Supply chain management adds to the RPM success story

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14 Apr 2016 Bruce Hadley 0 Comments

"RPM started as a garage hobby to make snowboards and outerwear (the garments worn for snowboarding). The snowboards didn't eventuate but the outerwear I'd designed wasn't too bad. In the mid 90's Mount Maunganui was a small town but there was a local canvas sewer who made RPM's first pants and jackets I would cut from weather proof canvas.

I slowly developed a market for RPM outerwear which soon included technical waterproof fabrics and also casual apparel. By the late 90's the NZ garment industry was practically finished so I went to Fiji, which was great as I was no longer cutting all our production. But in 2001 George Speight's coup put a dagger through the Fiji garment industry so I went to Hong Kong and started working with the Chinese.

By this time RPM had the quantities to comply with small factories in China and communication via email enabled me to trade with companies that ten years earlier probably wouldn't have been possible. Working with China was fantastic compared to the demanding, hands on process of manufacturing in Fiji and NZ. All sampling development was done by them and we got finished tagged and bagged garments that we'd send straight to store. 

Mike On The Job China 2010_1

Happily working away with China, my only job as far as production went, was to allocate and supply labels to our factories. Initially (before Image Label Systems) I used to purchase labels through a NZ company and stockpile them in our office.

I'd then count out and send them off on the courier to whatever factory needed them. This was time consuming and expensive, especially as we started making more stuff, more regularly and in more places. Finally, after too many years of counting labels all day, I discovered Image Label Systems.

It was a eureka moment!  

Winter 2016 Image
Image Label Systems provided the final component that was missing from RPM's supply chain management. They completely iced the cake. Our label stocks are now held where our factories are, so supply is far quicker and cheaper. 

Youth based fashion and streetwear has always held individuality and style in high regard. RPM subscribe to the status of individuality and their fashion label is growing in support because of it. RPM sells online and in retail stores across New Zealand and Australia."   Owner/Director Mike Smith

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The relationship we have with RPM has evolved since its beginnings in 2011 and during that time it has been mutually beneficial. 

One of the advantages RPM gains in their relationship with Image Label Systems is the fluency and understanding of multiple languages with English as the primary language, no matter where in the world they are based.

For a New Zealand based brand like RPM, who operate in the fashion industry with a global view on production, that's a definite advantage.

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Knowing that language barriers will not be an issue, even when dealing with stock issues in Vietnam or China, is a huge positive and Image Label System's dedication to communication is reflected in our focus on preventing, what can be, debilitating and time-consuming language barriers.

In our working relationship with RPM, they provide us with as much data as we need to provide an efficient process. This can sometimes mean holding and taking care of excess stock and it's an element of production that we are happy to work with them on.

"The efficiency and convenience of working with Image Label Systems has been outstanding. Bruce and his team have been great to work with and have become a real asset to our business."   Mike Smith

 

 

 
 
 

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