Rockford, IL, Oct. 12, 2021 — Cleo, the global ecosystem integration category leader, today announced that UK-based Camira Fabrics Ltd. has selected Cleo Integration Cloud (CIC) as its multi-enterprise integration technology platform.
Camira Fabrics is one of those companies that likely touches your life every single day, yet you probably don’t even know it. As an award-winning textile innovator with nearly 200 years of history, the Mirfield, UK-based company manufactures and sells more than 8 million metres of fabric yearly primarily for commercial interiors and for bus, rail, and motorcoach applications in the transit industry. You’ve also probably encountered Camira’s handiwork in the form of furniture fabrics or acoustic panels found in any number of educational, healthcare, corporate or private settings in more than 80 countries around the globe.
But regardless of where you see their products, Camira Fabrics is having a positive impact on your life. And technologically speaking, they aim for that to continue. As a business leader, Camira endeavours to push beyond the technological limitations of fabric design and production, delivering aesthetic innovation and pioneering environmental product design and manufacturing. And this philosophy carries over into their technology and supply chain integration solutions as well, where they’re keenly focused on business process improvements, becoming greener, more efficient, and easier to do business with.
Rick Loughrey, the company’s head of BI and IT Development, has been at Camira since 2004. Loughrey oversees the company’s myriad ERP systems, which have multiplied in recent years thanks to various acquisitions the company has made. While Camira itself runs mainly on an IBM iSeries platform that’s been heavily customised over the past 15 years, integration with recently acquired sister companies, which each have their own bespoke systems, has proven difficult.
“Internally, across our group of companies we have multiple finely tuned ERP systems, but they can’t effectively communicate with each other,” Loughrey said. “Consolidating or replacing them is not a viable option due to cost and disruption, so we went searching for a way to integrate them without abandoning our iSeries. We were seeking to improve visibility across our end-to-end processes, but also needed a solution flexible enough to accommodate future improvements while enabling us to deliver an optimum customer experience today.”
Impossible to find as that may sound, Loughrey’s search led him to Cleo, a global ecosystem integration software company and provider of Cleo Integration Cloud, the only cloud-based B2B integration solution out there that enables API, EDI, and file-based transactions on a single platform.
Loughrey’s initial interest in Cleo centred on Camira’s need to bring their EDI (electronic data interchange) solution in-house, with a view toward taking greater control of customer on-boarding. Through these discussions, Loughrey learned that Cleo’s platform could not only solve Camira’s ERP and EDI integration challenges, it could do far more.
“We chose Cleo because they demonstrated how their complete and flexible platform, Cleo Integration Cloud, could easily become our ‘one-stop-shop’ for integration, complementing our iSeries in ways we’d never thought possible,” Loughrey said. “Things like API calls to third-party solutions, out-of-the-box connectors, even eCommerce projects.”
Now Cleo is figuring centrally into Camira’s IT roadmap for the future. The first project on the punch list is an API integration to generate shipping labels for their primary U.S.-based freight carriers, United Parcel Service (UPS) and Fedex. Currently, this is a manual process at Camira’s Grand Rapids, Michigan (US) plant. “It may sound like a simple, routine thing, but automating integrations to UPS and Fedex will help us reduce errors and lower our costs, while delivering faster shipping confirmations for our customers. It will also give us better data by which to monitor those carriers’ performance.”
From there, Camira has other key initiatives planned, including moving EDI to Cleo to streamline supply chain processes, improve data accuracy, enhance visibility, drive process efficiency, and reduce associated costs. “With Cleo’s EDI we’ll be the ones in the driver’s seat, and we’re confident we can on-board trading partners far faster than before, by automating how we exchange key business documents across our ecosystem – orders, shipping notices, invoices, credits – everything.”
Although Camira is only in the planning stages for their eventual ecommerce strategy, Loughrey knows it’s important, especially for smaller customers who may want to browse catalogues, order sample fabrics, or purchase limited amounts. “Even though we are primarily B2B today, we are using Cleo to position for that day when opening an online sales and fulfilment channel makes sense for our continued growth,” he said. “It’s just great knowing CIC can handle that too, it gives me, my team, and our management the utmost confidence.”
“Camira Fabrics is an outstanding global brand and a longstanding industry leader on so many fronts,” said Chris Jelliman, senior director, EMEA, for Cleo. “The Cleo team are honored to be working closely with them as their ecosystem integration solutions expand and evolve.”