Global clothing designer and manufacturer, AS Colour was the first company to implement Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) remotely under COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand.

AS Colour’s Auckland distribution centre (DC) was unable to operate during New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown from March 25 to April 26, 2020. However, along with other retailers, AS Colour experienced a huge spike in online during this time, which motivated the company to roll out the Manhattan Scale WMS to better manage ecommerce orders.

In lieu of in person deployment processes, AS Colour worked remotely with Manhattan Associates to successfully design, implement and deploy the Manhattan Scale WMS. Manhattan Scale is an advanced system designed to optimise operations by boosting warehouse productivity and employee engagement, as well as meeting changes in demand across all types of distribution.

“After we were forced into lockdown, more people were heading for the ecommerce space to buy goods. But, with many lines of distribution brought to a halt in New Zealand, we saw an overflow of orders once restrictions eased, which put a lot of pressure on our DC to catch up,” AS Colour founder and managing director, Lawrence Railton said.

“This fluctuation in eCommerce demand is exactly the type of situation that drew us to implement Manhattan’s WMS technology in the first place, as it would prepare us for any future shifts in the market.”

He added: “We wanted our warehouse system to have the flexibility and agility necessary to adapt and grow alongside our business, which was the defining factor in choosing Manhattan for this project. When rolling out the new system, we really had to use remote working to our advantage, which in the end allowed us to launch the new system two weeks ahead of schedule and save plenty of money on travel and overheads in the process.”

Manhattan Associates Australia and New Zealand managing director, Raghav Sibal said, “We were thrilled to see how well this project turned out for AS Colour, which is reflective of their decision to prioritise business innovation even during a pandemic.

“The ever-changing nature of ecommerce and consumer demands means that businesses need to have agility and scalability built into their systems and processes in order to seize new opportunities while still maintaining operational efficiencies. This is something our WMS works to achieve by being designed to meet consumer demands now and into the future.”

With four other DCs globally, AS Colour plans to implement Manhattan Scale to all other facilities in the future, the first being its new 18,000 square metre facility in Melbourne, which is set to go live and begin receiving inventory by mid-October 2020.