Being the world market leader in wet suits, O’Neill holds an enviable position.
But if the Santa Cruz-based company was to keep riding the wave of success it was crucial that its Sussex-based distribution arm O’Neill (Europe) Limited was not sunk by computer software problems.
General manager Owain Evans was saddled with a matrix-based system that was far from suitable. So he decided to look for an alternative.
He said: “The system we had was simply not giving us the information we needed at the time we needed it. We had to have a system that was giving accurate, up-to-date data about orders, sizes and colourings but what we had was a system that was giving us data that we knew was garbage.
“I started looking at five alternative systems but they were highly corporate and very expensive and were never going to meet our requirements. The attitude seemed to be buy our system but it may not fit your needs.’’
Evans then found Lancashire-based Technopoly, who had devised the AppGMS system. Giving complete real-time information with details sales, stock, profit and forecast reporting, AppGMS was designed especially for the garment distribution industry and meets the demands of any size company.
With options for order entry and reporting, orders can be met immediately from stock or held for automatic or manual order fulfilment.
AppGMS gives O’Neill complete control over customer priorities and delivery due dates. And it gives its UK and European users total control, from initial inquiry through, supplier ordering, to garment dispatch and invoicing. Outlook links give the instant ability to email documents while direct posting of sales and supplier invoices to either Sage or in O’Neills case Pegasus Opera accounts to offer quick and simple reconciliation of financial data.
AppGMS also provides standard modules to log packing and dispatch verification so that O’Neill can prove what they have sent out and give their customers complete assurance of their delivery performance.
For the O’Neill general manager, AppGMS offered what he was looking for.
He added: “AppGMS gave us a bespoke system that suited us. It was set up to meet all our needs – and that is what any general manager wants.
“Technopoly spent time with us finding out what our needs were and making sure that Apparel met those needs. Their staff and their product are the most responsive I’ve known since the business became computerised.
“They discussed our needs with all our key personnel before carrying out trials. This resulted in us getting a system that means we can get all the information we need quickly and easily – and we can believe the information on the screen.
“The system has a background programme which checks all information placed on it. So gone are the days of having a system of garbage in – garbage out. We get management reports of real quality based on true information.
“It is a system that not only works. It responds to our needs.’’