Mike Parsley: Supply Chains Suits Him Well
E-commerce and retail distribution, transportation and logistics; national tailoring service and tuxedo distribution.
Vice president, operations, Macy’s; senior director, distribution, Men’s Wearhouse; senior operations manager, Amazon; director, operations, Vistaprint; president and operational roles, H.P. Reid; instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
M.S., aerospace engineering, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 1992; B.S., chemistry and mathematics, Cumberland College, 1989.
One significant initiative within Tailored Brands is boosting speed to market. We’re trying to identify opportunities throughout the supply chain to reduce lead times and move new fashions, online orders, and retail products to customers faster.
We’re also trying to boost speed to market for our offshore, made-to-measure/custom suits and shirts, which we began offering in 2017. Changing from mass manufacturing to individual unit manufacturing requires a different mindset. For instance, the suits and shirts come from different factories. At a distribution center, we marry the suit to a shirt, and quickly ship both to our stores.
I’m proud of the integration between Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank. When we acquired Jos. A. Bank, we gained nearly two million square feet in the northeast United States; we already had two million square feet of distribution space in Houston. We did a full analysis of cost, transportation times, and other factors and justified moving to a regional distribution strategy. Now, both locations can move product for either brand, which significantly improves overall operations.
We also implemented a warehouse management system in only nine months—typically an 18-month process. And as we integrated Jos. A. Bank and its national tailoring service into our transportation network, we shifted them from parcel to fleet transportation. That move cuts costs and improves efficiencies.
One key was maintaining strong relationships with IT, human resources, and the operations teams from both Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank. Involving all the groups up front, and encouraging communication and teamwork, enabled a smooth transition.
We have two merchandising groups, as well as a design and global sourcing group in New York. Orders for retail apparel products are cut six months in advance. It’s important to get everybody on the same page and get the timing right so product flows in the directions we want, and store replenishment occurs when needed.
Because we put both brands in the same container, we work with our carriers and international sourcing team to split containers. These efforts accounted for about 25 percent of the $100 million in synergies forecast by combining the two brands.
About the time I earned my master’s degree in aerospace engineering, the defense industry crashed. So, I joined a manufacturing company and advanced rapidly.
Several years later, the company’s facilities relocated overseas. I stayed in the United States and landed a position with Amazon, where I gained a great deal of knowledge about distribution and fulfillment.
I enjoy distribution and fulfillment, and at Tailored Brands, I can continue to do those functions and be strategic as well. I’m implementing an RFID project with our national tailoring services and looking at robotics technology for the warehouses.
My key focus is on optimizing the network and creating the best environment we can for our associates.
The Big Questions
What activities make you better at supply chain management?
Golf helps by teaching patience. Also, riding motorcycles requires taking multiple inputs in real time and processing them quickly.
What song best describes
"Beth" by KISS. The lyrics, "Beth, I hear you calling but I can’t come home right now/Me and the boys are playing and just can’t find the sound" relate to the supply chain as teams sometimes work long hours to make sure everything is happening as it should. The calmness of the ballad is symbolic of how to run a supply chain. You need to analyze data, plan, and remain calm as you execute.
If you could speed up the development of a disruptive technology, what technology would it be and why?
Blockchain. This technology allows everyone to see information and changes electronically and in an extremely secure format. This greatly simplifies the process.