Turning Heads in the Industry with Fast Fashion Merchandising & Manufacturing
Grayton watches had a revolutionary idea…The aim was to put customized automatic watches directly into the hands of key opinion leaders, fashion influencers and their communities. But how they wanted to do so was unique. Rather than splash the industry with a single collection, they wanted to create a way for artists, enthusiasts and fashionistas to put their own creative stamp on each watch, customizing it for their community of loyal followers.
They knew that giving people choices and involving them in the creative process was key to creating a strong bond and real relationship with their brand advocates. By working directly with these partners across social media and the blogosphere, they would be able to quickly build social legitimacy and stay in lock step with the ever-changing world of fashion.
It was a new and exciting idea but making it happen would require more than ideas, it would require creating a streamlined, cost-efficient, fast fashion manufacturing model for watch production, something that was difficult to do in the traditionally entrenched watch industry.
They approached the Montrichard Group with this challenge. The MR Group was impressed with their designs and the forward-thinking marketing concept and had a fast fashion production technique that could make it a reality: FINS: The first lean manufacturing and micro-merchandising system for the watch industry.
A strategic partnership
Montrichard Group formed a special partnership with Grayton to provide the FINS fully integrated supply chain solution for manufacturing and marketing support in order to help the brand succeed on the global market.
Start Lean, Stay Lean
As a new brand, controlling cash flow and budget was essential to Grayton. They would be competing with long-standing competitors and well-known brands in a fickle market that is constantly changing. They needed to run fast and lean to survive. The first step was careful selection of component inventory that would be completely automatic and based only on real sales and inventory movement rather than unreliable forecasts that could not anticipate emerging market trends.
After initial component stocking, FINS took over and dynamically adjusted stock levels and reorders to maintain a lean inventory of just 3 weeks supply of finished watches. By operating at inventory levels 5 times as lean as most competitors, Grayton freed up cash flow for operation and their Web 2.0 marketing efforts.
Grayton knew that offering customized automatic watches to thousands of influencers would require a robust and flexible catalog and bulletproof ordering system. By using the powerful FINS web-based management system customized to their unique needs, Grayton could create an unlimited number of limited special edition automatic watch collections directly within the system based on any of the components available in their inventory. Within minutes, a new watch SKU could be designed and created – revolutionizing a process that can normally take weeks and involve a staff of designers and administrators.
To further streamline operations, the FINS solution was linked directly to Grayton’s existing Magento content management system, allowing orders to be automatically issued from their existing ERP through the FINS system to immediately trigger a Just-In-Time manufacturing request to produce and ship a new customized watch within 10 days of order.
As a forward-thinking watch brand, Grayton didn’t only adopt the latest manufacturing techniques, they also took a modern approach to marketing. Bypassing the lethargic and costly marketing methods that mire traditional watch brands who are struggling to stay relevant, Grayton concentrated on social networkers, bloggers and Instagram influencers and worked with Montrichard to reach out to over 3,000 key opinion leaders in the first two months – essentially turning each of them into designers for their own online communities and giving them the opportunity to customize an automatic watch and showcase it to their followers.
The results were stunning. An army of loyal users and advocates was engaged, growing Grayton from a nascent brand to a trusted watch maker and style leader in just two short years.
Results of adopting FINS
Utilizing the FINS lean manufacturing and micro-merchandising system for the watch industry, created key advantages for Grayton.
- They were able to fund their brand with a minimum investment in inventory
- They achieved instant quality and standards using a trusted manufacturer with years of experience
- They could offer unrivaled levels of customization and choices to their end users
- They built and delivered watches using a Fast Fashion model with Just-In-Time manufacturing
- They consistently maintained low operating costs, greater cash flow and minimal risk for new products
- They quickly built a loyal tribe of influencers and satisfied users that continue to support their brand
The results achieved by Grayton and their partnership with Montrichard Group are impressive but by no means singular. Using the powerful FINS system, Montrichard is helping many clients improve existing supply chains, implement micro-merchandising, and enabling Just-In-Time manufacturing for watch brands of all sizes.
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