In order to compete on the international market, Hamilton-based Niko Apparel Systems needed to adopt a web-based order management system. A business analysis research team based at Mohawk’s McKeil School of Business helped the company implement the right system and secure a large multinational contract.
Future Ready Challenge
At every organization, IT processes underpin manufacturing, finances, energy use, human resources, customer communications, and more. Having access to better IT systems can confer decisive advantages for cost savings and growth, but those systems evolve quickly and continuously. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are hesitant to make the next step to reach the international market because they lack the resources to stay at the cutting edge of technology.
Demand for active wear continues strong globally (in 2018 the global market generated $174B US in revenue), and sportswear companies must deliver the right products to corporate clients quickly. Rather than relying on email, an IT system to fill orders and manage the sales process would save valuable time, improve customer service, and prevent loss of customers to tech-savvy competitors.
R & D Collaboration
Niko Apparel Systems designs and manufactures its line of technical sporting apparel all in Hamilton, Ontario. Niko owner Joe Camillo was pursuing a contract with a large multinational client that required a web-based tracking software to view and edit orders.
Demand for active wear continues strong globally (in 2018 the global market generated $174B in revenue), and sportswear companies must deliver the right products to corporate clients quickly. Rather than relying on email, an IT system to fill orders and manage the sales process would save valuable time, improve customer service, and prevent loss of customers to tech-savvy competitors. Niko asked Mohawk College for help in finding a solution.
Chris Spraakman, professor of Business Analysis, worked with students Andrea Paine and Anand Saraf to consult with both Niko and their multinational client and explore software options.
The Mohawk team investigated and tested a range of existing software solutions for industry-customer interactions before finding one that does not require significant support, and is scalable as more clients are added to the system. The team tested the recommended solution, customized it to the satisfaction of Niko’s client, and rolled it out to users. Order processing time dropped by 50%.
With the customized order management software in place, Niko was able to land the account and enjoy a significant increase in sales. The new system, and the experience with the new client, make them more competitive with larger US-based producers and will lead them to future growth in domestic and international markets.
“The team at Mohawk did the analysis, talked to us and our client, and offered the best solution for us,” said Camillo. “This is an account worth hundreds of thousands of dollars we wouldn’t have had without this help. The client is happy and we are happy.”