Fast React: Redefining production planning and production efficiency

by Apparel Resources

13-June-2019  |  9 mins read

Esquel_Fast React
Image Courtesy: fastreact.com

When it comes to being the global leader in supply chain production planning tools for apparel industry, Fast React leads the race. Over the years, Fast React has been instrumental in helping factories better manage capacity and pre-production and material supply to make the best use of productivity. Additionally, Fast React has also been a perfect recipe to handle complexities and also the concerns of achieving less lead times demanded by brands.

Alan Lakein, a well-known author on personal time management, once said ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. Fast React helps the factories understand and implement everything about planning. Coats PLC bought Fast React back in June 2016 and together both have been ever since aiming to enhance speed, productivity and operational efficiency in the apparel supply chain. While Fast React’s Vision™ software has been mainly for retail and sourcing, Align™ is exclusively for textiles. Evolve™, on the other hand, is chiefly for manufacturers of apparels, footwear and accessories.

In 2007, Hong Kong’s Crystal Group went on to become one of the first users of Fast React in Vietnam. And then some companies followed suit. Today, over 24 prominent garment manufacturers in Vietnam use Fast React’s Evolve software – a good number to suggest the growing popularity of Fast React among apparel manufacturers in Vietnam.

Evolve has been constantly helping these enterprises plan the production of a variety of complex products that range from underwear and sportswear to denim. Some of these biggest enterprises have been the best among the best in Vietnam be it the Esquel Group, Phong Phu International (PPJ), Regent Garment Factory Co. Ltd., Viet Vuong and Song Hong Garment.

Song Hong Garment recently announced that it has adopted Fast React’s Evolve Production Planning Solution to have a distinct edge over its competitors in Vietnam. The firm will be linking Evolve with its Oracle system in order to share core order data. The company is clear that using Evolve will help get a complete picture of its capacity across all its units, where each unit has different product capabilities and machines like seam sealing and quilting. Song Hong manufactures woven and knit fashion garments in addition to producing its own bedding brand.

Every company desires and aims for highest efficiency in terms of quality and productivity and Fast React has been consistently aiding the aforementioned companies serve their customers better. At Song Hong, Evolve has saved the time of the staff especially while monitoring and preparing daily and weekly reports. “We need a powerful tool to control our growing capacity and Fast React is an integral part of our development strategy. At Song Hong, we never stop searching for new developments and strategy and, therefore, we always manage to keep pace with the global fashion industry trends,” substantiated Quang Bui, CEO, Song Hong.

The CEO also said that the implementation of Evolve has made the team realise the relevance of team co-ordination. “The team co-ordinates well now and also reacts fast to any delays or last minute requirements of customers,” added Bui.

Viet Vuong, a two-decade old Vietnamese garment firm, is another company that recently adopted the Evolve software of Fast React Systems – the objective being to transform the unit to a ‘smart factory’. Over the last few years, one saw the company invest a lot on ERP and other technologies like hanging conveyor production system with real-time production data collection and achieve desirable results. However, with lots of gaps still existing, the company decided to finally go for ‘Evolve’. Viet Vuong, which majorly produces sportswear among other products, has expanded to three factories in Ho Chi Minh City and has a strength of nearly 3,000 people.

In the ever fast-evolving market, every customer expects factories to bring down the cost as well as to come up with quick response programmes. It is here that the ‘smart factory’ has a key role to play – connecting different departments into a single operation. Further on the same, Bao Nguyen Vinh, Director, Viet Vuong, underlined, “Fast React Systems understand the industry and its challenges well and thus its knowledge combined with the proven record of the Evolve software can definitely offer productive solutions to our company.”

The software has helped enhance communication and co-ordination between different departments in the company. The staff is not only able to see all information pertaining to production, but also all possible bottlenecks so that plans can be accordingly worked out. “Studying and resolving the problems will help in fixing the line idling and will help us enhance efficiency and work smart,” added Vinh.

Fast React is soon gaining popularity among several manufacturers in Vietnam. Its seamless integration with the ERP system provides useful information not only to the planners, but also to other functions. Every company needs it and Fast React gives them information with precision. Its reporting functions enable management to make the decisions quickly and more accurately.

Elucidating further on the same, Simon Gibson, Fast React Systems Asia, said, “90 per cent of our Fast React clients have some kind of ERP system and use this to feed core data such as order, Bill of Materials (BOM) and material availability information to the planning solution. Fast React puts this core ERP data together with the essential planning parameters, that is, capacity for all processes, lead time rules, WIP rules and then allows planning and management to dynamically make different plans and test different scenarios to optimise delivery, lead time and productivity. Fast React is then updated daily both by the ERP and often shopfloor/MES systems (or manually) so that progress, success and failure against the plan can be seen and acted upon.”

Simon Gibsona
Simon Gibson, Fast React Systems Asia

Regent Garment Factory Co. Ltd., one of the prominent shirt manufacturers in Vietnam, has also been striding towards growth with Fast React. While talking about the difference made by Fast React to his company, Howard Lo, SVP, Lifestyle Wear Division, Regent Garment Factory Co. Ltd., averred, “Despite the ever-increasing pressure on production and planning from shorter lead times, style complexity and smaller order sizes, we have been able to keep running the operation at an optimum level, maintaining idle capacity losses at less than 3 per cent and with less than 0.3 per cent delivery claims.”

The Esquel Group, one of the world’s largest apparel manufacturers for brands like Nike, Hugo Boss and Polo Ralph Lauren, underlines that Fast React has over these years enabled the Group to develop a disciplined and systematic approach in production planning and control. The company produces more than 2.8 million pieces per month in Vietnam.

A lot of apparel and footwear enterprises, across several apparel destinations like India and Bangladesh, use Fast React tools and with many companies in Vietnam now understanding the benefits of Fast React, it will be no surprise if the number of companies using Fast React double in less than five years.

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