Streamline Order Processing with Custom Software

September 14, 2018 | The times keep a-changing Kelly Kimmich, Business Strategist, Far Reach,

People are often surprised to hear that custom Under Armour uniforms are manufactured right here in Iowa. In Waterloo, to be exact.

Powers Manufacturing, which has been around since 1902, creates and manufactures athletic uniforms. They have their own line of uniforms, and they also manufacture and sell Under Armour’s custom team uniforms as the North American licensee.

As anyone involved in manufacturing something custom knows, ordering, manufacturing and other processes can get pretty complex pretty quickly.

Powers Manufacturing got really good at taking custom uniform orders from coaches and reps via fax, mocking up the designs, revising over phone and email until approved, and producing the final product. But the entire process was manual, and each order required days of work by customer service representatives (CSRs).

The leadership team at Powers Manufacturing saw an opportunity to streamline the ordering process, allow coaches and reps to mock up their own uniforms, and reduce CSR time on each order.

They approached Far Reach, a custom software development company, to design and develop a custom software solution that would help them make their proven manual process more efficient. That solution took the form of a custom interactive uniform builder.

Coaches and dealers can now create their uniform design online; input team rosters to pick names, numbers and sizes; submit orders; and review and confirm mock-ups. And the Powers Customer Service Reps manage the ordering process through this same system.

“The amount of time CSRs spend on each order has drastically decreased since we launched the uniform builder application,” said Grant Weidner, president of Powers Manufacturing.

In addition to the customer-facing builder, Far Reach helped connect the uniform builder to the back-of-house manufacturing operations system. Doing so reduced manual entry, which reduced human errors and saved time.

We see this situation a lot — an organization has a manual process in place that works really well. But it doesn’t scale, and it’s not as efficient as it could be. Some organizations take the step to find or build a technology solution that automates the manual process, while others continue with the status quo.

If you have your manual processes nailed down but are hindered because they don’t scale, or if you see benefit in automating them, look into technology as a possible solution.