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					          > Connecting Pointe




                                                                Trinity Apparel
                                                                blazes a trail in the custom clothing market
                                                                                                                   By Kim Gallaspy




T
 Trinity Apparel Group is a Jackson-based cus-                     “Another one of the technical achievements is that all
tom clothier marketing men’s clothing under the                  of this lives on a server in Mississippi,” said Nance.
Latham-Thomas label. Thanks to an innovative                     “One of the things we are asked by customers, is ‘how
                                                                 soon will they start on my order?’ Because of the time
business model and a cutting-edge internet-                      difference, it is possible to start orders in real time.”
based ordering system, Trinity offers custom
suits, jackets, pants and shirts at prices that                    Nance worked with NTandem, of Jackson, to develop
make custom clothing accessible to a wider                       the ordering system concept, and Infocus, LLC, of
audience than ever before.                                       Ridgeland, managed the technical development of the
                                                                 program.
   Trinity Apparel President Wen Nance sold custom
men’s apparel for other companies for seven years                  “After an enormous amount of research, it became
before launching his own line. He markets the clothing           obvious to me that there is no one who does custom
from a retail location in Jackson’s Highland Village shop-       clothing with a production model offshore like we do.
ping center, and through retailers across the country that       There are some niches that are similar, but they do not
place orders with an Internet-based ordering system              embrace the technology that is out there,” said Nance.
made specifically for Trinity.
                                                                   Many clothing manufacturers still process orders man-
  On the retailer’s end, the web interface allows employ-        ually. Nance says using the Internet and the Trinity
ees to enter orders using wizards that prompt the sales-         Apparel web interface is bringing efficiencies that allow
person to select various style options, eliminating the          his company to stand out from the competition. Test
need to flip through a catalog full of code numbers to           marketing proved that there was a demand, and Trinity
record the order. If any information is missing, the sys-        signed up 17 dealers in its first three days.
tem prompts the user to include the information before
sending, eliminating delays that can result from incom-             “Retailers responded well to the system because we
plete information.                                               are providing more in terms of efficiencies and stream-
                                                                 lining the order process,” said Nance. In addition, retail-
  Once the order is placed on the website, the system            ers can easily check the status of an order and track its
converts the data for the manufacturing facility, which is       progress to completion.
located just outside Shanghai, China. The measure-
ments are converted to the metric system, and the writ-            For customers, the benefits are clear. Technology has
ten data is converted from English to Chinese. It takes          enabled a more efficient operation that lowers costs.
about 30-minutes from the time the order is entered for          Trinity in turn passes those savings on to its customers.
the data to be swept into the manufacturer’s schedule of
new and pending orders.                                             With approximately 600 to 800 custom clothiers in the
                                                                 United States, it is noteworthy that a Mississippi company
   Once the order is received, the fabric is pulled, either      is leading the way in bringing technology to the industry.
from an in-house stock or an outside supplier, and the           “It shows the innovation and good business happening
factory begins fulfilling the order. It usually takes four to    right here in Jackson, Mississippi” said Nance.
six weeks to complete the order, which is the industry
standard.
                                                                       You may contact Kim at kgallaspy@technologyalliance.ms


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