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Case study: Data visualisation in textiles manufacturing

Textiles manufacturers in the UK face significant challenges and opportunities against a backdrop of rising prices for raw materials, competition from overseas markets, technological advances, increased regulatory compliance, and the political and economic uncertainty of Brexit.

The problem

For silk-based businesses, the price of silk increased by 40 per cent between 2016 and 2018, while the UK’s pending exit from the EU poses an uncertain future for the price of materials and trade agreements in the coming years.

In challenging times, manufacturers must harness the value of the data they hold to identify service improvements, cost savings, and must respond to market changes effectively and speedily.

Entrepreneur, Tro Manoukian, runs three silk textiles businesses which supply a range of premium fashion brands such as Ralph Lauren and Ted Baker.

Based in Suffolk, the firms are Vanners Silk Weavers – which designs bespoke fabrics for the neckwear, couture, furnishing and bridal markets – Adamley Textiles – a specialist screen and digital silk printers and dyers – and parent company Medaax Ltd.

With around 180 staff, busy domestic and export departments, and the need to manage unprecedented rises in the price of silk, Tro needed a way to view all his data from all three operations and from multiple databases in one place and in real time, enabling him to monitor business performance and be more transparent with customers.

The solution

Panintelligence’s business intelligence dashboard, with its user-friendly and interactive charts and graphs, enables Tro to view data from around 12 different databases across his planning, procurement, and operational divisions.

This helps him to monitor the natural peaks and troughs that occur in the textile manufacturing sector and respond appropriately, for example, by applying discounts for buyers where there are troughs and stop accepting orders in peak times, pushing clients into a more linear production stream.

He can access the software from anywhere using his smartphone, tablet, or desktop, which means he can get a detailed, real, and instant picture of business performance without being present in the office or with his various department heads.

In Tro’s own words

By doing this, Tro has gained significant value from having real-time access to his own data on sales, stock, and purchases, to easily see where he can save money and pass savings onto customers.

Tro said: “I don't think that our customers should pay for our misgivings. Pi’s incredible software has made life infinitely easier, allowing me and my businesses to be much more flexible and agile.

“There is a misconception that technology means fewer jobs for people. This is simply not true. We have been able to embrace data analytics technology in a way that adds to the business and doesn’t compromise traditional staff roles.

And because I can access the software from anywhere (I can check it on my phone in a hotel at midnight if I want to), I don’t have to bother my employees as much and they can get on with running the business.”

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