We’ve put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about Fast React and our solutions.

If you have a question that you can’t find the answer to, please use the form on our get in touch page.

Pricing & Finance

  • My cash-flow is tight. What financing options does Fast React offer?

    Fast React offers flexible pricing and payment options. Please talk to our team to understand more.

  • How much do Fast React solutions cost?

    This varies widely, depending on your specific requirements and system configuration. Suffice to say that businesses of all sizes from modest sized, family owned enterprises to major corporations have all found Fast React to be affordable and to deliver strong benefits that more than justify the cost of the investment.

    So, perhaps a more appropriate question is ‘How fast will my Fast React solution pay for itself?’

    Return on investment is a key factor for all investment decisions and many Fast React users report payback in 4 to 6 months with significant ongoing cost savings after that time. Please see the Customer Testimonials section of this website for quoted savings and case studies.

    There are also a variety of financing/payment options available. To find out more, speak to a member of our team.

Why Fast React?

  • What type of businesses typically use Fast React solutions?

    Due to the fast moving nature of the fashion sector customers large and small, from family owned businesses to major multi-nationals, have visibility, coordination and control challenges.

    Fast React solutions are scale-able to suit different sizes and structure of an organisation. Here are just some of our clients:

    Retail and Sourcing

    Itochu, Reiss (UK), All Saints (UK, HK, India), Mulberry (UK), Fit Flop (UK), Joules Clothing (UK) Panache Lingerie (UK), Madison88 (USA), Concept Club (Russia), Aura Lingerie (UK), Goldline (UK), Stuart Peters (UK), Alison Hayes (UK, Europe), The Fielding Group (UK, Asia), Dewhirst Group (UK, Asia), The Perform Group (USA), ISC (Australia), plus many more…

    Fashion Manufacturing

    Mulberry (UK), Barbour (UK), John Lobb (UK), Gina Shoes (UK), Next Manufacturing (Sri Lanka), Calzedonia Group (Italy, other Europe and Sri Lanka), Esquel Group (HK, other Asia), Brandix Group (Sri Lanka), MAS Group (Sri Lanka), Hirdaramani (Sri Lanka), Gokaldas Exports (India), Crystal Group (HK, other Asia), Bogart Lingerie (China), Tata (Americas), Fogarty Filled Products Ltd (UK), VT Garment (Thailand), Youngone Corporation (Various in Asia), The Sports Licensing Division of the adidas Group (Reebok, USA), Grupo M (Dominican Republic), Intimark (Mexico), Zentrix (Mexico) plus many more…

    Textiles

    Textured Jersey (Sri Lanka), Fogarty Filled Products (UK), Yesim (Turkey), Australian Country Spinners (Australia), Pincroft Carrington (UK), Courtaulds (UK), Sioen (Belgium and other Europe), Minova (UK), Interloop (Pakistan), Hayleys (Sri Lanka), MAS Texprint (Sri Lanka), MAS Trischell (Sri Lanka), MAS Matrix (Sri Lanka), Standfast & Barracks (UK), Victoria Carpets (UK), Ulster Carpets (Ireland), plus many more…

    To identify more Fast React users in your geographical area, please contact us for more information.

  • What are the main reasons that companies invest in a Fast React solution?

    There are many reasons why companies buy Fast React solutions. Here are a few:

    • The need to improve control of new style development.
    • Rising costs and lower margins creating a real pressure to improve efficiency and achieve cost savings.
    • Much reduced lead times and faster speed of response now demanded by customers.
    • Coping with significant business growth.
    • Issues with the delivery of materials, leading to bottlenecks and stoppages or excessive inventory levels.
    • Excessive fire-fighting to solve problems, including excessive use of overtime.
    • Looking for an easier way to communicate and coordinate with suppliers.
    • A need to improve On Time Delivery Performance (OTDP%).
    • Excessive air freight costs or delivery penalties.
    • Existing manual systems, such as spreadsheets are no longer able to cope.
    • A lack of management level visibility and reporting to support important decision making.
    • Customers are demanding much faster access to accurate latest status information.

    If you have any of the above or similar problems then you should consider Fast React.

  • What is the difference between Fast React solutions and ERP system, other PLM systems, and Shopfloor Data Collection system?

    ERP Systems

    As mentioned in the answer to ‘We already have an ERP system so why would we need a Fast React solution?’, these handle transactions within the business, such as processing customer orders, raising purchase orders or booking materials into inventory etc. NB: Depending on the nature of your business, there are Fast React tools available to cover the majority of these functions. For many businesses, an Fast React solution and a good accounting package may be all you need. Alternatively, if you have an existing ERP and prefer your Fast React solution to link to that system and simply ‘fill the gaps’ in your existing solutions, then that’s fine also.

    PLM

    These manage the process of developing new styles/products into production, including range planning for Branded businesses, critical path management through the product development stages and typically the functions of detailed specifications, size charts, bill of materials, costing etc. These systems are considered essential by many Branded businesses, typically less so by ‘Make to Order’ businesses. Some PLM products are criticised for being ‘too detailed’ and therefore difficult to implement successfully due to the large amount of data required to ‘get them going’. NB: Most PLM systems are independent, stand-alone solutions. With Visionng from Fast React, many of these functions are part of the core to the solution. They are also carefully designed and deliberately simple to use.

    Production Planning and Control (PPC)

    Planning sits at the heart of any business, yet very few tools are available for this important function. Most businesses therefore struggle on with spreadsheet and manual systems. Evolve from Fast React, is unique in providing a highly visual and flexible working environment specifically for this vital task, including planning, critical path management and materials. Evolve can operate on a stand-alone basis or linked to other systems to allow importing/exporting of data (thereby avoiding double data entry).

    Additional, fully integrated Fast React modules offer ‘New Style’ development, prototyping etc. For many businesses this is an easier and more appropriate option than a full blown PLM system. PLM typically stops when a range/style has been developed. Fast React then provides a powerful management tool for planning tracking and managing all key stages from order receipt to delivery. This includes:

    • Detailed capacity planning for manufacturers and managing of capacity agreements with suppliers.
    • Planning, communication and tracking of orders with third party suppliers for both manufacturers and sourcing companies/buying offices.
    • Planning of materials, where appropriate.
    • Total visibility of all orders and their progress with clear, visual warnings of potential problems which require attention.
    • Proactive critical path management with clear task diaries showing priorities for action, for all key staff.
    • Fast React planning allows multi-level (factory and group level, plus detailed line level planning), multi-site planning (for companies with several locations) and even vertical planning for integrated businesses.

    Shop Floor Data Collection

    These systems collect performance and progress data from the shopfloor in a manufacturing business. They provide process and bundle tracking through each operation and usually include calculation of achieved performance and actual operating efficiency, work in progress tracking and also wages calculations for performance related staff. Work in progress data is typically passed from these systems to the Fast React planning system to update achieved production and work in progress on the latest production plan. Some ERP solutions include manufacturing modules which provide shop floor data collection.

  • We already have an ERP system so why would we need a Fast React solution?

    Many of our customers have an existing business or ERP system ranging from in-house developed solutions to recognised market names.

    These business systems manage essential transactions within the business, such as processing customer orders, raising purchase orders, booking materials into inventory etc. However, due to their architecture, these types of systems usually don’t support processes such as new style development, capacity planning, pre-production critical path effective communication with suppliers etc.

    The evidence of this is clear; almost all companies even those with existing ERP systems, still use manual methods such as spreadsheets, emails, word documents and telephone calls to manage various functions including, but not limited to the above areas.

    NB: Many companies start by thinking that an ERP system will provide a single, all encompassing solution for the business. The reality is that many customers, even those who have purchased the most prominent industry ERP system, often come back to Fast React to provide the tools they lack through these solutions.

    That’s where Fast React solutions are great. They simply fill the gaps in your existing solutions and can interface closely to share valuable data with those systems.

    It should be remembered that many ERP systems were originally developed to meet the needs of generic, engineering based businesses and have only recently been adapted for use in the fashion supply chain. It is perhaps not surprising therefore that they are not designed to support the often volatile and fast moving requirements of Apparel, Footwear and Textiles.

  • What typical business benefits will a Fast React project provide?

    Rather than having many separate manual methods (spreadsheets, word documents, emails and telephone calls) for progressing business activities such as merchandising functions, purchasing, order tracking, new style development etc. Fast React solutions provide a centralised system, which acts as a single, consistent point of reference.

    Operational Benefits:

    • Improved visibility and coordination
    • Dynamically updated with current performance and shows knock-on effect of any slippage
    • Early warning of potential problems requiring attention
    • Much better prioritisation of tasks
    • Reduced manual entry and duplication
    • Reduced risk of data entry errors
    • Rapid report preparation (rather than excessive manipulation in spreadsheets)

    Business Benefits:

    The improved visibility and control has helped many businesses to achieve:

    • Improved speed of response and shorter lead times by up to 40%
    • Improved materials availability, yet lower inventory levels by anything up to 50%
    • Improved productivity, typically by up to 20%
    • Significant business growth, without a proportional increase in staff numbers
    • Improved order fulfillment, hence increasing sales by up to 10%
    • Reduced late delivery charges, typically by up to 20%
    • Reduced air freight and reprocessing costs by up to 50%

    Also see the Customer Testimonials section of the website for customer reported benefits and case study information.

Implementation

  • Can I get data back into my other system if required?

    Yes, definitely. Our customers have done this many times. It is quite a normal process, although you may need the help from your other systems provider in the process.

    NB: If you have any queries or concerns about the integration process, then please talk to us.

  • Can I get data out of my other system into a standard text file format?

    Typically data integration between systems involves exporting data from either a business system (ERP), a shop floor data collection system or similar.

    Many companies actually have the ability to do this internally. If not, then your system supplier definitely has the skills to do this.

    All Fast React file formats are fully documented and these file formats can be shared with you even before the implementation phase of your project. Additional support and advice is available during the implementation process.

    Our skilled implementation team even has the ability to manipulate data before importing it if the files exported from your existing system are not in the right format.

  • How do you implement the solution and how long will it take?

    This depends on your individual situation and requirements.

    For many businesses, following an initial design and scoping process, during which your exact requirements are confirmed, your Fast React solution should be operational within 1 month of initial installation and adopted as a core system at the heart of the business process within 3 to 4 months. Obviously this can vary depending on circumstances and size of project and are offered as a guide only.

    Our sales process is very consultative in its approach and will help you to understand expected timelines more closely as they build a clear understanding of your requirements.

    The Fast React implementation team is made up of industry specialists, with significant combined experience.They are able to offer invaluable advice and support to clients throughout the implementation process based on their extensive experience within the industry.

Solution suitability

  • What expansion/upgrade options do Fast React solutions have?

    All our solutions offer a range of scalable options and additional modules to suit all businesses. There is a clear upgrade path between versions in the Fast React product range. This provides a ‘future proof’ investment with the option to move forward between versions either as your business grows or as your requirements become more advanced.

  • Are Fast React solutions suitable for businesses that are not in the apparel, textiles or related industries?

    In many cases, yes. Fast React solutions are developed to deal with the volatile and rapidly changing fashion environment. The solutions are therefore extremely powerful and flexible, offering many features that are very relevant in other environments. Fast React solutions have been applied very successfully in a range of non-apparel situations.

    Please feel free to contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

  • Are Fast React solutions suitable in a Bespoke/Make to Order business environment?

    There are many controls in Fast React solutions that make them suitable for this environment, but if your business is a little different or truly in the bespoke market space, then talk to us and allow us to understand your business challenges and pains; it’s likely that we can really help by providing a big improvement in visibility and control, as with other types of fashion businesses.

  • We do not manufacture or source, we are a wholesale supplier. How would Fast React solutions be relevant?

    Our Visionng PLM solution is likely the most appropriate to this scenario. All wholesale companies need to buy stock (inventory), manage that inventory well and also need the ability to plan and track their purchase orders when placing orders with suppliers. The purchase order tracking facilities provided by Visionng help you to achieve better visibility; that means more goods can be delivered on time into your warehouse and the number of ‘stock-outs’ that you have can be reduced.

    As you increase visibility, leading to better awareness of re-ordering requirements and improved tracking/reporting capabilities, confidence in your supply chain improves (more flexible and reliable due to better control), and you will be able to challenge inventory levels, which should also reduce.

  • We no longer manufacture, everything is sourced overseas. How would Fast React solutions be relevant?

    Even if you source complete, you still need to know what is happening with your orders. Many sourcing companies suffer from too many disjointed manual processes such as email, phone, fax and spreadsheets and a lack of clear visibility and coordination (there are frequently issues with time and language differences, poor coordination of critical path activities and late deliveries from suppliers).

    Historically, many companies have built in a ‘buffer’ or higher inventory levels to allow them to cope with this, but with lead times reducing dramatically and speed to market being key focal issues for most businesses, these practices have to change to achieve a transparent and coordinated supply chain. Our Vision can help.

    If you have owned factories or joint ventures (JVs) overseas then you may also need to consider availability of materials. With Visionng you can have full visibility of all orders irrespective of where the manufacturing is taking place.

    In reality, many businesses are somewhat hybrid, with requirements that extend beyond traditional PLM boundaries to include things like materials requirements planning, vendor capacity management and/or purchase order tracking (including critical path). That’s where Visionng is different; as a modular solution it covers conventional PLM functions, plus all of these additional areas, where required.

Technical capability

  • Can Fast React solutions integrate with my other business systems?

    Absolutely yes!

    A few years ago, integration was regularly raised as a common concern by our prospects. However, these days people’s experience of systems integration has increased and there is a more general acceptance that systems absolutely need to and absolutely can talk to each other. So actually this is now raised less as a key concern.

    If you do have questions about this important area, just talk to us and we’ll step you through the process to address your queries and make sure that you are comfortable on how to achieve the level of integration that your business needs. Our solutions have been successfully integrated with over 30 business systems already and we have never found a system that we cannot integrate with.

  • What operating systems/infrastructure is required to run Fast React solutions?

    Fast React will run on any Windows network/WAN, Windows Remote Desktop or Citrix environment. Additional browser based options are available.

  • What database do Fast React solutions run on?

    All Fast React solutions run on a Microsoft SQL Server database, which is widely accepted as one of he best market options available.