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In The Beginning

IDEA was started to deliver against a Fruit of the Loom need in the `90s – move sewing operations to Latin America, take advantage of lower manufacturing costs, get product to market more quickly.

The Problem

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But IDEA founder Tom DeMuth saw another side of this evolving picture. He knew that Fruit's corporate office was unable to maintain raw material visibility in Latin America, and they witnessed Fruit’s slipping inventory accuracy.


The Solution

The solution was a new company – IDEA (Innovative Distribution Ensuring Availability). Tom presented the IDEA slate of services to Fruit of the Loom in 1998. He was already very familiar with Fruit, having served the company for the last 10 years of Fruit's 35 year relationship with his previous employer, Shippers Supply Company.


Flexibility

What intrigued Fruit was the flexibility of the IDEA system. Changes can be made within hours, or at the most, days. This quick turnaround was just what Fruit needed. In October '99, IDEA was awarded a three and a half year contract to provide warehouse management services for Fruit of the Loom. IDEA then established warehouse operations in Charleston, SC; Saltillo, Mexico; Harlingen, TX; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; and San Salvador, El Salvador.

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