Solutions

Designers of high–end menswear depend on FileMaker Pro to track production from fabric to finish

Jhane Barnes Tailored Clothing

Elegant, impressive, fashion–forward — the Jhane Barnes line of high–end tailored menswear offers clothing for the man who wants to make a statement. Operating for nearly thirty years as the first woman to build a major menswear business in the United States, Jhane Barnes maintains a focus on quality and distinctiveness that's earned her some of the fashion industry's most prestigious awards, as well as a loyal customer following around the world. And now, FileMaker Pro fills a vital role in the behind–the–scenes production process.

Overview

  • Designers of high–end menswear depend on FileMaker Pro to track production from fabric to finish.
  • Based in New York, NY
  • Approximately 30 employees

Industry

  • Manufacturing
  • Creative Services

Solutions

  • Production tracking system allows careful documentation of custom fabric production
  • Inventory system tracks popularity of various fabrics and ensures accurate inventory management

Benefits

  • Reports are instantly available on order and inventory status, greatly reducing information–management time
  • Clearer, more concise communications are facilitated between the New York office and fabric mills and garment factory in Italy
  • Textile orders are processed quicker and more accurately than with former Excel–based data tracking system

We generate our reports right in FileMaker Pro telling us what fabrics are in inventory, along with the status of pending orders. We also track all our contacts and all the companies we deal with.

— Sal Giardina, Vice President/Marketing, Jhane Barnes Tailored Clothing

Business Challenge

A fine suit begins with fine fabrics — and at Jhane Barnes the attention to detail carries right down to the warp and weft, with a line of fine, custom woven Italian textile designs. Production of those fabrics is a meticulous, carefully supervised process. "We needed a way to track our fabrics alongside our garment orders, in order to ensure that we have enough fabric to fill those orders," explains vice president for merchandising Sal Giardina. "Since we merchandise our own fabrics, we're responsible for buying them, and that can be a daunting task — most of our mills are in Italy, and we need to make sure the fabric is delivered by a certain date."

Until recently, textile inventory and manufacturing were tracked in a series of Excel spreadsheets — a cumbersome, labor–intensive system that could delay completion of orders and make accurate inventory of fabric stocks difficult. Clearly, a better system was needed — and that need brought FileMaker Pro developer Jeff Cohen of Blue Engine Solutions on board. "Jeff sat down with production manager Patti Feinman and me," Sal relates," and came up with a database to cover our needs."

Successful Solution

Jeff developed an efficient custom–designed FileMaker Pro database to track every step in the textile–production process. "Jeff designed a system which is practically foolproof and airtight," Sal comments. "No major accounting and inventory errors will occur due to his exceptional database design."

Orders are documented, production orders generated, inventory is tracked, and reports are generated — all from within the database itself, with hundreds of specific records created and stored for each fashion season. "We generate our reports right in FileMaker Pro," notes Sal, "telling us what fabrics are in inventory, along with the status of pending orders. We also track all our contacts and all the companies we deal with." And not only are the reports comprehensive, they're also pleasing to the eye — with an easy–to–read, easy–to–follow layout that earns plaudits from discerning designer Jhane Barnes herself.

FileMaker Pro is great for us. We have all the information we need right at our fingertips for tracking orders and production. It's very easy to learn — everything's basic and hands–on, so we don't have to worry about constantly updating our files. It's all very simple — and it's even kind of fun!

— Patti Feinman, Production Manager, Jhane Barnes Tailored Clothing

The system also allows integrated tracking of "swatch requests," the major tool for indexing the popularity of a given fabric design. "Customers pick the swatches, or fabric samples, they prefer," explains Sal, "and we have a tab for swatch requests in the database allowing us to track what fabrics are more or less popular — and that helps us decide whether or not to buy more of that particular fabric."

Customer Benefits

The old Excel system formerly used for these important tracking functions was clumsy and impractical, requiring constant manual revision, and adding far too much time to the production–tracking process. But the FileMaker Pro 7 system eliminates all that. "FileMaker Pro is great for us," declares Patti. "We have all the information we need right at our fingertips for tracking orders and production. It's very easy to learn — everything's basic and hands–on, so we don't have to worry about constantly updating our files. It's all very simple — and it's even kind of fun!"

Automatic inventory updates are an especially valuable element of the system. As fabric moves from stock to garment manufacture, or as new fabric is added to stock on hand, the totals automatically update within the database. "We can find out how much fabric we have, how much we've sold, and it deducts automatically from the total so we can always know if we're oversold," Patti adds. "It also tracks by account and by salesman, so we always have reports on that information."

Over its first season of day–in, day–out use, the system has proven itself remarkably stable and reliable. "We haven't needed to change anything," Patti enthuses. "We're moving into a new season now, and I don't expect there's anything we'll even have to tweak."

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Jhane Barnes Tailored Clothing:

Sal Giardina
Vice President/Marketing
Jhane Barnes Tailored Clothing
212-575-2448
sgiardina@jhanebarnes.com
http://www.jhanebarnes.com

For Blue Engine Solutions Team:

Jeff Cohen
Senior Database Architect
Blue Engine Solutions Team
917-270-5218
jeff@BlueEngine.net
http://www.BlueEngine.net