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PLH Fashion Group Ltd.

Epicor ERP Helps Hong Kong Apparel Trading Grow by Increasing Operating Speed


Company Facts

 

  • Location: Hong Kong
  • Industry: Accessory and apparel trading
  • Website: www.plhfashion.com

 

Founded in 1984, PLH Fashion Group Ltd. (PLH) is headquartered in Hong Kong and focuses on manufacturing premium handbags and functional fabrics garments. The company turns thousands of design concepts into samples and then produces and launches the products into the market. PLH partners include Abercrombie & Fitch, Cath Kidston, Lulu Guinness, Lily Pulitzer, J.Crew, and other international brands. PLH combines design drawings, raw materials, suppliers, and manufacturers to turn design concepts into samples. The company has a strong network of suppliers and manufacturers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Shanghai. 

When deciding on an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, PLH chose Epicor ERP to help manage orders effectively, handle complex commission calculations, and implement margin control.

Before using Epicor ERP, the company struggled to manage a large number of buy-and-sell orders. A lot of manpower was required to manually input data—which caused input errors and delays. PLH also spent a lot of unnecessary time inputing the same data into different systems. In addition, their finance department needed to handle complex commission calculations and implement margin control. Not only were these processes time consuming and inaccurate, they ultimately led to a decline in the operational efficiency of the business. PLH researched the market and decided that a modern ERP solution would help solve its problems and enhance its competitive advantage.

In November 2015, PLH contacted the Epicor professional services team directly to outline their business challenges. The Epicor team conducted a proof of concept (POC)/modeling workshop with PLH to help identify the best solution. At the workshop, Epicor professional services consultants demonstrated the Epicor ERP best practices approach to the company. The session included how to use the core functions in the Epicor ERP system to address the key business challenges PLH was experiencing. This session was tailored specifically for PLH’s needs and included demonstrations on how to limit the use of a non-essential external customization function—which had been a particular challenge. After the workshop, PLH felt confident that the Epicor ERP solution was the right choice.

“We have offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China and customers based around the world—including the USA and Europe,” said Ivan Ling, vice president of operations, PLH. “In using Epicor ERP, we plan to solve the problem of managing and analysing data coming from different regions. Epicor ERP will help us integrate data from different parts of the world.” 

“Before we used the Epicor ERP system, the company relied on traditional Excel software. Whenever we created an analysis report, we needed to dedicate a lot of manpower in order to dig out data from Excel spreadsheets from different countries. The report often would take two to three months to complete. After switching to Epicor ERP, the dashboard function has helped us to reduce the time needed for report processing. Each department can use the dashboard to collect the same data from all around the world. The finance department no longer needs to spare its own manpower to support reporting, either. Apart from saving time and improving accuracy, our staff can focus on business growth and improve our productivity and operational efficiency,” he added.

Increased operating speed

PLH launched the Epicor ERP system in Hong Kong in September 2016, while the Taiwan office launched in January 2017. After implementing the Epicor ERP system, the most significant outcome was an increase in operating speed. For example, PLH used to spend a few weeks consolidating data from different systems to generate the month-end report. Now, they can generate reports immediately. Every day, PLH has to liase with more than 10 manufacturers in China about their production. Previously, they had to arrange staff to manually input the information into the system after a client placed an order. Now, Chinese manufacturers place their order through the Epicor ERP system. This reduces time needed for inputting data and reduces instances of human error. In addition, PLH Taiwan is using the Epicor server in Hong Kong—which allows more reliable and faster internal communications. 

The implementation process went very smoothly, as PLH’s IT team worked closely with Epicor consultants, and the Epicor ERP system was very easy to build. After installing the solution, PLH’s IT team can manage and update all the reports by themselves—which reduces the need for external assistance.

Epicor best practices approach

As is often the case with a new ERP, challenges with implementation are not because of the solution itself, but they arise because of the way a company implements the system. The Epicor best practices approach is to put together a system that is best suited to the company. Firstly, Epicor consultants seek to understand the business—inside and out. Secondly, they start to develop the system with key requirements about the work flow. This helps to evaluate the required number of customised functions and scope out the speed and functionality of the whole system.

 



Success Highlights:

Challenges

  • Large number of orders needed careful management
  • Complex commission calculations and margin control

Solution

  • Epicor® ERP

Benefits

  • Generated analysis reports to anticipate market trends and achieve business growth
  • Increased operating speed
  • Reduced required manpower for data input
  • Decreased resources needed to create and analyse reports

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