Global apparel manufacturer Esquel Group, which produces clothing for brands including Hugo Boss, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren and Lacoste, has signed a deal to use FastReact's planning software as part of ambitious plans for the growth and increased productivity of its business.

The company produces nearly 100m cotton shirts every year and wants to centralise its capacity management and production planning capabilities across its manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Work has already begun on rolling out the software across the group's Hong Kong head office and worldwide facilities that cover its production lines, multi-stage manufacturing processes as well as pre-production activities. The complete installation will take about 12 months.

Bridget Chan, the group director of information technology, said Esquel needed to make significant improvements to its management planning capabilities in order to achieve its projected growth plans.

"Esquel's vertically integrated supply chain and worldwide operations require seamless and effective planning and controlled execution to meet customers' rapidly changing demands and remain competitive in this fast moving industry," she explains.

The new software tool will enable the company to "develop a disciplined and systematic approach in production planning and control," Chan adds.

This includes streamlining business communication and coordination, allowing the company to centralise information from its worldwide operations. This, in turn, will increase supply chain visibility, improve production efficiency, maximise on-time delivery and boost the ability to respond quickly to customer demand.

"The pressure on all manufacturers, including Esquel Group has never been greater and it's vital that they have systems which can enable them to plan quickly and effectively to support the ever- changing needs of their customers," notes Andrew Brown, managing director of UK-based FastReact.