TAL Apparel embraces agile transformation

TAL Apparel embraces agile transformation to power its business into the next decade (image sbayram/iStockPhoto)

Garment manufacturer TAL Apparel had been using legacy IT help desk and project management systems for eight years. Running on-premises, these systems did not give IT the visibility and proper data on service levels and project performance.

“They were generic workflow systems with limited functionalities and were not integrated,” says Kai Yuen Kiang, VP and head of IT at TAL Apparel in an interview with Computerworld Hong Kong. “It’s difficult for us to measure project performance and application development productivity, as well as pulling data to derive insights and identify trends.”

Headquartered in Hong Kong, the garment manufacturer TAL Apparel has 11 factories in six countries, producing apparel for many garment brands around the world.

As a global apparel manufacturer, TAL Apparel has relied on IT to boost collaboration and productivity throughout its business. This strategy took a leap forward with the embarkment of a digital transformation journey since 2013.

Single and integrated platform

In the beginning, TAL Apparel looked for an IT service management package to replace its legacy tools for better IT services delivery and quality. When the apparel manufacturer started to develop and execute its digital transformation strategy, it realized a platform that brings agility was the right fit for TAL Apparel and its customers.

“Our team started to take up agile transformation. We also looked for an improvement in our project management system,” he says. “So, we decided to move from legacy systems onto a digital system that would power our business into the next decade.”  

TAL Apparel's Kiang

TAL Apparel evaluated offerings from IT service management vendors, agile and project portfolio solutions providers. After a six-month rigorous selection process, the apparel manufacturer chose ServiceNow.

A range of ServiceNow applications and modules were deployed at TAL Apparel, including incident management, problem management, change management, and release management. The apparel manufacturer also deployed agile development and project portfolio management to support its application development processes and track project proposals and requests respectively.

“ServiceNow provides different modules that can be integrated into one platform,” he says. “Its cloud-based platform provides easier access and management for our employees in six countries worldwide.”

Improvements in response time & app development

With the ServiceNow platform in place, Kiang says the company experienced better response time, fewer recurrent incidents, and rising agility.

“We could conduct scientific and systematic analysis such as analyzing system performance, tracking defects, and identifying incident trends, he says. “This helps increase our system availability and speed up our product innovation.”

According to Kiang, the average time to close out all incidents was cut from three days to one and a half days. For priority one incidents, the average time to close out went down from three days to two and a half hours. Figures related to system availability, service performance, outages, and incident trends are displayed via a dashboard, bringing transparency to all users.

On the agility front, Kiang notes an improvement in application development processes. “By tracking user stories, QA tests, and releases for our application development, we could improve the design quality, efficiency, and productivity of our internal and external developers.” Nowadays, he has the visibility into service requirements, resources or time needed to complete projects. 

Rolling out in different phases, all the ServiceNow modules were completely deployed across all the offices.

Moving forward, TAL Apparel is exploring the use of additional ServiceNow modules such as governance and financial planning. “Governance helps us to achieve regulatory or standard compliance. Financial planning enables us to be smarter in the way we manage our investment and ROI,” he says.