herbert parkinson

Herbert Parkinson

ApparelX, Fashion

Herbert Parkinson provide 7-day turnaround with SyscomERP

herbert parkinson

Customer: Herbert Parkinson

Product: Syscom ERP (Now ApparelX)

  • Design, weave and manufacture soft furnishings.

  • Uses Syscom ERP (now ApparelX) from Syscom.

  • Limited warehouse storage – operate a very lean manufacturing procedure.

  • Make-to-order production.

  • Fully automated production saves staff time and reduces errors.

  • Detailed trend and usage reports at the touch of a button.




Herbert Parkinson is proud to be one of the few companies in the UK that design, weave and manufacture quality soft furnishing products. They offer short lead times and very competitive prices.

Herbert Parkinson established his business in Darwen in 1934 to weave jacquard cloth. Upon his death, the company was sold to his daughter who, in turn, sold it to the John Lewis Partnership in 1953.

Now a £20m turnover company employing 230 staff and remaining in Darwen, custom-made curtain and blind production is a significant part of their manufacturing service provided to John Lewis stores across the UK. Herbert Parkinson also continues to weave fabric and create high-quality finished products such as cushion pads and a range of filled products - bean bags, pillows and duvets.

As they are owned by the John Lewis Group, a large proportion of their business is to supply the John Lewis Partnership across the UK. They have limited warehouse storage space and operate a very lean manufacturing procedure in order to cope with make-to-order production and maintain high levels of customer service.

“This could not be achieved without SyscomERP software,” said George Kittos, Finance & Systems Manager. George continued, “We have been working with Syscom PLC for many years and their consultants know our business inside out”.

Software Implementation

"We upgraded to SyscomERP back in 2010 and it was undertaken very professionally, in two stages over an agreed length of time, and with minimal disruption to the business”. He continued, “The user interface was very much improved and staff got used to it and settled down quite quickly”. Financials was the first to be upgraded followed by Core Distribution, Manufacturing, Sales and Purchase Order Processing.

Production Control

“We have centralised and improved our purchasing procedures as control of the buying cycle and storage of fabric is very important for us. Staff take great care and individual attention is taken during each part of the production process. When an order is received, SyscomERP tells us which fabric to use and the whole process is fully automated including dye-lot control of the fabric”

George Kittos, Finance & Systems Manager, Herbert Parkinson

Production Activity Control in SyscomERP software expertly controls three areas of the textile business - weaving, filled products, curtains & blinds. Orders are received electronically via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) from John Lewis stores, the SyscomERP software Job Scheduler then performs three automated steps.

Firstly, it performs the EDI import that fetches the order files, validates them and creates the sales orders. This eliminates data entry duplications and errors, saving time and reducing risk. “It works very well,” said George “and saves a vast amount of time as we receive well over 2000 orders per week this way”.

The next step is to create works orders automatically and releases them to the factory floor with suggested component usage. Finally, invoices are created automatically and sent back to John Lewis's head office.

Herbert Parkinson prides itself on being a UK manufacturer and its ability to turn around orders for quality custom-made curtains and blinds back to the John Lewis stores in 7 days, meaning the customer service levels are high.

George said, “As well as weaving our own quality fabrics, we also buy in from abroad, so the ability to schedule jobs in when goods arrive is paramount to the operation. SyscomERP handles this process well”.


Detailed reports are produced across the business on a regular basis using Syscom ERP and Actuate® (a partner of Syscom PLC). This provides views such as historical, trends and usage reports at the touch of a button, giving a precise and detailed overview to help with planning.

Software Support

The John Lewis Group are very keen innovators and Herbert Parkinson is working with them on some exciting products. Syscom PLC continues to collaborate closely with Herbert Parkinson to ensure that the ERP software provided by Syscom continually meets their requirements.


Note: ApparelX is the latest version of SyscomERP.

Further Information

Find out more about the product from this case study, ApparelX, or how Syscom can support the Manufacturing industry.

ApparelX: Cover Image

Product: ApparelX

A modern suite of business applications designed for the apparel and textiles industries.

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Manufacturing industry

Industry: Manufacturing

Read more about our manufacturing ERP software solutions for bespoke and complex manufacturers.

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