retail database

Client name . Supremebeing

Sector . Retail

Summary comment . Ian Morrissey, Head of Logistics, Supremebeing

"Since we introduced FileMaker, we've been able to bring a lot of our essential processes much closer together. It helps with everything from design to distribution, and that means that we can spend more time developing our product range."

Supremebeing (Retail Database)

Style makers choose FileMaker at Supremebeing

Founded in 1999, Supremebeing has been at the cutting edge of British streetwear since its inception. Growing from its Cambridge origins to become one of the most unique and recognisable urban and street clothing brands in the UK, Supremebeing now operates worldwide, designing and retailing an ever-expanding range of clothing and footwear for both men and women. Ian Morrissey, a co-founder, looks after the company's logistics operations.

Client mood board Rare Management Mood Board

The Client Challenge

Over the past decade Supremebeing has rapidly outgrown its origins as a small start-up housed in a screen printing factory in Cambridge, developing into one of the streetwear world's most well-known international brands. The brainchild of four entrepreneurs, Supremebeing was born from a love of graphic design, art and streetwear – values that can be seen in the company's range of clothing today.

Like any business enjoying rapid expansion, Supremebeing found itself with a range of new information to manage and get to grips with. From the creative work behind a garment's design and production, to its journey through the warehouse and out to retailers, as Supremebeing got bigger, so too did the demands on the company's processes.

As the business' head of logistics, Ian Morrissey found himself needing a solution to help manage an increasingly information intensive challenge. "Whatever we were going to introduce, it had to be able to manage a range of processes for us," he says. "Our product lifecycle has a number of different stages, and we needed a system that could support us through each of them." In 2005, Supremebeing made the decision to introduce FileMaker into the business.

The FileMaker Solution

"When we first began using it, it was mainly for collating orders and processing them through the warehouse," explains Ian. "But the great thing about FileMaker is the level of customisation that you can get out of it without needing to have a background in computer programming. It's really easy to develop."

Initially, that warehouse management system helped to create a simplified process for tracking stock in and out of Supremebeing. From collating orders to creating delivery notes and invoices, FileMaker was used to help ensure that the company's wide range of clothes and footwear was being pushed through the production process in the right way.

Today however, that system has been built upon and modified to the extent that it plays a role in everything from the initial stages of the latest Supremebeing design to it landing on the doorstep of one of the company's many distributors. "We've really taken the system to the next level," says Ian. "It now supports us from the very early stages of product design through to production, and also serves as our stock ordering platform for our suppliers, which is really important for us."

At the front-end of the creative process, the Supremebeing team uses FileMaker as a way of cataloguing and planning the design of a new garment. From the early concept stages to the addition of design and branding, through to the setting of target prices, the whole of the product lifecycle is logged and administrated using FileMaker, with each of the office's seven users able to access the database and make their relevant contributions to that process.

Importantly however, the system doesn't stop there. Using FileMaker's PHP Site Assistant feature and with the help of developer Ditronic Software, Ian and the team at Supremebeing have also crafted a portal into which the company's agents and distributors can log-in and place their orders. With the system showing stock updates and sale offers in real time, Supremebeing's distributors are able to order against existing products, rather than needing to check in and find out what is in the warehouse.

"It's made a number of our processes much slicker all round," explains Ian. "We create around 400 unique items of clothing and footwear every six months, so as you can imagine there's a lot of information flowing about the place and keeping track of that is key to making each one of those items as good as it can be. For our agents, it's given them a really quick way of getting those products onto their shelves, so it's great all round."

It's not the end of the story for FileMaker at Supremebeing, with recently launched mobile solution FileMaker Go also raising interest. "While it's not something that we've deployed across the company yet," comments Ian, "I do use it on my iPhone for checking in on various things and it is really useful to be able to do that on the move."

Organisational benefits

  • From start to finish – FileMaker supports Supremebeing through every stage of the product lifecycle.
  • No experience required – the system is easy to develop for, meaning that Supremebeing can make adjustments and additions easily.
  • Tailor-made – customisable to an near limitless degree, FileMaker is whatever Supremebeing needs it to be; a stock monitoring system, a warehouse control programme and even a design and production tool.
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