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Nygard Achieved Success Through Technological Ingenuity

The Clifton Review

The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings. 

The 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story and incredible business success over these past fifty years. The Clifton Review will take an inside look at how he did it.

Nygard Achieved Success Through Technological Ingenuity

By P.J. Malone

It’s a fascinating look into the bricks and mortar setup that contributed to fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s success, as we continue with an inside look at a poor boy turned multi-millionaire.

NYGÅRD International was said to be such a success in its use of technology that their inventory and warehouse fulfillment systems created an additional logistics business for Nygård. Other clothiers have contracted NYGÅRD for order fulfillment.

Peter Nygard explains the source of his motivation for the technological innovation in his company in the Women’s Wear Daily 35th anniversary feature of NYGÅRD:

“I always marveled how well Fedex tracked their parcels. I walk by an airport and see all those screens, this huge system that tells people where they should be and at what time. I look at the stock market ticker tapes, can order a piece of a stock and see it actually happening before my eyes. That’s what I wanted. With Vcom, everything we do is at the speed of thought.”

The article (“Departure Terminal” By Kristin Young) in the WWD feature describes the VCom—visual communication—system:

After goods are sewn, affixed with proper hangtags, hung on hangers and bagged, they are scanned into the Vcom system, allowing the computer to track them as they are loaded into containers and shipped to the California distribution center.

The system knows how long the goods will be in transit as well as when they will arrive.

  • Unforeseeable catastrophes such as a typhoon or a mechanically malfunctioning ship shows up in the system as red, indicating goods are late.
  • Blue indicates goods are being transported by air.
  • Yellow shows goods are on time, and
  • green identifies certified suppliers, those that have proven themselves with Nygård and are fast-tracked through the system with minimal inspections.
  • On pick-and-pack screens, blue indicates that shipments will exceed employee capacity and that personnel must be shifted to accommodate the workload.

“It is virtually like an air traffic controller knowing which containers are coming in and which priorities we should deal with based on the color of the screens,” Chaves said. [Ernie Chaves, VP of Logistics]

Once at the distribution center, Vcom lets employees know how much time they have to scan the garments. It inspects their quality: 65 percent of suppliers are certified and can bypass a quality audit but the computer automatically triggers a sampling on every 10th shipment or so, and guides them on what and how many pieces should be picked, packed and, finally, shipped.

Audits keep track of how fast goods are wending their way through the system.

Peter Nygard was said to have sat with computer developers for hours and hours working with them to design this system to his specifications. Well, it all paid off since NYGÅRD is the standout in the industry with its logistics and other technological innovations.

Such streamline of processes and improved efficiencies no doubt contributes greatly to Peter Nygard’s multi-million-dollar success.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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