Interview with Ajay Chidrawar

Face2Face
Ajay Chidrawar
Ajay Chidrawar
VP-Global Product Management & Customer Success
CGS
CGS

We are connected to business needs as the market continues to evolve

Founded in 2010, CGS Inc is a privately held technology and product marketing company that designs, develops and brings to market innovative digital solutions with a focus on design, development and marketing of cloud-based technologies and mobile applications-delivering a superior user experience that drives improved customer engagement and business results. Ajay Chidrawar, Vice-President for Global Product Management and Customer Success, talks about the company's solutions for the textiles and apparel industry.

Tell us about the ERP/PLM solutions that your company offers. In what ways are they unique?

The CGS BlueCherry enterprise suite is an end-to-end supply chain management solution tailored to the fashion, apparel and consumer products market. BlueCherry ERP and PLM can operate as standalone solutions and can also be fully integrated to increase supply chain transparency and increase speed-to-market.  Our ERP has built-in OMS functionality to support today's omnichannel demands. BlueCherry PLM is built in HTML5 and is mobile-responsive, making it accessible on any browser, any device. Our PLM solution is also highly configurable and can conform to the unique business processes and product types that are specific to brands, retailers and manufacturers.

IT solutions are expensive, and often out of reach for SMEs that make up an overwhelmingly large chunk of the global fashion industry. Do you offer solutions for them as well?

CGS offers cloud and SaaS, making these solutions more affordable to SMEs. Companies today can also work with a managed cloud provider to outsource their IT infrastructure and cloud environment. For an SME, managing its own cloud infrastructure can be too expensive. The company must hire resources, invest in security, changing technology, back-ups, infrastructure and redundancies, among other expenses. In a phased roll-out, companies will figure out where their biggest pain points are, then keep adding modules.

A fast-changing industry also means that the solutions need to stay abreast of the changes. How do you ensure this at your company?

CGS has a strong R&D team and through our 500+ customer partners we are connected to business needs as the market continues to evolve. The company has invested in digital transformation across all divisions, looking to implement such technologies as augmented reality and robotic process automation (RPA). Through pilot projects internally and with customers, we are leveraging these technologies to further our customers' success.

Could you give us a few case studies of how your solutions have made a difference to companies in the fashion-apparel business?

Company 1: An apparel and jewellery brand that's driving innovation in fast fashion, the company could not keep pace with its growth and the lack of cohesive systems was becoming a huge hurdle to growth. CGS deployed a complete end-to-end solution, covering design through sourcing, production, logistics (with 3PLs) and sales order processes. This included retail and ecommerce. CGS helped the company automate its supply chain and move away from manual, ad hoc systems and Excel-based processes. Some of the benefits the brand experienced include seamless integration between PLM and ERP eliminated duplicate data management, and better visibility of plan vs actual throughout the development cycle. This solution now forms the foundation of the company's core systems that will allow the brand to scale its business efficiently and quickly.
 
Company 2: A leading specialty apparel retailer that operates under multiple banners and has more than 500 stores and an e-commerce channel. The majority of products are designed and developed in-house, including apparel, accessories, footwear and lingerie. Most products are on a 12-week or shorter lifecycle, with some fashion seasonal basics and year-round lingerie. As part of its growth, the retailer launched a wholesale business. Wholesale being new to the organisation, CGS replaced the retailer's manual data entry/Excel-based processes. Emails and spreadsheets had been the mechanisms for data interchange among the core retail systems, including point of sale (POS), warehouse management system (WMS) and PLM. CGS provided a platform that systemises wholesale while being in harmony with the company's existing systems and automating all the data and workflows. This included wholesale, distribution centre, logistics and finance workflows. This not only allowed for scaling to future growth but also provided better reporting and analytics to help the company forecast and plan the future seasons and years in an optimal way. (SG)
Published on: 06/11/2019

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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