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Exclusive: Party City reduces supply chain costs by 'millions'

Party City
Party City is obtaining real-time insight into its supply chain.

Party City Holdings Inc. is deploying cloud-based technology to obtain real-time enterprise supply chain visibility.

Peter Smith, COO of Party City, recently spoke with Chain Store Age about how the specialty party supply and novelty retailer is substantially reducing supply chain expenses by gaining a full, accurate view of end-to-end supply chain data.

Party City is deploying the CBX suite from supply chain management solution provider TradeBeyond in an effort to improve operational efficiency across inventory management, end-to-end merchandising, and vendor compliance.

What supply chain issues was Party City facing prior to engaging TradeBeyond? 

Party City had little to no line of sight to movements in our global supply chain. This led to dramatic costs throughout the supply chain as it was always reacting to events (often well after "bad things" had happened), rather than anticipating and reacting to events. 
Why did Party City select the TradeBeyond CBX suite? 

TradeBeyond has great cloud technology that powers a wide range of transactions in a consumer goods global supply chain for a very reasonably priced, fast-to-deploy offering. We reviewed the CBX system’s functionality through several demos and believed this was the best platform. 

Easy to use and unlike other product lifecycle management (PLM) systems that are really just libraries of information, TradeBeyond’s platform has the ability to build logic into the workflow with critical path management (CPMs). 

For example, we can review or acknowledge or accept/reject various functions within a dedicated workflow. Other PLM systems do not always have that ease of flow when doing so. 

What benefits does Party City receive or expect to receive (metrics if possible)? 

Implementing TradeBeyond is all about operating a better, faster, and more cost-effective global supply chain. Party City has successfully reduced millions in year-over-year supply chain expenses, partly attributed to Trade Beyond and other real-time visibility solutions. 

By leveraging the application's functionality and the data from TradeBeyond, Party City anticipates a decrease in the total cost of ownership associated with its product acquisition activities. Currently, 100% of our offshore vendors are on-board. 

In our first full season of using TradeBeyond, we achieved a remarkable 94% on-time-in-full x-factory performance, a significant improvement over the prior season. 

What are Party City’s supply chain plans for 2024? 

2023 was our implementation year, and 2024 is the payoff year for Trade Beyond and the other tools we have implemented to gain end-to-end real-time visibility and control over our global supply chain. 

Regarding TradeBeyond, we anticipate rolling out the vendor management and work-in-progress (WIP) Tracking processes using TradeBeyond by the end of February 2024. We are also planning enhancements as part of Phase 2 of our PO management process, which was launched in September 2023. 

Based in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., Party City operates across multiple businesses within its retail division and consumer products division. On the retail side, Party City runs more than 750 company-owned and franchise stores, as well as Halloween City seasonal pop-up stores.

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