With such a broad array of enterprise resource planning (ERP) offerings out there, trying to select the right one in the apparel industry can be completely overwhelming and time consuming. One way to possibly eliminate several software companies from your search might be to only look for an apparel and footwear specific ERP solution to address your business needs and sustainable growth.
Let’s explore this option by discussing topics like the understanding of ERP systems in the apparel industry, the benefits of having an industry-specific ERP system, familiar challenges faced by apparel companies without an ERP in place, and key features to look for in an apparel ERP system.
Understanding ERP systems in the apparel industry
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software applications integrate various business processes into a single system. A robust enterprise system will simplify business processes while cutting both operational and administrative costs. In the apparel and footwear industry, ERP systems can help manage production, inventory control, sales, invoicing, and financial management, among others. An ERP system provides real-time business data to address both internal and customer queries, improves communication between departments, reduces manual work, and increases employee efficiency.
ERP systems can be generic or industry specific. Generic systems can often be customized to fit the needs of any industry, but arguably not in the streamlined and systematic manner of more niche designed solutions. Industry-specific ERP solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of a particular business sector. An industry-specific ERP solution for apparel and footwear will have features that cater to the specific needs of apparel manufacturers, wholesalers and e-commerce retailers of clothes, shoes, and other soft goods.
Benefits of having industry-specific ERP software for apparel companies
Having apparel ERP software for a fashion and apparel business have several benefits throughout the supply chain. Most ERPs have several factors in common. They provide a centralized system for managing all aspects of the business. This includes apparel manufacturing, sourcing, costing, forecasting, inventory, order fulfillment, invoicing, edi, ecommerce integration, and financials. Also, they offer real-time information on inventory levels, sales, production, and other metrics. This helps in making data-driven decisions throughout the supply chain while eliminating repetitive data entry.
Apparel ERP solutions improve communication between departments in the apparel business, reducing errors and delays while reducing manual work, increasing efficiency and productivity. Add to that many variables consistent in the apparel and footwear sector like helping in compliance with regulations and standards specific to the apparel industry and offering sizing, width, NRF, HTS and other product variants specific to the apparel industry.
The role of ERP software in sustainable growth for apparel companies
Sustainable growth is the key to the success of any apparel business. The best ERP software plays a crucial role in achieving sustainable growth for apparel companies. It helps to reduce costs by improving efficiency and productivity. It also helps in increasing revenue by improving sales, inventory management, and customer satisfaction. Apparel ERP software also provides a sole source of truth across the company, allowing for effective decision making while identifying and addressing roadblocks. A fashion industry specific erp for apparel also has many tools in place for ticketing, tagging, cutting, sewing, UCC label printing, UPC assignment, NRF code assignment and more which is a significant industry advantage in avoiding chargebacks.
Common challenges faced by apparel companies without ERP software
Apparel businesses without ERP software face several challenges. For one, they have to manage multiple systems for different business areas like order management, warehouse management, supply chain planning, shop floor, inventory management and more. These siloed systems are a threat to overall supply chain management and can result in the duplication of work and errors. Relying on manual work is an antiquated process that leads to inefficiency and delays. Without an apparel erp solution in place, companies are faced with limited visibility into inventory levels, production, and sales, leading to shortages, overstock, and missed opportunities. Also, they typically comply with regulations and standards manually, leading to errors and chargebacks.
Key features to look for in an apparel ERP software in the fashion industry
When looking for fashion ERP software for the apparel industry, there are several key features to consider. It should have a centralized system for managing all aspects of the apparel business supply chain and allow you to easily view business data. A fully integrated software solution should provide automated processes like order, vendor PO, and invoice generation as well as general ledger posting. It should have robust inventory and order management applications and should provide a comprehensive allocation solution. provide real-time data on inventory management, production, apparel manufacturing, and sales. Apparel and footwear solutions should allow you to leverage pricing and costing by size, UPC assignments, assortments, and other retailer compliance factors.
Implementing a fashion ERP system for your apparel company
Implementing fashion ERP software in your apparel business can be a daunting task. However, with proper planning and execution, it can be a smooth process. For starters, you need to identify your business needs and requirements. It helps to clearly indicate what pain points throughout the supply chain you and your business are experiencing. You should select a solution that meets your needs and requirements and addresses those pain points.
Your implementation team should configure and scale the software to fit your business processes. It is crucial to thoroughly test the applications to ensure they work as expected. It is important to train your employees to use the system. Also, you may need to establish how you or your erp provider will manage ongoing support and maintenance for the ERP software and platform, depending on the delivery and hosting agreement.
Training and support for ERP software users
Training and support are crucial for the success of an ERP software implementation. For starters, you need to provide training for your employees on how to use the system. This includes training on the features and functionalities of the application. You should provide ongoing support to your employees to ensure they can use the system effectively and make prompt and smart decisions. This includes providing troubleshooting and problem-solving assistance. Also, you need to provide regular updates and upgrades to the system to ensure it stays up to date with the latest technology and features.
Best practices for using an ERP system in the apparel industry
There are several best practices for using an ERP solution in the apparel industry. You need to ensure that the business software is configured to fit your supply chain and operational processes. Additionally, you need to ensure that the system is integrated with other systems, such as EDI partners and e-commerce or warehouse management platforms to ensure seamless operations. Also, you should confirm that the ERP instance is regularly updated and upgraded to stay up to date with the latest technology and features. Employees should be regularly trained and supported to use the ERP software effectively. It is also important to ensure that there is a backup and disaster recovery plan in place to maintain business continuity in case of a disaster or system failure.
Conclusion: The importance of investing in an industry-specific ERP system for sustainable growth in the apparel industry
In conclusion, an industry-specific ERP system is crucial for the sustainable growth of apparel companies. It provides a centralized system for managing all aspects of the business, improves efficiency and productivity, provides real-time information on inventory levels, production, and sales, improves communication between departments, helps in complying with regulations and standards specific to the apparel industry, and helps in making data-driven decisions. By investing in the right ERP software, apparel companies can achieve sustainable growth and stay competitive in the market.