More than 60 years ago, Lindex started as a lingerie company in Sweden but today, Lindex is an international fashion company with different concepts. Taking pride in their Swedish heritage, products are developed with high consideration for design, quality, comfort and sustainability
As many other successful, growing companies, Scandinavian fashion brand Lindex is undergoing a digital transformation journey with aim to adapt and stay relevant in this new era. This applies to their supply chain and production operations as well, where the company up until recently had been performing quality assurance in a traditional, manual way with heavy report writing.
A growing need to digitalize quality management
“In order to digitize quality management at Lindex, one objective was to find an innovative digital tool that could support the company and its supply chain in becoming more transparent and effective with quality management and QC inspections throughout the usage of data,” says Ebba Lo, Production Office Manager in Hong Kong at Lindex.
Having a tool like that in place would enable Lindex to decrease efforts on controlling and instead free up time and leverage data to create real value within quality management.
Further, even though Lindex had their own guidelines and processes around quality inspections in place, they still experienced different approaches as to how products were assessed by different Inspectors. Internally and externally, they were all based on the individual QC’s own experience.
“When starting to look for a digital QC tool, it was very important for us to explore solutions that would enable us to streamline quality and help inspectors at Lindex, as well as our supply chain, to assess products in the same way”
- Ebba Lo, Production Office Manager
No more heavy IT systems and investments
Ebba and her team wanted a tool that would work locally in an otherwise very global organisation. IT initiatives from the company’s corporate headquarters had mainly prioritized solutions within sale, sourcing and buying processes. But for quality, the team could not find a PLM system with a good built-in solution for QC inspections. That ́s why they started to look for expert solutions with companies specializing within this field and came across Qarma. In their evaluation process, they liked features such as real-time reporting and Qarma’s entrepreneurial approach.
“Many times, digital tools require heavy investment, the implementation process could be rather lengthy, and the tool might not give you many options to tailor according to your own needs. But when we explored Qarma, we felt it was an intuitive, flexible and self-explanatory tool that could generate relevant and impactful data for us". Ebba Lo says.
"It’s been a smooth process to develop and adapt Qarma to Lindex’ needs and it was quick to implement globally both within the company and with our suppliers at a very reasonable cost"
Effective global implementation
The company first implemented Qarma in China and based on learnings made started to roll out the tool globally to all production markets. When Covid-19 hit, the roll out plan was initially put to halt and Nripendra Sinha from New Delhi, India, who is the global lead for the Qarma roll-out at Lindex, had to explore new ways to implement Qarma to all remaining markets – free from travels and physical meetings.
“The Qarma team suggested to try out online training for our offices and QCs. Previously, we had done on site trainings, so digital trainings were new for us. But Qarma was very supportive and openminded, and together we discussed the potential challenges with digital trainings and how those could be addressed effectively,” Nripendra Sinha says.
Initially, Lindex experienced that it took some time to change the mindsets of QC inspectors when they first had to use Qarma, but now, no one wants to go back to the way things used to be. The QCs don’t spend less time on inspections, but the administration part is a lot lighter and far more effective. This is because the reporting happens as the inspector is inspecting the products.
“It’s easy to understand the steps and functionalities of the tool – also for more junior QCs and less experienced suppliers. All the users get excited when they see powerful functions like real time upload of pictures to reports, and the opportunity of different language settings with automatic translation just gives a more local feeling”
- Nripendra Sinha, Global Manager
Further, with help from Qarma, Lindex has succeeded with providing guidance and communication to suppliers and at the end build more trust.
Checklists, video clips and photos in Qarma have made it easier for everyone to have the ‘same eyes’ on the product and its quality. To build trust and to be aligned on quality became even more important when Lindex had to launch a new, digital, premium brand with new products and fittings with a relatively new supplier during a time when travelling was almost impossible.
Getting better access and more transparency through the system has had a great, positive impact on making the brand launch happen timely and successfully on the supply chain side.
“Our supply chain has found Qarma useful and easy to operate. We got the tool, had a workshop, made tests together in the line and plugged it in – that’s it. Our dialogue with the suppliers is good, and it’s just been working really well. Now, we’ve launched a new brand without even being at the factory. It’s been an eyeopener that we’ve managed to create great results by acting and doing things in a different way,” Ebba Lo says.