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Phong Phu International achieve significant cost savings and improve customer service
Vietnam’s denim specialist Phong Phu International uses Fast React’s (now Coats Digital) FastReactPlan (was Evolve) to manage their complex laundry and finishing processes, resulting in significant cost and time savings, and improved customer service.
Phong Phu International (PPJ) is one of the world’s leading producers of apparel with a focus on denim. With headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, PPJ’s vertical operations includes denim and knit fabric production, garment production of jeans, woven and knit casual wear and advanced laundry and finishing for denim apparel. Spread across South, North and Central Vietnam, the group has 15 sewing units, 9 laundry and 14 finishing facilities employing almost 13,000 people. They produce up to 400 styles per month, and around 21 million pieces a year for a wide range of USA and EU buyers, such as AEO, Target, Express, ANF and Talbots.
Mr Dang Vu Hung, PPJ’s Chairman, explains the goals for the Fast React (Coats Digital) project, “Our business has increased in size and complexity every year. It became clear as a management team we were struggling to keep track of our plan and progress. Each department and each production process made their own plan but these were not connected, so we had no visibility of the total process, and when changes were made or problems faced in one area it was taking too long to see how that affected the other processes. As a result our On Time Delivery Performance (OTDP) was suffering, freight costs were increasing and we were very stretched.
“We needed to find one group wide system that would help us plan better, give us total and up-to-date visibility and management reporting across the whole process, from order receipt to delivery. For most types of garments once sewing is complete the job is almost done, but for denim production it’s just the halfway point! After sewing comes the complex distressing processes which typically involves up to 22 processes per style, including hand sanding, grinding, ozone, pigment, resin and laser treatments along with numerous washing and drying cycles. Following laundry, the garments then go into the final finishing steps including labelling, embellishment such as rhinestones and patching. “We chose Fast React’s (now Coats Digital) FastReactPlan because there was no other business that had such a clear understanding of the problems and solutions to solve them. Not just of the typical garment production headaches, but also the unique challenges PPJ faced in the denim laundry area.”
Simon Gibson, Managing Director of Coats Digital — Asia, explains, “PPJ use all of our standard apparel manufacturing tools including sewing line planning boards, pre-production T&A module to manage sampling, materials and trims, report designer and our high level sales and management control tower view for totals visibility across all processes and locations.
“The interesting part of the project for our team was the laundry area. The challenges in managing capacity in laundries are quite unique and different to the planning of typically sewing lines. For example, there are up to 100 possible processes and a typical style can use a mix of around 10-22 of these processes. As such the bottleneck operations move around with the order mix — some days the capacity problem can be in lasering, the next week it’s in PP spray. In addition, some processes work are single garments, whereas as others are processed in batches e.g. washing.
“To plan well, not only does each process have to link to each other, but they also have to link to the sewing plan which is feeding it. In normal garment production sewing it is the main capacity constraint, but in denim, for example, we may have a big demand on lasers in a certain month, so that becomes the key constraint. As a result, the sewing planning team need to be aware of the constraint, and plan a smooth flow of styles that need laser throughout the month — they can’t just send them all in 1 week.”
To handle this complexity we used our advanced Embellishment Planning Module (EBM) which can handle all of these issues and more.