Ulla Popken

Case Study Ulla Popken

Boosts market responsiveness and visibility of its global supply chain. Leverages Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

  • Case
    Study

    Company Background

    In the true fashion of a successful fashion retailer, Ulla Popken has a long history of adapting to address consumer needs and changing markets, with the company enjoying astounding longevity as a result. A German textile company founded in 1880 by Johann Popken and rebranded three generations later by Friedrich and Ursula “Ulla” Popken, this plus size fashion specialist is now a multi-national, multi-channel company, selling its assortments in more than 600 stores and online across over 30 countries.
    For over 25 years, Ulla Popken has been offering plus size clothing uniquely designed for full figure women who want style with quality, value, comfort and fit. The label introduces new collections to its female customers every month in sizes 42 to 64, featuring modern cuts, soft, flowing materials and up-to-date trends of high quality and good value. Diverse product lines range from general everyday wear and business outfits to evening wear, practical sportswear, swimwear, lingerie, accessories and shoes. Ulla Popken provides the right outfit for every style and every occasion.


    The Challenge

    In 2009, Ulla Popken sought a solution that would allow them to process orders along the global supply chain from purchase, to transport, to quality assurance, executed and monitored through integrated Workflow Management. Due to their large number of suppliers, agencies, and transport service providers across Eastern Europe, Turkey and Asia, streamlining and consolidating processes more effectively would be essential to support the company’s continued growth.
    Moreover, managing the supply chain from beginning to end on such a global scale required a Supply Chain Collaboration solution that would be accessible to a wide range of users. The solution would also serve the requirement of standardizing communication and documentation in order to increase efficiency through consolidating workflows and delivering supply chain visibility.
    Ulla Popken determined they needed to implement a solution that could successfully manage orders, delivery, transport processes while also offering transparent reporting and analysis tools to orchestrate all operations between the company and its global partners.


    Why TXT?

    In 2009, Ulla Popken chose to work with TXT Retail largely because the project team understood their business, listened to their needs and brought deep retail industry experience to the project; their professional expertise made them stand out from the competition. Ulla Popken also valued the TXTChain solution’s ability to manage all supply chain and collaboration processes with suppliers within a single, integrated platform.
    The TXT Retail team was dedicated to working closely with Ulla Popken to ensure that they provided a solution that would best address the company’s needs. The implementation of TXTChain gave Ulla Popken the ability to monitor the delivery status of goods and provided data for supplier evaluation, which helped further improve delivery times and precision as well as maintain full control and visibility along the supply chain.
    In 2016, after 7 years of using TXTChain as an effective Supply Chain Collaboration solution, Ulla Popken decided to upgrade to the next release, based on the new version’s abilities to further increase efficiency, visibility, and usability. The new version of the TXTChain solution offered an improved user interface, better web access and the power of the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform.


    The Solution

    The project was completed on time and on budget. The simplicity of the TXTChain user interface allowed Ulla Popken to greatly reduce the need for formal training with users fully operational in less than one week.
    Currently, the system is in use in 14 departments within Ulla Popken (Logistics and Purchasing) and by over 180 external suppliers, including 10 agencies, 4 transportation service providers and 6 finish service providers that connect to the solution from Eastern Europe, Turkey and Asia.
    More specifically, Ulla Popken is leveraging TXTChain to support these areas:

    • Order Management
    All information regarding orders is exchanged using structured data and processes. Order confirmations are sent automatically, with an estimated delivery date. Each order is attached to a workflow.

    • Delivery Management
    Suppliers are able to record booking requests and packing lists, which are transferred to the nominated transportation service provider as well as the selected warehouse.

    • Transport Management
    Transportation service providers are able to feed in their tracking data directly from the transportation management system or manually via the web-based front-end of the solution.

    • Workflow Management
    Consolidated workflows reduce the amount of inconsistencies and bottlenecks, allowing for full visibility throughout the end-to-end process.

    • Event Management and Analysis Tool Dashboards increase visibility through up-to-date reporting tools that allow for transparency in tracking and monitoring, decreasing risk of delays and increasing efficiency.


    The Benefits

    The original implementation of TXTChain and the upgrade to the new version of the solution allowed Ulla Popken to achieve standardized communication, consolidated workflows and complete supply chain visibility.
    Information regarding orders, their status and completion are managed in one solution meaning greater transparency of the entire process.
    Communication is streamlined with consistent information that requires no paper-work.

    The TXTChain workflow management system and advanced event management capabilities supports tighter control of the end-to-end process and allows for timely reactions to criticalities resulting in higher responsiveness to the market and precise deliveries.

    Additional benefits of the new version of TXTChain include new standards of usability and connectivity thanks to the seamless web access and an intuitive user interface.
    The availability on the Cloud (Microsoft Azure) means easy, complete and fast accessibility for Ulla Popken suppliers of all sizes.


Objectives

  • Streamline processes and communication in the global supply chain

The TXT Solution

  • TXTChain - Supply Chain Collaboration/Management

Results

  • Standardized communication
  • Consolidated workflows
  • Complete supply chain visibility

Customers Speak

The new version of TXTChain gives us greater acceptance among our business partners to participate in the supply chain process. By using the Microsoft Azure Cloud, we achieved a significant performance improvement. Together with TXT, we carried out a process review and made the supply chain process simpler and faster. Our supply chain is fast, efficient and globally connected.

Heinrich Rat, IT Consultant, Ulla Popken