Since the early days of Internet-based selling and product sourcing in the late 1990s, ecVision has helped retailers and other companies electronically source materials and finished products used in the manufacture and retailing of apparel, footwear and related merchandise.
Now, as part of global logistics services company Amber Road Inc., ecVision’s technology and services will be complemented by the global supply chain and logistics services of its parent company. Amber Road announced earlier this week that it had acquired ecVision for approximately $24 million in cash, plus an additional $9 million over the next two years if the acquisition achieves planned goals in revenue growth and employee retention.
Gary Barraco, an ecVision executive who has been appointed vice president of industry development for Amber Road, says the combined company will address a growing need of brand manufacturers and retailers to manage how they source materials and finished products differently for several wholesale and retail selling channels—while also providing these companies with the means to manage how these goods are transported to each channel destination. “Companies today are sourcing differently, and designing differently, based on the selling channel,” Barraco says.
Brand manufacturers are designing apparel and footwear, for example, at different levels of quality and pricing based on particular wholesale and retail selling channels. The same apparel manufacturer, for instance, will design its highest-quality and most expensive men’s shirts to wholesale to upscale retailers, while designing lower-quality, less pricey versions of its branded garments to wholesale to discount merchants or to sell through its own outlet stores. It’s a strategy that enables manufacturers to take the starch out of efforts by other manufacturers to make and sell low-price knock-offs of popular brands—by offering their own off-price versions of their high-end merchandise.
But designing multiple versions of a single brand’s merchandise also requires the manufacturers’ buyers to source different materials and finished products, usually from many suppliers, to stock the multiple versions and price points of products for each sales channels. That’s where the ecVision technology comes in, by providing an online portal and dashboard for managing multiple purchase orders from multiple suppliers.
Once users arrange sourcing for the right mix of materials and finished products, they can then toggle to the Amber Road logistics software to arrange and manage the transport of goods from their suppliers to their distribution centers.
Both the ecVision sourcing software and Amber Road’s logistics management software are provided as a software-as-service, which lets users access the software through a web browser without having to run the software on their own web servers.
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