Macclesfield-based manufacturing entrepreneur combats rising cost of raw materials with tech-first response
As UK textile manufacturers continue to face a myriad of challenges and opportunities, Tro Manoukian, CEO of three silk textile businesses that supply a range of premium fashion brands such as Ralph Lauren and Victoria Beckham, is harnessing the pwer of his companies' data to drive efficiencies for his employees and customers.
"In the last two years we've seen the price of silk increase by 40 percent, which has a huge impact on all aspects of my businesses," Tro says.
"The UK's pending exit from the EU means we just don't know what will happen with the price of raw materials and trade agreements in the coming years. These factors, along with competition from overseas markets and increased regulatory compliance, mean I have to be able to demonstrate the efficiency of all my operations to my customers - they absolutely demand it - to support the prices they're paying."
Adamley Textile in Macclesfield is a specialist dyers, screen and digital silk printer and Biddle Sawyer Silks is a silk wholesaler, held by parent company Medaax Ltd. Based in Suffolk, Vanners Silks designs and weaves bespoke fabrics for the neckwear, couture, furnishing and bridal markets.
With around 180 staff, busy domestic and export departments, as wsell as the need to manage unprecedented rises in the price of silk, Tro needed to view all data from across all three operations and multiple databases in one place and in real time, enabling him to monitor business performance and be more transparent with customers.
Panintelligence's business intelligence dashboard, with its user-friendly and interactive charts and graphs, enables Tro to view data from around 12 different databases across his planning, procurement and operational divisions. This helps him to monitor the natural peaks and troughs that occur in the textile manufacturing sector due to fashion industry seasons and respond appropriately. For example, the businesses can apply discounts for buyers where there are troughs and stop accepting orders in peak times, pushing clients into a more linear production stream. He can access the dashboard from anywhere from his smartphone, tablet or desktop, wshich means he can get a detailed, real and instant picture of business performance without being present in the office or with his various department heads.
In challenging times, manufacturers that harness the value of the data they hold to identify service improvements and cost savings are able to respond to market changes effectively and speedily.
In this way, Tro has gained significant value from easy and real-time access to his own data on sales, stock and purchases, seeing easily where he can save time and money, and pass those savings onto customers.
Tro said: "I don't think our customers should pay for our misgivings. Pi's incredible software has made life infinitely easier, allowing me and my businesses to be much more flexible and agile."
"There is a misconception that technology means fewer jobs for people. This is simply not true. We have been able to embrace data analytics technology in a way that adds to the business and doesn't compromise traditional staff roles. And because I can access the software from anywhere - I can check it on my phone in a hotel at midnight if I want to - I don't have to bother my employees as much and they can get on with running he business."
Panintelligence is one of the UK's leading business intelligence and analytics software developers. Its dashboard enables businesses to slice and dice data to drive strategic decision making, helping them lower costs and understand key issues through its data visualization and analytics platforms. Its vendor partners include Sage, Communisis, Tribal and Advanced, while its end users cover sectors from manufacturing and education to healthcare and local government.