The new chief information officer of workwear brand Carhartt Inc. said she plans to standardize communication among its logistics and materials providers and tap insights from the company’s nascent data science team to overcome supply chain challenges.
Katrina Agusti, formerly the company’s vice president of solutions delivery, stepped into the CIO role on March 28. She replaced Chief Digital and Information Officer John Hill, who left the company. Ms. Agusti will have the same responsibilities as Mr. Hill, although her official title will be chief information officer, a company spokesperson said.
Ms. Agusti said supply chain related issues have tested the technology side of the business.
“We’re still dealing with a lot of the constraints that came out of the supply chain challenges, and because of the growth we’re experiencing as a brand, that’s put a lot of pressure on technology,” Ms. Agusti said, adding, “[We’re] expanding our network capabilities more quickly than we anticipated.”
Carhartt is a family-owned business based in Dearborn, Mich., well known for its workwear. Currently the company says it has 35 Carhartt branded stores and 5,400 employees world-wide. While the company doesn’t disclose revenue, a spokesperson said it has been on a growth trajectory for the past several years. Last year it gained acclaim when Jeff Daniels and Glenn Close wore the brand at the Golden Globes.
Ms. Agusti will report to Linda Hubbard, Carhartt president and chief operating officer.
“Our IT infrastructure and digital transformation is an increasingly important part of our consumer experience,” Ms. Hubbard said in a press release.
One objective, Ms. Agusti said, will be to activate inventory from across the supply chain network such that it can bypass distribution centers on the way to customers. Orders could potentially be filled directly from stores or factories, for example. Currently, she said, the majority of inbound supply must go to a distribution center first.
The key to this, she said, is standardizing communication with third-party logistics providers, suppliers, brokers and anyone else who interacts with the goods.
By doing that, she said, “we’re able to quickly scale and replicate the same processes over and over again within the supply chain partnerships.”
Ms. Agusti also said the company’s data science team will provide insights to help optimize the supply chain.
The team has been around for a couple of years but spent most of its first 18 months working on collecting data and ensuring it was high quality, Ms. Agusti said, adding that it is now ready to start solving specific business problems.
“Demand management is a huge part of that,” she said, adding that insights from the data science team can help the company have “the right product in the right place at the right time.”
Write to Isabelle Bousquette at Isabelle.Bousquette@wsj.com
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