Fashion company DownEast Basics has been named a 2013 Top Innovator by Apparel Magazine in its annual award for companies that take a fresh approach to solving problems and managing growth. DownEast won for its successful deployment of World Fashion Exchange (WFX), cloud-based PLM software it uses to connect internal teams with core suppliers. The company moved 80 percent of its vendors onto WFXonDemand.com within the first year. "It's made a world of difference for us and our partners," said DownEast Basics founder Jonathan Freedman. "You get hooked as soon as you see the benefits."
Offering classic styles for women and girls through 52 company stores, eCommerce, and a wholesale division, fast-growing DownEast Basics operates in multiple distribution channels facing intense product development pressures not common to the typical fashion company. "Devoting large amounts of time to use of spreadsheets and emails with vendors was slowing our ability to meet ever faster approaching deadlines," said Freedman. "WFXonDemand.com streamlines our entire product development process. We no longer have to dig through emails to find critical information or pull data from multiple sources."
Apparel Magazine dedicates its entire May issue to the winners of the prestigious Innovator award. DownEast is featured in a full page story about its use of PLM and its plans for continued growth. Manual processes often make it difficult for suppliers to execute on time and in accordance with specifications; WFX Cloud PLM organizes product specs, colors, sizes, approvals and costing, and it simultaneously tracks samples, purchase orders, workflows and supplier collaboration. Freedman notes that "PLM offers flexibility and increases efficiency by centralizing everything in one place."
"WFX got our attention because it's very affordable, very reasonable," Freedman said of the cloud-based fashion PLM software solution. "WFX is a 100% cloud-based solution that requires no investment in hardware, software, installation, maintenance, upgrades or support - all you need is an internet browser," says WFX CEO Jatin Paul. "This gives us a cost advantage and the ability to quickly deploy customers to get the fastest return on their investment without the headaches of on-premise software implementations."
DownEast Basics started first with just a few employees on the platform but soon tripled its subscriptions, with more than half dedicated to core suppliers. "We pay for the licenses for our vendors but then charge them a fee," Freedman explained. Suppliers are bogged down by the same inefficiencies of using email and spreadsheets to manage product development and production, and they welcome the opportunity to leverage PLM.
WFX Cloud PLM is the leading cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) software solution exclusive to fashion including apparel, footwear, accessories and home decor. Started in 2000, WFX has 10,000 subscribers in 12 countries with offices in the US, Europe, South Asia, and a development center in India.