What is our primary use case?
We actually have several significant use cases for VINYL. We replaced a few Legacy systems with Zudy and their platform, VINYL, and built from scratch a made to measure system for custom made garments designed in our stores and manufactured by our facilities.
We built an alteration platform that allows us to have customers purchase garments off the rack and then record all of the alterations needed to get the perfect fit, and again, perform those duties elsewhere.
Finally, we use VINYL to develop progressive apps by introducing new functions for our stores and giving them things that they didn't realize they needed. This really saves time and effort on their side so they can focus on what they really should be doing.
How has it helped my organization?
VINYL has improved the way our company does business by streamlining and standardizing the processes that are critical for producing garments and altering them, getting all of our stores on the same page with the right processes and the right options that are available to really perform for the customer.
With the solution improving our satisfaction and adoption of associates in our stores, they have then been able to focus on the customer more, and in turn, improve and increase customer satisfaction and focus on that customer in the store.
VINYL has really helped us speed up application development at a reasonable cost. Previously and with a lot of traditional models, you're talking twelve, sixteen months before you really see the results of all the work that goes in beforehand. With VINYL and working with Zudy, we're able to really go to market with a viable product in a matter of a few months.
Iteratively from there, it's weeks to months before we have new versions instead of another six months or another twelve months for another version. So, it has absolutely sped up things by multiple factors there.
VINYL has benefited our business in a big way and we are very capable of focusing on the customer's needs when using it. One of the benefits for the store associates themselves and working with made to measure was allowing them to have multiple pathways to enter an order for a customer.
Some associates might perform their duty with a customer in one method, but something we recently implemented was more of a customer wishlist function. Whatever fabrics they're interested in, we can set those aside for them in the system. Whether they want to develop a shirt or a suit or a sport coat now, or come back in six months, those are still on their wish list along with the products that they might have selected for that fabric.
Previously you had to start from front to back every step of the way without much flexibility until we said, "we need a more flexible way". Now they have multiple pathways to enter an order, which gives them the strength or the flexibility they need to not have the customer waiting around while they're clicking in a system.
What is most valuable?
One of the most valuable features of VINYL is its flexibility. We've been able to change direction if needed, once we've learned lessons when we finally started using parts of the product. That flexibility and speed to get to market is really a strength, combined with its ability to connect to other data sources.
It doesn't need to house much data. It's really, really strong in connecting to your other systems or third parties that you might subscribe to and pull it all into one place where you can use it.
What needs improvement?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The VINYL platform is very stable. We've had minimal issues, and whenever we do, we're able to fix them relatively easily.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
VINYL is very scalable, as well. We've started off using VINYL in pilot stores in the Northeast of the United States and expanded to the full U.S. and Canada. Since then, we've actually incorporated users in the Asia/Pacific market, Europe, and we're going to be expanding to China and India as well.
How are customer service and technical support?
VINYL's tech support and Zudy's tech support is top notch. Whenever we've had any of the issues that I mentioned before, they react quickly and completely to find a solution and work with you to get it done. They understand the urgency. If something isn't the way it should be, getting it solved is their top priority.
If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?
We knew that we needed to invest in a different solution that was more flexible and scalable. We've used VINYL to replace several Legacy systems. Previously we had individual Legacy systems for Made To Measure, which was homegrown, and not flexible.
We had a different company we worked with for an implementation of an alteration system, which again, was not scalable, and did not grow with us as a company. It's those reasons that really helped point us in a direction to think longer term, and have a flexible solution that will grow with us as our business grows.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was relatively straightforward and Zudy helped us scale how large of a system we should have, what type of license would be appropriate, and really ensure that it would grow with us without having to completely re-engineer our setup.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Our licensing costs are approximately 100K annually, and from my perspective, that really is quite the value with the flexibility and what we're getting from the product.
What other advice do I have?
From my perspective at Brooks Brothers, VINYL has had pretty much every function or feature that we've needed. I'm interested to see what they do manage to incorporate on top of that because I'm sure we'll find a use for it.
The VINYL Solution has helped increase productivity at Brooks Brothers. We've been able to standardize our processes in the stores and in our factories with a made to measure solution and alterations. In doing so, we've allowed the business to not worry about those and to focus on growing sales.
This solution has increased our rate of iterations for deploying new releases from six months or twelve months down to two months or six weeks. So, quite the increase of frequency where we're able to deliver new features to the stores.
If researching VINYL versus other similar solutions, I would try to keep in mind really what their strengths are and compare them to each other. From my perspective, the strength of VINYL is clear with its flexibility and its ease of use, ease of development, and that's not to be understated. You can really deliver powerful apps in way less time than other solutions I've seen.
On a scale of one to ten, I would rate VINYL probably an eight or a nine, simply because of the flexibility and the power that it has in bringing data to one source, and then reacting to it and building an app you need with those data points.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.