The Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI)’s “reality school” offers real-life experience running a brand and three outlets to the students as part of their four-year full-time course. The shops operate under the iNDiViDUALS brand in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Arnhem. Each term, a new group of students takes over the running of iNDiVIDUALS so they get hands-on experience relevant to their approach to design and fashion.
The school wanted to include realistic experience of a fashion brand’s IT system that was simple yet comprehensive and easy to maintain and explain; one that supported the whole process from buying materials, design, pricing, branding and merchandising, through to sales and invoicing. The new system would replace Microsoft’s ERP system, which was too complex and data hungry for AMFI’s needs.
The institute was clear that it wanted the new IT system to provide centralised product information and a clear view of the status of each step in all the different processes appropriate to a fashion brand. It also wanted flexibility so students and tutors could vary brand standards, for example, according to their projects. This meant stripping back unnecessary functionality.
Students had complained in the past about the cumbersome nature of the previous system. In discussions with CLEVR, a deal was brokered that the low-code and no-code specialist would provide a version of its product data management system and its process lifecycle management system on condition that it too would receive unvarnished student feedback. CLEVR would use that feedback to further develop and improve its system.
The basic CLEVR package was adapted to iNDiViDUALS’ needs so the system supports the whole process and all the associated tasks, as well as how roles are divided within a fashion brand.
All product details are housed in the CLEVR application, which can also support design, production, sales and invoicing. The entire process is now one workflow, with data flowing along and supporting it end to end. This includes being able to calculate the right retail price for an item as it is being designed, as well as creating appropriate branding, merchandising and sample sales.
"We no longer wanted unnecessary functionality, but wanted a system that was as realistic as possible. It’s about the relevant application for our students. Besides, the new system had to be easy to maintain and explain”
Carolina van Gerven-Veth, teacher and coordinator, Amsterdam Fashion Institute