Suuchi Ramesh, Founder and CEO A Two-Pronged Approach to the Fashion Supply Chain
Over the last decade, a number of legacy industries, such as construction, logistics, insurance, and education have been ripe for reinvention, propelling technologists to swoop in and leave their imprint. Despite not having any experience in fashion or apparel, Suuchi Ramesh saw that the industry was primed for innovation. With a background in software engineering and sales, Ramesh realized that the apparel industry had yet to adapt technology that would eliminate antiquated practices. “From a long list of orthodox industries, it was the last untouched market that required technological transformation,” she recalls.
Despite being an outsider to the industry, Ramesh leaned on a few early employees to begin the process of reinventing the fashion supply chain.
It has been four years since she rolled the dice.
Suffice to say, the gamble has paid off. Today, Ramesh leads a team of 150 highly-competent software engineers and manufacturing and supply chain experts who streamline the complex supply chain for fashion brands, retailers, factories, and fabric mills across the world. Through its proprietary, mobile-first supply chain management platform, the Suuchi GRID, Suuchi drives cost-effectiveness and transparency across the entire apparel manufacturing production process from design through shipping. “It doesn't matter who you are—the brand, the factory floor, the warehouse, or the material supplier—the GRID allows you to simply log-in and receive real-time updates at every juncture of the supply chain,” explains Ramesh. The GRID, which was over-engineered for simplicity and a seamless user experience, provides a single dashboard view to manage all products, track projected timelines, allow for feedback and collaboration across teams, and streamlines communication across the product lifecycle.
More than Just a Software Provider
While the backbone of the company is the GRID, Ramesh understood that a truly intuitive software would need to be educated through real use cases. As Ramesh points out, Suuchi, at the time of its inception, realized that “in order to truly revolutionize change, one must assume control of the supply chain on behalf of brands” and share the same experiences with its clients. With this in mind, Ramesh began building a multidisciplinary approach that offered solutions for design, sourcing, production, and shipping, all tracked through the GRID. Suuchi started with a single R&D facility for clients interested in the full package development solutions and how manages a network of over 600 freelancers, factories, and mills across the Western Hemisphere through the GRID.
Critically, since our entire network is digitized and connected on Suuchi GRID, both the brands and factories are privy to one version of the truth.
Whether brands choose to leverage Suuchi’s production solutions or implement the GRID as a standalone solution to manage their current supply chain participants, clients are able to receive the benefits of a tech-first approach. Through both engagement models, clients have been able to increase their margins and turnaround times with a more efficient supply chain model that can evolve with rapidly changing industry trends.
Suuchi’s model is a stark difference from the way the fashion supply chain historically operated with overseas production partners. Traditionally, brands & retailers would have to forecast orders up to a year in advance to launch. With little visibility into what was happening on the factory floor in foreign countries, such as China, would leave brands guessing as to what was actually occurring with their production. If there were issues or delays in the supply chain, brands & retailers would know too late to find solutions ahead of experiencing significant impacts. This lack of end-to-end visibility and communication led to product launch delays, excess inventory due to changing trends, and costly mistakes across the company.
Suuchi has created a network that not only allows for flexible batch sizes and categories, but is also tracked through the GRID to create a digital footprint of the supply chain. “Critically, since our entire network is digitized and connected on the GRID, both the brands and factories are privy to one version of the truth. There is no more guesswork or loss of communication,” says Ramesh, before adding that the cloud-based, intuitive platform is category agnostic, meaning it can be implemented across supply chain participants and industries.
Diversified Solutions for a Diverse Clientele
As a proponent for local-for-local supply chains, Suuchi will continue to empower brands of every size to improve the efficiency of their supply chains and beyond. Through their Western Hemisphere-based network, the company will continue to expand their presence to strengthen their solutions for current and new clients. They will also continue to expand job opportunities for the factories and mills within their network and headquarters in Carlstadt, New Jersey.
With strong backing from the state of New Jersey, which empowered Suuchi through a $37 million grant, Ramesh and her team are poised to reach greater heights. As for product enhancement, Suuchi will look to further improve the UI and UX elements, which are already cherished by clients for their user-friendliness and transparency. “We will continue to iterate the software, which on its own, cannot be the single instrument for change. This is why we operate hands-on with factory floors and value thought leadership, with the ultimate goal to reduce on-location transaction costs and overheads. The idea is for brands to oversee their entire production cycle without being on location,” concludes Ramesh.