Intercom - “Samantha can you please close the excel spreadsheet. I’ve got to update it!”

As I walked into the offices of a domestic apparel manufacturer/producer (a dwindling bunch), I heard the intercom blare “Samantha can you please close the excel spreadsheet…?”. I thought nothing much of it, meeting up with my friend (who worked there), but the intercom jumped to life every few minutes with “Rita please close the spreadsheet” or some variation thereof.Yet another fashion company unable to shake off their excel dependency, I concluded. According to my friend the company had implemented custom-built software, but the employees simply did not want to use the new system, such was the stranglehold of Excel. Now I have nothing against Excel and if it works for you, great! However, it was painfully obvious in this case that it was causing sufficient loss in productivity.

Spreadsheet agony

Does this sound like your company? I personally know of quite a few establishments, especially in the fashion business that cling to this and similar styles of managing their production lifecycle.

Come on people!!!… You don’t have to go through that kind of agony in this day and age. Not when there are perfectly simple and cost-effective alternatives out there. No software to install, no contracts to sign, accessible via any web browser or mobile…in an environment that will remind you of your comfortable old outdated spreadsheet.

Allow me to suggest one such alternative via a short example as told by Debbie Ross Production Assistant Concentric Apparel:

“One of our largest customers, a major U.S lifestyle brand was running 350k units a year divided between 4 styles, 4 fits and 2 colours. With their previous supplier, their production manager/team had tremendous problems with keeping track of the different production steps from manufacturing to shipping to delivery. The problem only got worse when our client had to start managing their inventory ‘better’. They changed to a replenishment program with shortened delivery lead times. However the issue was that they still had to make sure that all their individual stores had adequate stock levels. Their old suppliers software could not tackle this issue and the on-time deliveries stood at an unacceptable 55%!!!

Lifeceyecle (a production lifecycle management software) was implemented to resolve this problem. The production manager now simply had to login to the site and use the Time & Action calendar to easily know what was scheduled to happen within the course of the week. With the help of the available detailed tracking option they could monitor at which production stage each purchase order was at any given time. They would receive real-time notification (internal notification center dashboard to consolidate all communications - including conversation mode AND an optional traditional email notification) when each step in the production process happened, without needing to call or email anyone. The team leader was quickly able to get a summary of their entire production status, and export it to excel (just for old times sake) if needed. They could then discuss with upper management to figure out which part of the manufacturing process had to be re-organized, in order to meet the critical in-store fulfillment quantities based on adjusted sales.

The web based login offered unbeatable security, while allowing the production manager the ability to monitor orders, raw materials and track them in almost real-time…with simple intuitive tools.

As a result the on-time delivery rating for the company shot up to 97% with an order efficiency rating of 94%.”

As demonstrated in this example, a small change in the process is often what is needed to make a big difference to the production process and obviously…the bottom line. Imagine how effectively you could manage your company's production process with the automation of raw material calculations and time & action tracking?

Small Business is challenged because of fewer financial and personnel resources, and cannot afford expensive software solutions. Lifeceyecle has developed a flexible production driven web application. Its complex enough to handle all the major functions required to run a competitive business, yet simple enough for the most technologically challenged to have up and running quickly. Our team at Lifeceyecle has combined their own knowledge of product development with the power of sales order management to create a system that simplifies raw material, production and time and action tracking.

This solution requires no software and can be accessed from any web browser or mobile device. Like the application, payment is simple, from the 14-day free trial to the 30-day month-to-month recurring charge with no contract. Lifeceyecle is so intuitive that you can be up and running in days in an environment that will remind you of your comfortable old spreadsheet based desktop, yet powerful enough to make the decisions you need to compete in today's collaborative market.

After years of frustration using excel based spreadsheets to run OUR business, we developed a flexible tool that can simplify all of YOUR production processes.

“Samantha can you please close the excel…forever?!!”

Written by based on outline provided by Allan Diamond of

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