Learn how to set up and use an ERP system for your fashion business. This guide reviews the various aspects of Fashion Business Software, apparel manufacturing software, accounting software for garment industry and also explains what an erp system is and how it can help your company thrive.
In this guide, we review the aspects of Fashion Business Software, apparel manufacturing software, accounting software for garment industry, and erp system for fashion industry.
Fashion Business Software
The fashion industry is a dynamic landscape that requires fast-paced decision making and quick action. With constant changes in consumer tastes, you need to be able to adapt quickly to ensure that your products are always on top of the game. In this article, we will examine how some of the best software companies in the world can help you achieve optimal performance in your business.
Fashion Designing Channel Partner
The Fashion Designing Channel Partner is your personal online portfolio, where you can create and share designs with others. You can use this design tool to:
- Share your work with clients, team members, friends and family.
- Get feedback and make improvements on your designs.
- Get noticed by the companies that may be looking for someone like you!
Product Development Channel Partner
Product development is a key part of the fashion industry, so it’s important to understand how product development works.
Product development is the process of designing, creating and testing a new product before bringing it to market. It involves collaboration between different experts from across the fashion industry: designers, manufacturers, engineers and marketers. Product development can happen in-house or with a partner like us at Fashion Bug.
3D CAD Channel Partner
3D CAD software is used to design fashion products, accessories, shoes and bags. It can also be used to design clothing and jewelry. 3D CAD software has been in development for more than 20 years and is currently the most common technology used by luxury brands such as Hermes and Prada.
It’s no surprise that 3D CAD software is so popular among designers; it allows them to create the most intricate designs without any hesitation or limitations. This means that today’s fashion houses can bring anything from a leather jacket to a high-heeled shoe into reality in just one click of a mouse button!
Business Management Channel Partner
An effective software solution for managing a fashion business can be found in the Business Management Channel Partner. This is a type of software that allows users to manage all aspects of their businesses, from inventory management to customer relationships. The Fashion Management Software allows users to access information from anywhere with an internet connection, so they don’t have to be tied down by the limitations of traditional desktop software. This is especially important for those who rely on mobile devices for work purposes—if your computer breaks down or otherwise fails you, it’s not going to keep your business running smoothly!
The Business Management Software also works well with other programs such as CRM’s and ERP systems (Enterprise Resource Planning). These types of programs are essential tools in tracking sales data and managing inventory levels on a large scale scale compared against competitors’ prices
PLM Solutions for Fashion Industry Channel Partner
A PLM solution, or Product Lifecycle Management software, is a software solution used to streamline the product development process. It helps you manage all aspects of product development.
PLM solutions help you reduce costs and increase efficiency in your business through coordination between different departments, improved quality control and reduced defects.
CPM Solutions for Fashion Industry Channel Partner
You can use CPM Solutions for Fashion Industry Channel Partner to streamline your business operations and drive efficiency.
CPM is a software platform that provides a single system of record for all fashion industry stakeholders. It helps designers, manufacturers and retailers to collaborate, manage and sell products. In addition to that, it also helps customers to manage their supply chains and inventory.
Fashion industry is fast-paced and always in flux. You need to be able to have the right partners by your side to ensure that you are always on top of the fashion game.
The fashion industry is fast-paced and always in flux. You need to be able to have the right partners by your side to ensure that you are always on top of the fashion game.
apparel manufacturing software
Found our list of Apparel Management Software helpful? We’re here to help you make the right choice and automate your business processes. Let’s discover some of the essential factors that you must consider to make a smarter decision!
What is Apparel Management Software?
Apparel ERP software is also known as garment ERP software which is designed for managing the apparel industry from scratch & raw material products, orders, sales, and operations can be extremely difficult if done manually. That is where an apparel management software can come to your rescue. It helps streamline and perform the most complex tasks that otherwise eat up your entire day. Apparel is a fast-moving industry that deals with multiple variations of colors and sizes requiring an immense amount of planning. Since this industry changes its trends with each season, it needs software that could manage its day-to-day processes effectively.
Why Do We Need Apparel Management Software?
From sampling to shipment, as a merchandiser, you should have full visibility of each and every order. You need to meet the delivery timelines without adding to the cost. The last-minute shortage of a product can affect the entire consignment. Or, you can even lose that customer forever. That is why you should have an apparel inventory management software that could meet all these challenges.
It can help you manage your business processes, finance and accounting, warehouse management, efficient manufacturing process, supply chain management, customer relationship management, and business analytics.
Key Features of Apparel ERP & Management Software
Apparel Inventory Management
It automatically receives and transfers orders, and distribute goods. It also generates sales forecast for you to be prepared beforehand. There are a variety of features that an apparel inventory management software provides. Be it supply chain management or tracking your finances, you don’t have to use pen and paper, or ask your employees for every little information anymore. It can do a lot of things to ease your day-to-day tasks. Here are some of the features that you will get with any apparel ERP software.
Track Your Costs
You can track each and every penny you spend, right from maintaining costs for material purchases, cutting, and manufacturing to monitoring transportation and duty expenses. You can also control the prices that are shown to the customer.
Sales Channel Support
From EDI to direct-to-consumer, you can track and analyze all aspects of your sales. Apparel production management software enables you to access any information online. It makes things easier for you as well as your customers.
Supply Chain Management
Apparel management gives you and your suppliers a detailed insight into your supply chain. Be it tracking raw material or finished products, you can have all functions integrated into the apparel production management software.
If your warehouse productivity is decreasing, consider getting an apparel manufacturing ERP software. Apparel manufacturing ERP provides accurate data with real-time transaction reports.
Integrate the apparel ERP software with your payables, receivables and general ledger modules for effectively understanding your finances. You can also track your financial data with the help of apparel manufacturing ERP software.
Apparel ERP software provides you with detailed analysis, deviations, and comparisons. This analysis is configurable to your business needs. You can use these reports to various situations and analyze different consumer purchase patterns according to the market.
Document Management System
You can now stop searching for physical documents finally! That’s because the garment software lets you store images of your products, customer receipt, vendor invoice and everything else in the software itself.
Supply Chain Visibility
Many apparel management software gives the option to every stakeholder to participate. Distributors and retailers can connect with each other. Even buyers can log in to check their orders.
Apparel management software connects all the units and departments online with the help of barcodes and RF-based technology. Any production delay or shortage of labor can be tracked easily with the help of a garment software.
Benefits of ERP Software For Apparel Industry
It provides flexibility
Apparel Management software gives you the flexibility to configure your workflow, choose your database and develop your own user-defined reports. All the good apparel production management software applications are platform-independent.
It provides easy implementation
It can be implemented easily into any process. You can use it on the same day of installing the software, and you will not have to install or manage each client or process manually anymore.
It is highly scalable
Apparel ERP software has a multi-tiered architecture owing to which it is able to handle the growing number of users, transactions, departments, and divisions. It makes it ideal for a growing business.
It is customizable
Apparel management software is designed to adjust to specific business processes and needs of the customer with quick and easy customization.
It offers extreme security
Apparel ERP software ensures that only relevant data is available with the desired user. Some of the apparel management software applications also provide auto data back-up which can provide additional security against any data loss threats.
It supports database integration
Apparel management software can be easily integrated into your current databases. Once the system is installed, it will easily blend with your current traditional system.
It assists in customer management
With apparel ERP software, your processes will get automated for capturing and storing customer data, their activities and preferences.
It Improves sales
Sales are generally affected by three factors: price, order, and delivery. An apparel management system will help in improving these factors as well.
It reduces machinery downtime
Because of inefficient planning, a lot of machine downtime is connected with the non-availability of proper raw material. Apparel ERP software can help you bring down your machinery downtime.
Buy ERP Software for Apparel Business
Fix your objective
Every business has different needs. Make sure you select the kind of software that is suitable for your business. Figuring out the expectations from an apparel management software and then ordering the most suitable one is the way to go.
Ease of use
Most apparel ERP software tools are easy to use, but make sure that you are able to understand and operate the software easily once it’s implemented within your process. If there are features that you can’t use, it will result in the waste of both time and effort.
Vendor support system
If you face any issue with the software, you would need a vendor support executive to fix it. Make sure the vendor has an efficient after-sales service because any delay in fixing the issue can take a major toll on your business.
accounting software for garment industry
Get the best apparel ERP software for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.
Software Connect has conducted research and put together these top picks for apparel ERP software.
BlueCherry ERP is built upon proven Microsoft technologies, so it will be familiar to your users and easy to use so they can be instantly productive.
Blue Cherry is scalable to companies of all sizes. It can be implemented on-site or on-demand (SaaS), providing flexibility to leverage what you need today and be expanded as your needs change.
ApparelMagic is an apparel software which includes multi-channel sales, multi-warehouse inventory, multi-currency accounting, purchasing and manufacturing, powerful integrations, and customer support. This ERP acts as a central hub for all your business needs.
FDM4 ERP is an ERP solution designed with apparel in mind. This ERP system provides end-to-end functionality and visibility across your entire business.
FDM4 ERP software includes:
If you’re looking for an apparel ERP software, there are many solutions tailored to the fashion, clothing, and textile industries–it’s just a matter of narrowing down your search based on the functionalities and features you require out of a software solution.
This guide will provide you with valuable information on:
What is Apparel ERP Software?What Are Features of Apparel ERP Software?What Are The Benefits of Apparel ERP Software?What Should Your Business Look For?
What is Apparel ERP Software?
Apparel manufacturing ERP software manages the ordering, inventory, and assembly of clothing and textile products. A type of manufacturing software, apparel ERP systems utilize industry-specific features such as product label management, cutting ticket management, season and line planning, and size and color matrixes–features that help coordinate their supply chain efficiently and reliably.
Apparel business management software can cater to retailers, manufacturers, and wholesalers by integrating applications for supply chain and logistics, design and product development, manufacturing, and electronic data interchange (EDI). Depending on the solution and your company’s needs, apparel management software can also be used for things like product design and development, customer relationship management, and capacity requirements planning.
The best apparel enterprise resource planning software will combine traditional features such as financial accounting and purchasing along with eCommerce, warehouse management, and customer relationship management (CRM).
What Are Features of Apparel ERP Software?
Apparel management software has a variety of modules to keep your clothing and textile business running smoothly at virtually every stage; from conceptualizing and designing products to getting the products into your customers’ hands in a timely manner.
Apparel ERP solutions often feature:
What Are The Benefits of Apparel ERP Software?
Apparel business software can help source raw materials, manage manufacturing and quality control, control warehouses, and manage distribution and accounting. By organizing these capabilities into a single centralized platform, users can experience a number of benefits to increase profitability.
Apparel management systems streamline business processes like inventory management, project management, and logistics, so items can quickly be picked, sorted, packed, and shipped to customers efficiently. Having organized processes will help get your products out to customers faster.
Improved Customer Relationship Satisfaction
Having faster delivery times improves overall customer satisfaction. Another way to improve customer satisfaction is the use of issue ticketing, which will help you keep track of comments or complaints, allowing you to reply quickly and address their concerns. Having an average turnaround time of 1 day (or less, if possible) will give your customers greater satisfaction than making them wait multiple days, weeks, or months for a response.
Equipment maintenance scheduling keeps your machine downtime low. You will be able to schedule, organize, and track regular preventative maintenance, as well as unforeseen critical maintenance tasks.
Language and Currency Translation
Some apparel ERP software can automatically translate languages and currency based on your customers’ location and preferences, so you can cater to a wider client base in various regions and locations.
Improved Data Security and Management of Digital Documentation
Documents, emails, forms, and other key company data can be stored securely, and shared with specified users throughout your organization. Manually entering important information can lead to errors and can slow down your operations. Digital documentation management gives you the ability to securely store or retrieve customer contact or order information, product design documents, and confidential information like credit card info.
What Should Your Business Look For?
Depending on the size of your business, your business will need varying levels of optimization and decision support. Will a simple accounting system work? Or does your business require heavy integration via APIs? Do you need to manage purchase orders, or do you handle a large volume of manufacturing in-house with a bill of materials?
New Buyers and Small Apparel Businesses
Startups and smaller apparel and textile companies are often satisfied with off-the-shelf software that handles basic accounting and inventory management. There are some ERP solutions catered towards small businesses that give you the flexibility of adding on modules (such as point of sale or production management) down the road. Many small businesses invest in these small business apparel ERP options if they foresee growth and company expansion in the future.
Existing ERP Users
If you’re using something like QuickBooks Enterprise or a small-business ERP solution, you’ll want to upgrade to a solution that provides functionalities tailored to your growing business.
Look for an ERP with features like payroll, POS, and production management that offers scalability. When you start getting to be a medium-sized business, you’re more likely to need a fine-tuned apparel industry-specific option instead of an industry-neutral software to assist with things like product design and manufacturing, interaction with suppliers, customer service, and order tracking.
Large, enterprise-level businesses use management solutions to automate and manage nearly all of their business processes and management capabilities. Multinational retailers especially need to have powerful software that can reliably convert currency and taxes, as well as manage multiple warehouses around the country (or even around the world). Apparel sizing also differs from country to country, so you’ll need a solution that provides sizing definitions or conversions based on the customer’s location if you ship worldwide.
erp system for fashion industry
In 2021, the revenue of the global apparel market reached 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars, and it’s expected to reach a whopping 2 trillion dollars by 2026. This positive growth in the apparel industry is only a good sign for you to make great strides in your business and make your business the first pick for your customers and employees.
Wondering how you can do that? A good starting point would be to improve your business processes with Enterprise Resource Planning, aka ERP. Now, you may ask what ERP is and why it is a must-have for the growth of the business. Worry not because, in this article, you will find all the answers to your questions. So, let’s get started!
This article covers the following:
What are the Key Operations in an Apparel Company?
Here are some of the key departments of an apparel industry that helps run a business smoothly:
The accounts department looks into the following things: LC (letter of credit), COO (country of origin), Invoice, and Packing list. It also handles the cash flow of the organization.
Production Planning Department
Once the order gets confirmation and the pre-production sample is approved, the merchandiser takes preproduction meetings with the department heads. The planning section then estimates and plans order quantity, plan cut date (PCD), the breakup of order, operation breakdown, and so on, based on the particular unit.
The CAD department of the apparel industry collects different inputs such as Tech pack, purchase order, fabric details, 10 parameter report, pattern, etc. With this, they come up with output as lay reports and consumption per garment.
Merchandising department understands the buyer’s need, and then they try to make things as expected by the buyer. Merchandising process involves planning, developing, executing, and dispatching the order (product) to the buyer. The merchandising method comprises guiding and supervising the successful processing of an order.
Many organizations have different departments dedicatedly working on designing areas. The work of this department is to create new and fresh designs as per the current market trends or analyze the designs received from the buyer.
Sample quality decides confirmation of bulk orders, so this department is one of the key departments. This department is also called a product development department. In this department, different types of samples are made from prototype to the top sample. Merchandiser coordinates sampling department.
Fabric and Trim Store Department of the Apparel Industry
In-housing the ordered material and comparing it with the BOM and order quantity is one of the roles of the store’s department. Keeping a check on the inventory, dead stocks and reporting the same are also the responsibilities of the store’s department. Once the ordered fabric, trims, and accessories are in-house, the store’s department inspects the same.
Fabric Inspection Department
The main aims of the fabric inspection department are to analyze fabric defects using various standard methods. 4-point inspection methods and 10-point inspection methods are used to assess fabric quality. Trims and garments are checked with AQL (accepted quality level) 1.5
Zero breakdown and preventive maintenance are mainly aimed at reducing downtime and increasing lifetime. The maintenance department works out the following terminologies: MTTR: Mean time to repair, is the time required to mend a failed machine. MTBF: Mean time between failures is the time between two successive defeats.
The apparel industry’s production department is a factory’s heart as most people are involved in the production department. The key function of the production department is to achieve maximum production, productivity, the efficiency with minimum wastage and in minimum time.
Quality Assurance Department
To maintain and control the quality, the quality assurance department of the apparel industry divides the work into different inspection stages. Pre-inspection, inline inspection, online inspection, end line inspection, and final inspection.
The HR Department recruits new employees as and when required. They look after planning different employee policies apart from their pay scales. The training of the newly admitted operators or staff is also taken care of by the HR department. The HR department’s responsibility is to keep the absenteeism and attrition rate to a minimum.
Industrial engineering always thinks about betterment. The industrial engineering department of the apparel industry works on productivity improvement, production improvement, quality improvement, efficiency calculation and improvement, and so on.
Talking about improving the process in the apparel industry, considering there is so much to do, what if you had a one-stop shop to take care of these vital functions? ERP does exactly that for you.
Just-in-Time Inventory is an inventory management method aiming to provide inventory and raw materials only at the time of need. Effective JIT implementation allows organizations to make frequent changes in their designs, follow the latest trends, and sell 85% of their line at full price.
It is necessary to have a solution like ERP that simplifies the workflow that is as intensive as in the apparel industry. Let’s find out what ERP is and how it can help your apparel business.
What is ERP?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a type of software organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, compliance, and supply chain operations.
A complete ERP suite also includes enterprise performance management and software that helps plan, budget, predict, and report on an organization’s financial results. Sounds like quite a software for your business, but let’s find out some major reasons why you need an ERP for your apparel business.
Why Do You Need an ERP for Apparel Industry?
It’s not an unknown fact that technology has made business processes effortless; however, when we talk about the apparel industry, it still seems complex to many. Considering there is a plethora of divisions that you need to manage as a business owner.
Whether a seller has its own warehouse or uses a 3PL, impeccable inventory management is essential. It’s not enough to know that “blue shirts are in aisle 12” when you have blue shirts in dozens of styles, sizes, and shades of blue. Managers need to know exactly what is in the warehouse and where at any given time.
To mechanize the workflow, many in the apparel industry manage too many departments separately, killing your time and burning a hole in your pocket. Imagine you have to set up 10 different systems. One system for accounting, one for warehouse, another for order management, some for capturing customer data, and even more for processing employee leaves, attendance, payroll, and so on. What if you had one place to manage all the above?
ERP is one such solution that has come to your rescue. Wondering how? Here is a list of benefits you don’t want to miss out on as an apparel business owner.
Benefits of ERP in the Apparel Industry
Here are some of the reasons why ERP would be a step in the right direction for your apparel business.
Streamlined Manufacturing Facilities
The effective management of raw materials is one of the toughest challenges faced by the apparel industry. The quality of the raw materials received and the finished goods’ condition increase an organization’s brand value.
An ERP Software helps the administration with real-time information on various aspects of the manufacturing process such as sewing, dyeing, printing, labeling, and packaging to ensure quality control and effective implementation.
ERP software helps businesses handle inventory by sorting products into price, size, color, design, and vendor categories using a self-organized apparel matrix. Textile cloud ERP automates and dynamically handles all stock activities, ensuring stakeholders receive the right product at the right time.
The inventory management module in ERP software will assist apparel manufacturers in achieving optimal inventory levels and reducing waste production while also improving manufacturing efficiency, quality, efficiencies, and processes.
Handle Payments and Receipts Hassle-Free
Many businesses struggle to manage multiple customers at a time. Assembling multiple orders within varying price ranges and producing bills and receipts for a diverse variety of items makes cost accounting a painful process.
ERP systems in the apparel industry create a multi-rate pricing list with specific discount systems, keep track of unused credit limits, bill changes, revisions, and maintains selling and purchase ledgers.
Easy Management of Supplier and Customer Queries
Automating the production and inventory accounting processes improves the response of sales and HR teams to supplier and consumer inquiries. Additionally, Cloud ERP software can help with synchronizing purchase orders from retail stores, monitoring online purchases, controlling inventory delivery times, and estimating net revenue using various margin rates.
One of the most important ways to increase sales is understanding potential clients. An effective cloud ERP system handles product rotations and consumer demand analysis to provide customized sales.
ERP systems keep track of customer information, including transaction history and frequency. This information helps better to understand garment trends and aid in production planning. With the implementation of an ERP system, customized deals and discounts are updated to loyal customers via text or email regularly.
Planning activities ahead of time would certainly save money for the company. ERPs remove unnecessary labor charges and streamline business processes, reducing human errors and associated risks by automating core operations.
Standardizing internal functions such as staff distribution, inventory control, and financial audits helps companies to track down and cut unnecessary costs that are weighing them down.
ERP software includes advanced monitoring features. In today’s world, where data is abundant, it’s critical to make sense of them to get ahead of the competition. Cloud ERP systems provide visibility into sensitive organizational and financial details.
ERPs can generate custom reports based on divisions and positions, verify financial statements, and monitor them in real-time to understand sales inflows and benefits.
What is As-Is Process Analysis that You Must Practice?
As-is process analysis or current state analysis is a process management strategy that identifies and evaluates a business’s current processes. It not only helps you spot the loopholes in your current system but offers an opportunity to improve your business processes.
With As-Is process analysis you can focus on an entire business organization or on one or more specific processes within a department or team. Mentioned below are some of the key areas in which As-is process analysis can prove fruitful:
These are some of the benefits of as-is process analysis, but is it crucial for your apparel industry too, let’s find out!
Get Where You Want To Be with As-Is Process Analysis
The key benefit of as-is process analysis is that it helps you build a concrete foundation in an organization’s processes. If you will not be aware of the weak points of your business processes, it can be difficult to manage and improve the systems at place.
By conducting as-is process analysis you can expect the following perks for your organization:
Brick & Mortar
What are the Challenges Faced by B&M Apparel Industry?
In every business there are roadblocks that can hamper the success of your company, below mentioned are a few challenges faced by B&M apparel industry.
Controlling inventory is not a new apparel industry issue, but the rules of the stocking game have changed in light of how consumers shop today. Customer preferences change faster, which speeds up inventory turnover requirements.
Suppliers must adjust to smaller orders placed by retailers and wholesalers and improve turnaround times. This puts pressure on their raw material, transportation, quality control, and labor costs.
As energy prices climb worldwide and manufacturing costs rise in China, where, according to IBISWorld, most of the world’s clothing is made, the industry has begun to seek more efficient production locations. Strong supply-chain relationships are of extreme importance for inventory control.
Sourcing is a two-pronged issue in the apparel industry. The ability of other countries, such as Bangladesh, to handle the production being moved from higher-cost China can affect critical delivery schedules.
Local sourcing has entered the picture, especially with private-label clothing sold by U.S. retailers who want transportation efficiency and reduced risk associated with changing laws and currency rates.
According to a 2012 Free2Work apparel industry trends study funded by the U.S. Department of State, the second sourcing issue revolves around corporate social responsibility.
Increasing awareness of working conditions in facilities across the supply chain, from harvesting raw materials to manufacturing and shipping, puts pressure on apparel industry firms to practice responsible purchasing that can enhance their brand image.
In the product development stage, timely communication is crucial. Unfortunately, if your organization is still using disparate email, Excel spreadsheets, and design software applications at this phase, communications between your designers and suppliers will always be delayed.
For example, let’s say that a designer is trying to get pricing on raw linen for a jacket. If they are still using manual means, it could take endless phone calls and emails. Then, even after they obtain a price, they must still calculate landed costs if the supplier is overseas.
When you integrate your business with ERP software, you can effectively communicate with your clients, stakeholders, and even accounting at every point along the way as each design comes to fruition.
Designers can share Tech Pack information in one central location so that everyone involved in the project has accurate, up-to-date data. That means that any changes, updates, and conversations are all documented and easily accessible.
In typical apparel manufacturing company, there might be hundreds of employees working on different tasks. There are usually cutting, sewing, and finishing stations, as well as packaging and quality control (QC) zones.
If your manufacturing business is still operating without technology-based processes, the workers are spread across the factory floor and often work in silos. This style of manufacturing discourages interaction, except within specific teams.
It also means there is no way to share information or for workers to understand progress against production goals. Overall, this reduces the efficiency of your operation and contributes to low employee morale.
In today’s modern business climate, where stakeholders and consumers demand full transparency and accountability, apparel manufacturers need a solution where they can track both production and defects.
You get real-time access to production data at every level of your organization. Managers can project production data onto big screens overhead so that workers and teams can see how they’re doing throughout the day.
If there are issues with production or a machine breaks down, floor supervisors get notified immediately so that the problem can be addressed. With ERP software, workers use tablets to scan each item as it’s completed, which eliminates the need for manual reporting. No more gum sheets to record each item completed. No more errors with manual production counts.
Instead, management gets verifiable data about production status, which means they can keep their promises. ERP ensures optimally functioning shop floor operations and guarantees that your business meets both production targets and delivery commitments.
Modern garment manufacturing is constantly evolving because modern consumers demand the latest trends but also want sustainable manufacturing practices. More than any other industry, apparel is dependent on consumer tastes, which can change daily.
While correct inventory management isn’t an issue for just the apparel industry, it does have unique challenges that other manufacturers don’t face. Energy prices are climbing worldwide, which means that manufacturing costs are also rising.
It’s a trickle-down problem that starts with the manufacturer and affects every part of the supply chain. Finding new suppliers or manufacturers isn’t always an option, so using technology to maintain good supply-chain relationships is crucial for inventory control.
With an ERP, you eliminate inventory silos between channels, which ensures that you achieve the perfect product assortment. This helps you avoid stock-outs and lets you allocate items to the correct distribution center for your retailers.
You’ll free up cash flow because you won’t be sitting on excess inventory that you cannot sell, and with one source of the truth, you’ll have a unified, real-time picture of inventory data across all your warehouses.
Apparel manufacturing is a complex process that needs tight coordination between each department- fabric store, sampling, spreading and cutting, sewing, quality assurance, finishing and packaging, finance, and so on.
To serve this type of business, it’s a must to have fully integrated software that can bring different departments together. One such software is none other than ERP.
The viewing, editing, and reporting in real-time have become a basic need in this modern world of manufacturing. Businesses need a nimble solution that can make collaboration and communication simple.
Minimal Data Security
Purchase orders, sales orders, manufacturing orders, fact sheets, industry-specific brochures, HR files, and employee data sheets are some of the documents that are often overlooked because of the lack of proper management and security channels.
An antiquated process of data storage should be swapped with cloud storage that offers anytime, anywhere access.
Low on Sustainability
Environmental sensitivity has become an emerging issue in the apparel industry. The search for ways to incorporate more environmentally friendly methods throughout the apparel production cycle includes evaluating dyes, assembly, packaging and fiber production.
LEAF.org Labeling Ecologically Approved Fabrics offers certification to apparel industry companies that practice organic farming and humane animal treatment, reduce wastewater associated with textile manufacturing and use biodegradable packaging. Implementing a sustainability program gives businesses a way to differentiate themselves.
Here are some customer-related challenges too that can go untapped by you but may cost you your business in the long run.
Weak Engagement With Customers
Direct-to-consumer strategies gained prominence among fashion and apparel brands during the pandemic, as online shopping was the best way to reach home-bound buyers.
Consumers loved the easy access and efficiency. But as reopening and mobility increase, consumers are reacquainting themselves with pre-pandemic shopping habits.
While consumers will continue to shop online in the coming years due to convenience and established behavior, many are yearning for in-person experiences and will moderate their online shopping in favor of a return to brick-and-mortar stores.
Smart fashion and apparel companies will need to assess and adapt preferred channels to meet consumers where they are, whether it’s shopping from their couches, in stores, or both.
There will also be increased competition for the consumer’s wallet share due to shifts toward spending on experiences and the impact of rising inflationary costs on everyday essentials.
Effectively utilizing consumer data will allow middle-market fashion and apparel companies to understand the needs better and wants of their customers, thereby protecting margins through SKU rationalization and fostering consumer relationships developed during the pandemic. However, strong brands should also work with retail partners to co-develop a strong sales strategy.
Meanwhile, data security and privacy should be a key priority as well. As educated consumers hear more and more about data breaches, they will be more likely to buy from a trusted brand focused on securing their privacy.
Consumers are making purchasing decisions that are in line with their values in addition to providing value. Many fashion and apparel companies are adapting by incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues into their brand strategies.
An investment in sustainably sourced materials that go into higher quality, longer-lasting products is key to a growing population of consumers who care about the values upheld by their favorite brands.
This type of investment also allows consumers to feel good about the products they purchase, and they may even be willing to pay a premium for them. Moreover, consumers aren’t the only ones with a focus on sustainability in fashion.
The investment community has placed a keen emphasis on ESG. Middle-market fashion and apparel companies seeking capital often attract new investors and capitalize on higher valuations if they can prove the integrity of their ESG business model.
With the help of an ERP system, you can put a pause to every known and unknown environmental damage that your apparel business may be causing. Wondering how? ERP is the solution to all the unnecessary paper waste, transport for communication, and waste of resources.
Broken Supply Chain
Supply chain disruption was center stage for middle market fashion and apparel companies during 2021 due to factory closures, labor shortages, geopolitical concerns, and freight challenges.
Smart companies have adjusted their business model by moving their sourcing of products and/or factories to new locations, changing their product mix, and trying alternative freight options. Regardless, cost efficiencies and the impact on margins must be weighed in all instances.
A shift to improve SKU management in product assortments and adopting leaner supply chains are additional approaches companies will pursue to optimize overall supply chain management.
Companies should assess consumer preferences for their customer demographic and improve forecasting using a data-driven approach to understand future demand and remain agile.
Middle-market fashion and apparel companies must pay close attention to inventory levels to ensure balance sheets are not burdened with excess products.
Some fashion and apparel companies have been negatively affected by supply chain disruptions, driving material and freight costs higher in the second half of 2021.
These and other challenges impacted the pace of closed transactions in the fourth quarter of last year. Alignment of company culture will also be essential between buyer and seller.
Shared values, complementary capabilities, and a strong management team are key to a successful transaction. These adjacencies are appealing and can make business integration easier.
With an ERP system, you can not only increase the value of your organization but you can also draw more investments into your company.
Lack of Innovation
In this hypercompetitive market, your fashion and apparel business must be creative and innovative to offer the products and buying experiences consumers demand.
This includes using augmented reality and other technologies that mimic traditional in-store experiences, as well as advanced digital transformation solutions for processes like customer service, delivery, and returns to optimize speed and accuracy for seamless experiences.
Likewise, companies will need to stay on the cutting edge of innovation, develop new sustainable products, and adapt systems like ERP to remain competitive and expand their customers’ wallet share.
How to Overcome Common Challenges Faced by Apparel Industry With ERP?
When everything is in the right place, manual errors are reduced, time is managed better, and employee satisfaction is increased, decreasing your operational and administrative costs up to 15%. Here is how an ERP system can do that for you.
Simplify Order and Return Processing
In the apparel industry, particularly in the retail sector, order and return processing on a daily basis are common. So, your apparel business needs to be equipped with an effective tracking system to handle these processes with ease.
Feature-ready ERP software for the apparel industry standardizes tracking and managing of orders and returns. This intuitive system allows you to predefine discounts, package tracking, shipping, return terms, account credits, and other related activities. As a result, this simplifies the processes, leading to more on-time deliveries and improved return processing.
Low Operational Costs
It allows you to track order status, change BOMs and design, promote an easy transfer of BOMs to work orders, trace the products in their route, handle small-scale batch runs, and perform an array of activities in a streamlined and systematic manner. This promotes time management, better organization, and employee efficiency.