Automated Online Wholesale Supply of Vintage Clothing
The sale and transport of vintage clothing is not like other businesses. You don’t move loads of the same item, like a single brand of jeans in multiple sizes, but rather trailers or containers filled with one-of-a-kind curiosities, picked from mountains of unsorted goodwill donations. Inventory management is not a process to be taken lightly. Ecommerce is a near-impossibility.
That is, until Bank & Vogue Holdings (BVH) paid us a visit.
A longstanding customer of silenceIT, BVH deals in quality used goods and vintage clothing. The company came to us recently with an interesting challenge: the automated online wholesale supply of vintage clothing. Every item is unique; there are thousands of new items each month; all must be photographed, copywritten, listed for online sale, and inventory-managed.
silenceIT worked closely with BVH to create a custom assembly-line application that enforces data entry and image capture, and can be operated over the cloud by suppliers and BVH staff alike.
An image management module automatically removes background pixels and close-crops to the subject, then uploads directly from the camera using FTP. Operators choose from lists of item characteristics such as size, color, trim, material, and more to create unique descriptions without copywriting. Another module identifies the box into which the item must be packed for transport, with fully automated barcoding that tells the system where it is while en route to its owner. On the shipping side, our system prepares loads for domestic and export delivery by printing packing slips, shipping labels, manifests, and customs documentation. It’s an exceedingly sophisticated and elegant solution, with complete audit trails and goal management, so operator performance can be assessed in terms of the number of items that are processed in each shift.
Testing of the assembly-line application is complete and nearing its first full year of production. BVH is now mere seconds short of its one-garment-per-minute goal: a triumph of cloud-based automation, in a business previously renowned for its unmanageable inventory requirements!