Hanesbrand is ramping up its enterprise-wide digital transformation, rolling out a series of new innovations and integrations for payment architectures, supply chain automation, trade promotion, ERPs, and more.
Aiming to consolidate while innovating, company leaders say the comprehensive project will move its global portfolio of brands towards a more streamlined "technology spine" that runs through the entire organization.
Data lies at the heart of these plans and, on a recent earnings call with investors, the apparel company’s CEO Steve Bratspies revealed that the company has successfully migrated its Champion North America brand onto an SAP platform. With this new ERP system in place, Bratspies says, the brand can turn its attention to improving working capital while lowering costs.
Migration to cloud-based ERP systems has been in the news recently, with two other CG giants — Henkel and Unilever — sharing updates on their plans to be completely on cloud in the coming months. In fact, recent Gartner research predicts that by 2026, 75% of organizations will adopt a digital transformation model predicated on the cloud as the fundamental underlying platform.
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Hanesbrands' plans to become more data-driven and customer-centric also include a modernized payment architecture, more user-friendly interfaces, and a built-out global loyalty plan designed to optimize advertising investments and embed consumers – and their data – within its global marketing ecosystem.
With this in mind, the company is also placing bets on supporting its direct-to-consumer model, particularly across its Australian brands where there tends to be a higher proportion of DTC sales. “Seeing [...] the way we merchandise innovation and how the technology and automation investments in our distribution centers are generating increased efficiencies, gives me confidence that we’ll be able to support our growth in our D2C model,” said Bratspies.
The No. 84 publicly owned consumer goods company is also leveraging data and analytics into its manufacturing and forecasting efforts, specifically through the integration of machine learning to drive greater output on its selling lines. The company says automated picking and sorting systems within DCs has led to a significant reduction in costs, as well as lead and delivery times.
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In line with its plans to marry its technologies into a single, core nerve center, the company is scaling these supply chain improvements globally and reports particular traction in Asia. These developments are expected by Hanesbrands to contribute to its broader sustainability plans, which include donating clothing, using renewable sources for nearly 50% of electricity needs, and reducing dependence on single-use plastics.
“We’re becoming more data-driven and consumer-centric, which should drive more consistent revenue growth over time, and we’re generating savings and efficiencies that position us to exit the year at a high 30% gross margin level,” said Bratspies.