WMS Helps GUESS Save $1.3 Million

Feb. 7, 2011
By revamping its distribution network and adding a warehouse management system, apparel company GUESS lowered its cost per inventory unit by $1.3 million

Apparel manufacturer GUESS has its product lines in more than 300 retail and outlet stores and more than 200 licensee stores in 40 countries. The company also licenses its brand name for a line of accessories including eyewear, footwear, jewelry and watches. The company's continued growth over the years has placed great pressure on its distribution and warehouse management capabilities, in part because the majority of GUESS customers were headquartered east of the Mississippi and were served by a single distribution center (DC) in Los Angeles, Ca. This geographic challenge prompted GUESS to open a new DC in Louisville, Ky., and to partner with Manhattan Associates, a supplier of warehouse management system (WMS) software, to revamp its distribution network.

"Our LA facility was literally bursting at the seams due to increased demand," says Tom Boyle, senior project manager, GUESS The company implemented Manhattan Associates' Warehouse Management solution from the SCOPE supply chain portfolio to optimize distribution in both the Los Angeles and Louisville DCs. Manhattan's WMS solution, which is included in the Distribution Management solution suite, is designed for optimal collaboration and communication with an extensive network of suppliers and partners.

Manhattan's WMS supports several different inventory methods for GUESS, virtually segmenting its wholesale and retail (including direct-to-consumer) inventory mix to better support its order processes. Because direct-to-consumer inventory is mixed with retail, consumers can purchase goods online and return them at a store. The flexibility helps GUESS present a unified brand to its multi-channel customer base.

"The WMS has enabled us to do more with fewer people in all of our DCs and provided both economies of scale and in-house expertise by virtue of a single solution system-wide-delivering consistent, reliable global operations," says Boyle. "These benefits have given us a new level of control and efficiency.

Among the benefits GUESS has received since the implementation include accelerating inventory turns – 30 to 40 percent more inventory is shipped year over year – and a lower cost per inventory unit, resulting in a $1.3 million savings in 2009. In addition, the WMS has helped reduce handling costs, improved accuracy and increased efficiency and productivity, with inventory processed in just 12 hours, down from a high of three days.

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