Things to Bear in Mind When Choosing an Apparel ERP System:
Introduction of ERP
As the successful owner of an apparel company, you may have never used an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution or may be using a legacy solution that no longer meets the needs of your company. With competition fierce, managing every aspect of your business from design to manufacturing, supply chain issues, and seasonal volatility, you need to do something to gain an advantage.
One option is to consider implementing an industry-specific apparel ERP system, which streamlines key tasks and processes involved in running a fashion and apparel company making you more efficient, effective and agile, leading to faster growth and profitability.
However, when choosing an ERP solution, it is important to consider whether it is specifically designed for the apparel industry, as other options may not have the necessary functionality and may even hinder growth.
In the article below, we will explore the criteria for determining if an apparel ERP is the right choice for your fashion and apparel company.
1. Seek out an industry-specific apparel ERP:
When selecting an ERP system for your apparel and footwear business, it's important to choose one that is specifically designed for the fashion industry and tailored to your specific needs.
Generic ERP software may not have the necessary features and functions to help your business thrive in the fast-paced fashion market.
Look for a specialized, cloud-based system that offers access to data from anywhere, and full visibility into operations.
Additionally, consider the specific challenges of your sub-sector within the fashion industry and ensure that the ERP system you choose has the tools to meet those needs.
Be cautious of customizations as they can be expensive and may not integrate seamlessly with the system. Take your time to evaluate your options and request a demonstration to ensure you make the right choice.
2. Seamless Integrations with Essential Features
An industry-specific ERP solution for the fashion and clothing sector offers special features that will help you compete in your market.
ERP systems enable you to efficiently and effectively plan and govern your business by providing you with a digital, 360-degree perspective of your organization.
The following are the features you need to search for:
Since each item manufactured in the apparel industry has a variety of styles, colors, sizes, dimensions, and potentially even pre packs, it stands out from other manufacturing sectors. Robust inventory management systems assist you in keeping track of the current stock counts because all of them need to be organized and monitored. You can be sure that there will be enough merchandise available to satisfy client demand. Decrease excess. Cut back on overstocks. Minimize waste. Spend less.
Warehouse Management Functionality.
Using tools from a warehouse management system (WMS), you may make the garment supply chain less complicated. This function is capable of handling a wide range of designs, colors, and sizes as well as kitting (pre-packs), reverse kitting, and other processes. By automating receiving, picking, and packaging tasks, WMS shortens the time it takes to complete orders. Handheld RF scanners integrated into the system also ensure the accuracy of your purchases. You can even track inventory at each of your warehouses and drill down to individual locations.
The apparel business recognizes that EDI services are more than just a "nice to have". Almost all major retailers (including Nordstrom, Macy's, and Walmart) demand that their suppliers transact business over EDI. Because EDI removes manual data entry, businesses may rapidly retrieve, process, and transfer documents and information while also more easily adhering to delivery and customer service requirements. EDI is the standard technique for exchanging data between business partners in the garment sector.
Material Requirements Planning.
By precisely calculating the number of raw materials you require, you may use MRP to gain better control over material purchasing and inventories. By determining your initial inventory needs for raw materials and components to ensure their availability when you need them, you may create a manufacturing plan for your final goods. When MRP is incorporated into your ERP, you have access to the specific data you require for each job as well as the complete production process.
3. Look for a provider who will act as a partner rather than a vendor.
When searching for a vendor for your apparel ERP system , keep in mind that you need a partner, not just a vendor.
It is crucial that the vendor has a deep understanding of your industry.
You should interview vendors and inquire about their team's experience in the industry to ensure they can deliver on their promises.
You want a vendor that not only understands the software but also how it can meet your unique business needs and improve existing processes.
Additionally, make sure you choose a vendor that will provide excellent ongoing service for the lifetime of the software.
4. Completely Scalable
In the fashion and apparel industry, consumer preferences are constantly changing.
Your company needs to be ready for any shifts in trends, which means having a system that can adapt to new customer demands.
An apparel ERP system that provides insight into production and supply chain operations is ideal, as it allows you to make adjustments as needed, and facilitates the introduction of new product lines or expansion to new facilities.
It should also be an integrated solution so that new tools and features can be easily implemented and utilized.
5. Cloud-Based Software Options
The utilization of cloud technology in apparel ERP systems is becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly for small- to medium-sized businesses.
This is because cloud-based solutions are more cost-effective and have a lower total cost of ownership compared to on-premise alternatives.
Additionally, companies that have transitioned to cloud-based software have been found to be more successful than those using on-premise systems.
Cloud-based apparel ERP systems also offer improved business continuity planning, as data is constantly backed up to the cloud, ensuring access to critical business information even in the event of a catastrophe.
Additionally, cloud systems do not rely on local hardware or internal servers, allowing for access to information from any device with an internet connection.
Cloud-based solutions also offer flexibility in scaling, with monthly or yearly subscription pricing and the ability to add additional software and services as the business grows.
Furthermore, Cloud-based applications do not require servers, a dedicated IT team, or any upfront costs for additional hardware.
Everything will be handled by your vendor, and deployment takes substantially less time.