NetSuite Inc., one of the industry’s leading providers of cloud-based financials/ERP software suites, has announced that Rags2Riches, a social enterprise based in Manila, Philippines that provides economically disadvantaged artisans (mostly women) with a market to sell their goods, is realizing rapid growth and better fulfilling its eco-ethical mission since implementing NetSuite to run core business processes in 2012, under the NetSuite.org corporate citizenship program. NetSuite provides Rags2Riches real-time business management for financials, Ecommerce, and inventory management, while enabling anywhere, anytime access to critical business information.
The greater efficiency and visibility into financials, production and sales that Rags2Riches has achieved since abandoning on-premise software and manual paper-based processes has helped the social enterprise grow its artisan community from 300 to 800 between 2011 and 2012, while increasing its full-time staff from nine to 25 and growing revenue by more than 150 percent. With its success, Rags2Riches is also able to provide its partner artisans, living and working in poor communities in the metro Manila area and across the Philippines, with financial, health and life skills training. Rags2Riches’ inspiring story is supported by NetSuite.org, which provides discounted software licensing to qualified non-profit charities and for-profit social enterprises.
“NetSuite has been a big part of the Rags2Riches effort to help our artisans lift themselves and their families out of poverty. NetSuite is more than just a tool—they are a genuine partner and like family as they help us to better understand how we are doing with sales and expenses while making our operation more effective to serve people,” said Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, Rags2Riches founder and CEO and one of the five inaugural Rolex Young Laureates selected by the Rolex Foundation in Switzerland in recognition of her work.
Building on its success and working with Manila-based CloudTech, a NetSuite Solution Provider Program partner, Rags2Riches plans to go on to a Phase II implementation to link its ecommerce webstore to NetSuite for more efficient order management, fulfillment and automated reconciliation of Ecommerce sales with financials in the coming months. That effort is expected to help expand direct-to-consumer Ecommerce sales, both domestically and internationally, complementing product sales at leading brick-and-mortar and digital retailers in the Philippines. Additionally, the planned deployment of the NetSuite Light Manufacturing module can help track work across the decentralized artisan community and improve final assembly and quality assurance processes at a centralized workshop in Manila for more than 10,000 products made each month. “Our goal is an end-to-end process from buying raw materials to finished goods that is completely integrated and available in a single solution, helping us reduce costs and increase efficiency,” added Fernandez-Ruiz.
The Rags2Riches eco-ethical business model originated in 2007 in Payatas, one of the Philippines’ largest dumpsites and home to 12,000 families. An informal cottage industry of rug-weavers grew from the many women who developed a means to earn a living by scavenging the waste to find and recycle scrap pieces of fabric so that they could participate in handicraft production like rug and rag weaving, while taking care of their children at home. Over time, the industry became exploited by middlemen who controlled both the supply of scrap fabric and the women’s access to the market, which created an unfair value chain for the women who, at the end of the day, earned only pennies per finished product. Rags2Riches was created to provide these women with fair access to the market and the formal economy, as well as with additional skills-based, financial and health training so that they can maximize their career potential and take steps towards long-term financial and personal well-being. Rags2Riches’ philosophy stands upon its four bottom lines: People, Profit, Planet and Positive Influence. Rags2Riches integrated a design solution by partnering with well-known local fashion designers like Rajo Laurel, Amina Aranaz-Alunan and Oliver Tolentino turning these rags into fashion handbags. To learn more and purchase Rags2Riches products.
NetSuite.org is the corporate citizenship arm of NetSuite, leveraging the company’s assets, our people and our product, to create social impact for charities and social enterprises around the world. Through our unique initiatives, including product subscription donations, pro bono services and social solutions we are supporting organizations worldwide to help them better achieve their missions.