Los Angeles-based Lefty Production Co. is adopting a new product lifecycle management (PLM) tool as it continues to explore ways to accelerate growth.
The U.S. apparel manufacturer has teamed with supply chain software firm Suuchi to digitize its operations. Suuchi’s PLM GRID serves as a collaborative hub where brands can interface with Lefty’s product development specialists, managing the conception of new designs and monitoring workflow throughout the production process.
Lefty will use the GRID to service its hundreds of nationwide clients through a centralized platform, Lefty co-founder and CEO Marta Miller told Sourcing Journal. With a soft launch in June and a full rollout this month, the Lefty’s clients have started to integrate the GRID into their day-to-day interactions with the manufacturer. Headquartered in the Los Angeles garment district, Lefty serves 180 clients including U.S. department stores, independent designers and influencers. Earlier this year it also purchased Austin-based product development firm Stitch Texas, which serves more than 75 clients in the Southern U.S. By 2023, Miller aims to get clients from both companies onboarded to the GRID.
Suuchi Ramesh founded Suuchi in 2016 as a sourcing platform connecting companies with global suppliers—including its own New Jersey factory. Since then, the firm has transitioned to creating PLM software for more than 20 industries, including apparel, footwear, beauty products and safety tools. Lefty represents one of the company’s foundational U.S. factory partners, and its most extensive U.S. integration to date.
Miller initially saw Suuchi as a rival to her full-service design and manufacturing firm, which specializes in helping customers created their own fashion line. But the seeds of partnership began to germinate after Suuchi exited the production space and began to focus solely on software. The two female founders recognized the potential to advance the growing U.S. production market with purpose-built technology. While differing time zones, language barriers and long lead times hamper overseas production, Lefty has attracted inquiries from U.S. brands looking to source closer to home.
Suuchi’s GRID provides an “intuitive, transparent, user-friendly” virtual nucleus for work between multiple stakeholders, said Miller, who wants the platform to serve as a “single source of truth” for clients’ orders. Replacing email, texts and daily phone calls was imperative for Lefty as it continues to scale. For example, the company’s in-house designers can make changes and finalize garment details with a brand partner using the GRID chat tool, place and receive an order, and begin to track production in a single interaction. Synergy is especially important now that Miller is managing two businesses that often collaborate to design and produce garments.
“With Suuchi Inc.’s roots in sourcing, I have unique appreciation and huge respect for Marta’s leadership,” Ramesh said, noting that the company is working to turn “a legacy industry on its head.” Suuchi is also working to advance digitization in an industry once wedded to pen-and-paper processes. The “megatrends of just-in-time production, connected systems, vendor participation, nearshoring, and supply chains created for consumer demand” require the adoption and acceleration of new technologies, she said.