high volume of information among departments. At the same time, the ability to make fast and accurate decisions is of paramount importance. For years, NTD’s order approval process consisted of a series of cumbersome procedures that routed paper file orders through a string of departments including sales, design, licensing and operations. Because NTD continually strives to cut costs and improve efficiency, the company decided to transform this manual ordering process into an automated and highly efficient process.
NTD engaged Intellera to guide them in their efforts to improve and automate the company’s human intensive order entry process. Intellera quickly learned NTD’s business objectives and modes of operation. Intellera’s experts recommended more efficient responsibility divisions in the organization and suggested innovative process improvements. They developed specifications for an automated process platform that featured a high level of interactivity among departments; fast, transparent information exchange; complete record of order communications; security authentication; and a central repository for electronic documents.
Once NTD approved the specifications, Intellera acted as the company’s technical arm using a tool called WorkflowGen and applied best practices and new standards enterprise-wide. NTD’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system was also integrated into the new platform, which allowed NTD to build on existing systems and leverage prior investments in IT.
“Intellera’s assistance goes beyond giving us an IT tool. Intellera is an automation and IT guru who translated the NTD vision to respond quickly to changes in our industry without reinventing the wheel each time. We needed a solution that was flexible enough to accommodate our constant state of evolution,” says Anne Blatt, NTD’s Operations Manager.
NTD felt that engaging Intellera to implement the order entry solution was the fastest way to get up and running. Intellera assisted NTD in achieving the following objectives:
“Intellera quickly transformed the critical path of our order process to a fully collaborative automated process, resulting in a significant cost reduction and a 100% production increase over a period of 3 years. Even more, the implementation was completed with minimal disruption to our day-to-day operation and there was no need to hire additional people,” according to NTD Senior Vice President Andrew Hattem.
In order for NTD to continue reaping results and innovating processes, NTD meets regularly with Intellera to discuss new approaches for improving a range of other business processes. The company’s corporate communications portal project is underway; next the R&D processes will be automated and then manufacturing will be reviewed. NTD intends to continue streamlining business processes so the company can stay focused on moving targets.Add to Favorites