Quality Control

How process adds value to products Assessments are given on products using question and answer techniques. Extensive product testing e.g. stretch, colour resist, zip, fade to UN trading standards are carried out to ensure the quality of the products and make sure they withstand a considerable amount of time. This adds quality to the product. Washing disclaimer information on the labels provides advice to customers on how to look after their clothing products, therefore, ensuring lasting quality and correct after-care.

Some clothing products contain lycra and certain tags advertise that to show a certification of quality. Size checks are often carried out in the Design section of the business so that it is ensured they fit the average woman better. Uses of I.C.T. Till point – which Head Office can access, shows amount of product sold or refunded, the type of product sold or refunded. Therefore, they can establish what product is more popular and what needs changing or developing.

Trade reports are printed out weekly and sent to Head Office to evaluate how well the company is doing. Newsletters are printed out monthly to every branch of ELLE for employees; they include information about the fashion trends, reports of how the business is progressing, and it is a way of communication from other areas of the company.

The Company has recently invested over 20,000 in a new computer system developed by ProLogic Computer Consultants. This is a proven system dedicated to the clothing industry and its implementation is now under way. The system supports all aspects of the Company's activities from design, sourcing, sales, production, warehousing, and distribution through to retail. The system is integrated with the Sun Systems accounting package used by the Group. The system moved the company forward considerably in data management control.

A website is established for ELLE within the main site for its holding company: Actif Group plc. With a website, ELLE is able to communicate with a wider range of audience. It can be regularly updated at little cost and it is cheaper than some forms of communication (e.g. full colour brochures cost more with the need to update every 2/3 months). It also gives access to employees of the business so that they can find out more information about who they work for.

However, to make ELLE's use of I.C.T. better, they could enable the website to become interactive to involve and capture an audience. They could also meet their objectives better if they developed an online Internet shopping system. It allows people to shop online conveniently and therefore, increases sales and awareness. It would also be able to reach more people as all they would need is an Internet connection and delivery service, instead of a store or outlet.

However, a disadvantage of this would be the clothes fit differently on each customer and there is no physical contact between the clothes and customer before the purchase, therefore more problems may occur, e.g. refunds and unsatisfied customers. The ELLE website could also be associated with the ELLE magazine sites which provides more advertisement and suitable customers, in that they shop for female clothing.