Whatever color your collar, you can thank the partnership between John Van Heusen and the Phillips family that it wraps softly around your neck.

The founders of PVH Corp., formerly the Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, had been selling shirts to miners since 1881 and revolutionized shirt-making in 1919 when they patented a soft, folding collar that fused cloth on a curve, introducing a new concept of comfortable clothing.

Today, PVH is one of the largest apparel companies in the world, with close to 40,000 associates operating in over 40 countries and nearly $10 billion in annual revenues in 2019. PVH manages a diversified portfolio of well-known brands such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, and others such as True & Company Intimates.

An Ongoing Journey

Companies that have been around for more than a century have their own secrets to success, but they all have a few things in common: they are focused on customers, they create flexible organizations, and they have the right systems in place to accomplish their business objectives. PVH is a prime example.

It begins with purpose and commitment. According to Manny Chirico, chairman and CEO of the company, the apparel industry will be massively transformed post-pandemic. PVH sees an opportunity and a responsibility to help shape the new normal for the benefit of all stakeholders. The company’s 12th Annual Corporate Responsibility Report reiterates its steadfast commitments to prioritize climate action, to build tighter and more resilient supply chains, to fight for social justice, to create an inclusive workforce, and to deliver more sustainable products to consumers.

Achieving these goals requires a strong digital foundation that enables intelligent decision-making. The company was looking for software designed specifically for the fashion industry with a unique platform capable of harmonizing diverse structures while optimizing manufacturing and wholesale operations. It found that in the SAP S/4HANA solution for fashion and vertical business with premium-level support from SAP MaxAttention services.

Why It Makes Sense

Fashion companies have been under constant pressure to release new collections, so they are nimble in that respect. But when it comes to digital transformation, few have been able to completely digitize from planning to store shelf.

Industry experts, including those at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), agree that fashion must go digital end-to-end. They argue that the most effective way to address key priorities is to have an end-to-end solution that allows designers to gain data-based insights into trends and consumer behavior. This helps eliminate guesswork and enables anticipating trends and increasing volume of goods sold at full price. It also decreases time to market and increases long-term efficiency, helping to shrink the industry’s environmental footprint.

PVH’s work with SAP lays the foundation for the company to become an intelligent enterprise using SAP S/4HANA.

Making the Move

Because SAP S/4HANA supports a bimodal approach to running daily operations while enabling growth through the development of new business models, PVH will reap multiple benefits. Consolidating processes has already led to greater efficiency and data transparency. A transparent supply and demand overview enables greater responsiveness, while improved reporting and visibility allow better decision-making.

The enhanced platform for innovation uses new functionality in SAP S/4HANA, which helps eliminate the need for building custom solutions. And finally, the implementation project went smoothly thanks to the extra support available using SAP MaxAttention services.

“Our IT platform is key to driving our strategy by supporting innovation, modernization, digitalization, and scalability,” says Eileen Mahoney, executive vice president and global CIO of PVH. “Moving to SAP S/4HANA for fashion and vertical business with support from SAP MaxAttention services has given us the transparency and flexibility we need to continue to grow.”

Tom Janoshalmi, global head of SAP S/4HANA Movement, says that customer momentum for SAP S/4HANA continues to be strong despite the pandemic. More than 14,500 customers have chosen SAP S/4HANA, including big brands, and have already gone live.

“The initiative continues to help customers improve supply chain resilience in the new COVID-19 reality,” Janoshalmi shares. “The PVH story is inspirational, and sets a new benchmark in terms of being able to run smart and fast with SAP.”

Follow Judith on Twitter: @magyarj