Company Blog



Don’t Miss NGC and Xcel Brands at AAFA’s Executive Summit, March 1-3


AAFA Executive Summit
is the “can’t miss” show of the year for apparel retailers, brands and vendors. The Executive Summit, happening March 1-3 at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., brings together senior level executives from retail, apparel, footwear and fashion accessory brands around the U.S. and globe for two days of thought-provoking dialogue. The show provides a great opportunity to network and learn what retailers and brands are doing across their business to streamline production and improve their systems – something we aim to help our customers achieve. 

This year we are thrilled to not only sponsor the show, but our own Mark Burstein will also introduce Xcel Brands’ session “Supply Chain Rebels: Optimize Lead Time, Maximize Profits” at 4:20pm on Wednesday, March 1. During this session Bob W. D’Loren, Chairman and CEO of Xcel Brands, will share Xcel Brands’ lessons learned in their journey to supply chain excellence. Robert will discuss how fast-fashion processes are now necessary for every major retailer and manufacturer’s arsenal.

Xcel Brands is the ideal company to address this topic, with their implementation of NGC’s Global Enterprise Suite to improve design and production efficiency and reduce lead times. Our Global Enterprise Suite, comprised of NGC’s PLM, ERP and SCM solutions, has allowed Xcel Brands to respond quickly to the latest sales trends, as evidenced by their rapid response to a sold-out blouse at Lord & Taylor last year. (You can learn more in this Wall Street Journal article.) 

We look forward to seeing you at the AAFA Executive Summit! Let us know if you’d like to meet to discuss how we can help you streamline your production and increase your speed to market.



With an Eye on the Future, NGC Celebrates 35 Years of Innovation

NGC reaches a major milestone this year, as we celebrate our 35th anniversary as a company. Like all milestones, this one was cause for celebration and reflection – and as we reflect on NGC’s first 35 years, one word keeps coming to mind: Innovation.

When Alan Brooks founded NGC in 1982 in a corner of his apparel distribution center in Miami, he saw a need to create software that addressed the unique needs of the apparel industry. A former IBM executive and owner of a mid-sized apparel manufacturer and importer, Alan moved quickly to guide NGC in developing a number of breakthrough products, including PC-based software for Shop Floor Control, ERP and Global Sourcing. NGC offered something new and distinctive – combining a deep understanding of both technology and the apparel industry – and we’ve been focused on innovation ever since.

Some of the keys to NGC’s long track record in industry innovation include:

  • Deep industry experience: All of NGC’s executives, consultants and other professional services personnel had deep experience in the apparel industry before joining NGC. They’ve lived and breathed the apparel industry, which gives them an insider’s perspective on best practices.
     
  • World-class processes: In recent years, NGC has completely redesigned all of our internal processes for support, development and implementation, creating a world-class Professional Services organization. We’re focused on continuous improvement, and we continue to evolve in a very positive way.
     
  • Entrepreneurial drive: A lot has happened in NGC’s 35-year history. Yet as we’ve moved from a start-up to being part of a publicly traded company, we’ve never lost the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation.
     
  • Our customers: NGC’s customers have embraced innovation and best practices. Working together, we’ve continuously adapted NGC’s solutions to solve new problems.

Today our industry is changing faster than ever, and, together with our customers, we’re innovating quickly to meet new challenges such as demand-driven supply chain, optimized lead times, omnichannel distribution, and a personalized customer experience.

It’s no accident that NGC is introducing our new Andromeda Cloud platform as we celebrate 35 years of innovation. It’s the solution to the greatest challenges our industry faces, and it will enable the “Connected Enterprise,” where users worldwide share information in order to quickly react to the latest business trends.

NGC’s best days are ahead of us. As we celebrate our first 35 years, we’re looking forward to the next 35, with a clear focus on continuous innovation and world-class software and services.



New Research Explores The “Zara Gap”

If you regularly follow NGC’s blog or our guest posts on The Sourcing Journal, you’ve heard us discuss what has been christened in the industry as the “Zara Gap.” The “Zara Gap” is the idea that retailers can increase profits and capitalize on market share by reducing lead times and delaying product completion to respond to changing consumer demands. Zara has achieved this while other fast-fashion retailers continue to lose profits and waste raw materials by ignoring consumer demand.

John Thorbeck, chairman of Chainge Capital LLC, and Warren H. Hausman, a professor at Stanford University, along with Citi Research, were the first to discuss the Zara Gap and are diving deeper and researching this phenomenon. According to Thorbeck and Hausman, “retailers can increase profits by as much as 28 percent and market capitalisation by as much as 43 percent if they reduce lead times and delay finished product commitments in order to respond quickly to changing consumer demand.”

In a recent article on Jan. 9, Business of Fashion further explored the “Zara Gap” based on Thorbeck and Hausman’s research. You can view the full article and learn more about the “Zara Gap,” here.

If you’re a retailer looking to close the gaps in your supply chain, contact NGC today.



Women on the Move: NGC Customers Receive Top Industry Honors

NGC customers Angela Chan of DXL Group, Janet Sherlock of Carter’s and Natalie Meurer of Legendary Whitetails recently received recognition for outstanding leadership in the retail and apparel industries. 

RIS News recognized Chan, Chief Sourcing Officer and SVP, DXL Group, in its Top Women in Retail Tech feature earlier this month. The article cites Chan’s implementation of NGC’s PLM software as one of her crowning achievements so far at DXL. 

“Before I came into my current role, DXL had previously implemented NGC Software’s PLM, but unfortunately the solution wasn’t adopted properly and we had to go back to square one,” Chan says. “I fought to re-implement the solution, retraining the team on the software and our sourcing practices. Not only was it a big tech project to undertake, but it really brought together the entire company as we worked together to overcome the challenges from the first implementation. Now that we have achieved implementation, we have become incredibly efficient.”

Sherlock, Carter’s CIO and chairman of the National Retail Federation’s CIO Council, was also recognized in the “Top Women in Retail Tech” article. Sherlock and her team were cited for their work in delivering on the retailer’s omnichannel promise. 

Apparel Magazine named Meurer, Product Development Supervisor at Legendary Whitetails, as one of its “Top 30 Under 30” in its December 2016 issue. The article notes that Meurer has taken a leading role as the company works to speed up production processes. According to Apparel, “She has taken the initiative…not only in pulling the technologies together [but] taking on the role of cheerleader
for the company’s relatively new PLM system from NGC, which Meurer says has been instrumental in giving multiple departments one set of data to work…”  Legendary Whitetails art director Tom Bennett said of Meuer, “Her leadership and determination are nearly remarkable for her age.”

Congratulations to each of these deserving winners!



NGC’s New Mobile Quality Solution Helps Improve Product Quality and Reduce Chargebacks

Where’s the best place to correct quality issues in apparel? On the factory floor, of course. But all too often, companies don’t discover critical quality problems until products have arrived at the distribution centers or stores. 

That’s why NGC recently announced our Advanced Quality Module. The new tablet-based software and application allows quality control managers to easily conduct quality audits and detect problems before the goods leave the factory floor. As a result, retailers and brands can identify problems sooner, fix them at the factory before products ship, and reduce the risk of cancellations or chargebacks by improving product quality.

Our Advanced Quality Module replaces the time-consuming, manual quality control processes still in use by many brands. It easily integrates with existing PLM and apparel supply chain management solutions from NGC and other vendors, and it features multilingual online and offline functionality for global collaboration. The Advanced Quality Module can be used with the NGC Interactive Quality Tablet, a fast, easy-to-use, mobile solution for quality auditing.

This complete solution allows auditors to conduct multiple audit types per purchase order, take photos of defects, and conduct master inspections. NGC’s Advanced Quality Module can provide comprehensive analytics by factory, vendor, country and style, assuring the most complete set of quality data, which can be analyzed in order to assist with sourcing decisions and identify where factories can make improvements. Corrective action plans bring the quality assurance process full circle.

For more information on our Advanced Quality Module, click here.


 
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