Jesta I.S. is a global developer and supplier of integrated cloud-based software which is 100% focused on manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers specializing in fashion apparel, footwear, housewares, and consumer discretionary industries. For 53 years, the company has been providing end-to-end solutions to streamline clients’ day-to-day operations throughout their entire supply chain while keeping their customers at the forefront. In light of Jesta I.S. achieving such extraordinary success as Best Enterprise Retail Software Provider 2022 – Canada in this issue of Acquisition International, we take a closer look at what it can do for clients.
Over the course of more than five decades, Jesta I.S. has organically grown to provide complete ERP, supply chain, store, and omnichannel solutions. Its portfolio runs in the cloud and provides tools to manage clients’ enterprise data regarding their customers, sales, inventory, orders, and supply chain, whether local or overseas. Realtime access to data is critical, so Jesta’s solutions enable clients to gain critical insights into changing business dynamics, and to make immediate adjustments in response to shifts in demand, sourcing of goods, and overall scheduling. This provides tremendous flexibility and agility in a global supply chain that leverages a network of off-shore and near-shore distributors and partners.
Since its inception, Jesta has evolved in response to the changing retail and fashion landscape and embodies a holistic view of the overall product lifecycle, and how retailers and brands can best satisfy current consumer needs and expectations. Jesta has grown alongside some of the biggest retail and wholesale brands, with an impressive global footprint of some of the world’s best-known brands. Not one to stand still, Jesta I.S. has continued to navigate a steep curve of innovation, helping clients in their transition to the new world of digitization.
When working with a client, Jesta goes well beyond building a typical transactional relationship but establishes a long-term value-based partnership that begins with an understanding of each company’s unique needs and requirements and extends to the realization of a solution that allows each client to truly differentiate themselves in the market. The beneficiary being the consumer themselves.
Jesta’s President, Arvind Gupta says, “Jesta truly sees tremendous value in partnerships. We are not looking for a transactional relationship but are hoping to become fully engaged in each unique business in order to ensure success.”
Fashion brands, clothing, and footwear are in the customer discretionary space where consumers do not need to buy anything but would like to. As a result, they are most often seeking convenience and experience. Arvind explains, “Any brand today must offer a holistic shopping experience that addresses both online and in-store engagement, and to provide capabilities that make the experience memorable. This is the core of our client base. They are typically beyond the early stages of growth and are hitting an entirely new trajectory and look up to us as their partner in the realization of business goals.
Our clients find great value in our partnership because they see a commitment to innovation and agility, but also a commitment to understanding their unique business. Thus, allowing them to navigate whatever challenges or growth opportunities they may face. Whether going into other global markets, opening new channels, or accelerating their digitization journeys, Jesta is there to assist.”
The partnership that Jesta offers is based on years of experience. While many technology companies offer ERP solutions, Jesta stands out from the crowd by recognizing the unique needs of the retail and wholesale fashion industry. For over 50 years, Jesta stayed focused on retail and wholesale as they recognize the unique challenges of the industry. One size does not fit all, and retail and fashion have very specific needs that other industries do not.
Jesta’s success has been based on the recognition that decades of real-world experience and relationship building have positioned them to comprehend and appreciate the unique nature of the industry, and the ability to appreciate not only what the consumer is asking for today, but what they might be asking for in the future.
With the challenges of today’s marketplace, kinks in the supply chain armour are becoming apparent. In fact, they are becoming magnified. But many of the challenges highlighted today could have been mitigated. While supply chains are getting more and more intertwined and complex, practical solutions can be deployed that minimize the impact of this complexity. Flexible supply chain and flexible logistics approaches can be deployed to address the broader question of “what if”. What if a shipment is delayed? What if it is a partial shipment? What if items are damaged? All of these can be addressed with a structured approach to the overall supply chain, and a templated process to address these unknowns.
Jesta is one of the few companies today that has grown its capabilities holistically, rather than through acquisition. As a result, all solutions within the portfolio work as one but can be deployed in a modular fashion as well. The Vision Suite offers a complete end-to-end solution, as well as a modular plug-and-play approach to addressing the needs of each client whether retailer, fashion brand manufacturer or wholesaler. This ensures continuity and gives the client comfort in knowing that the same team is with them throughout the implementation, on-boarding, go-live, and beyond.
Jesta prides itself in the composition of its staff. With a majority of the team (known as Jestonians), coming from either retail, fashion, wholesale, or retail & fashion technology enterprises. Jesta boasts hundreds of years of combined experience, with a plethora of experience on the front lines, providing a first-hand perspective of both needs, and approaches to address these demands. They have the ability to navigate the heavily complex supply chains, and in Arvind’s words, they are “by far the biggest asset Jesta has.”
Indeed, the Jesta team is always challenging itself, with Arvind saying, “Even though we are 53 years old, we consider ourselves a young start-up. There’s a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit that permeates the organization. This approach, while often disruptive, is in fact a key component of success. This environment translates into some really creative ideas and innovation.”
So, how does the Jesta team go about facing challenges, as for example the covid-19 pandemic? Arvind tells us, “When the pandemic hit, and the world changed overnight, three things came to the surface for every business. First, was the need for agility. Having the ability to rapidly identify ways to offer the same service, experience, and convenience to the customer when the customer, and associate for that matter, was unable to physically interact with the products. The digital nature of the Jesta products enabled considerable agility. Some clients were forced to shut down stores but were still able to conduct business due to the digital nature of the solutions, and the shift toward digital demand.”
The second challenge is labour. As physical stores closed due to the pandemic, associates found alternative options. Once they began to reopen, the prior staff was dramatically reduced. Arvind went on to say, “We are navigating one of the most interesting times in that the labour market has never been tighter. Businesses are wanting to do more with less. The Vision Suite enables our clients to do just this, through automated and streamlined business processes. While technologies were moving in this overall direction, the pandemic most certainly accelerated the shift toward digital retail and omnichannel, or unified commerce. Our ability to address these challenges rapidly was a key to our success, and that of our clients.”
Finally, the need to look for alternative sourcing of goods became apparent. Most businesses have modified their strategies to address inventory needs toward alternative sources, and perhaps more importantly, near-shore resources that move the goods closer to the customer and minimize time to delivery.
Jesta is an ambitious and thriving company that is guided by an understanding of the future. While they have a five-year plan, they approach this timeline in an iterative manner in order to remain as flexible and agile as possible. The same drivers that accelerated the Vision Suite platform during the pandemic are still very much in play. The importance of the supply chain has been spotlighted, and this is an area of focus that Jesta is more than ready to address.
Arvind says, “Consumer engagement has been changing over the years, and the pandemic has served to accelerate the process. We believe these changes will continue over the next few years, and the purpose and vision of the store will continue to evolve. It will no longer be TikTok versus going to the store. Shopping is going to blend in with entertainment, gamification, social events, and more.”
He also observes that supply chains are going through a major reckoning. Right now, it takes 100+ days for a container to leave a factory in China and arrive at a warehouse in North America – and that is after the goods have been produced. This cycle is not sustainable, so as things change and supply chains get nearer shore, Jesta plans to take its cloud-based supply chain framework to a whole new level that allows the supplier to become agile and deliver products to the customer in a matter of weeks, if not days.
Arvind explains, “While Just in Time inventory has been a concept for years, for countless retailers and brands, they still source goods in the Far East. Due to the current supply chain issues, there is a move to identify suppliers that are more localized. Businesses are beginning to recognize that customers are willing to pay a little bit more if you are producing a product closer to home. As a result, we are seeing that we need to enable a larger platform ecosystem for this localized supply chain to deliver products and services for our clients to the consumer in a very, very narrow timeframe.”
And we are rooting for the company as it heads toward its bright and innovative future.