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Speedy Replenishment Hallmark of Nygård's Arts II

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WINNIPEG --- Imagine not watching your basic stock closely, yet never running out of a color or size. Peter Nygård offers that option with Arts II. Short for Automatic-Reorder to Sales, the Arts II factory is Nygård's 60,000 sq.-ft. masterpiece.


"It has everything that you can possibly include in terms of manufacturing technology,"  says Nygård.


"Technology to make product, as well as technology to design product --- marking, grading, and things like that --- information technology is integrated into this technology. Integration is a key word."


The 21-year-old factory experiences a three-year $10 million, technological overhaul. The net effect a 48-hour turnaround from the moment an order is made to the time it hits the sales floor; communication time and in-process factory time cut down to minutes instead of days; and virtually no paperwork between manufacturer and retailer.


Approximately 1,500 stores, including The Bay and Eaton's, are directly linked to the Arts II system through EDI and the Internet. Any sale from Nygård's åliå division, the only one currently on-line, becomes an automatic product reorder --- retailers decide the model sku. The weekly accumulation of all orders throughout North America becomes an automatic reorder to Nygård textiles and trimmings suppliers.


"The suppliers actually load up their trucks in a way we want to spread that (fabric) out onto our tables, the way we want to cut that order," says Nygård.


In fact, the spreading machine already has in its memory the original supplier order so that it automatically spreads the fabric. Before that, the computer automatically marks and grades it. Nygård says that overall employment went up to 260 from 200 because of  increased volume. The facility used to produce about 20,000 units a week. Now it produces 60,000, working at only 40% capacity.


"I've been a retailer and one of the first things you learn being in the industry is that retailers do 80% of their sales with 20% of their inventory ---  and it's constant trouble trying to keep that 20% in stock," says Nygård, "Arts II is the state of the art in accomplishing that task."


"Now that Arts II has proven itself, an Arts III is in the works in Los Angeles."