ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It is a system that connects with other systems to manage the day-to-day operations of an organization. ERP software provides company data in real-time, which allows companies to make better decisions and streamline processes. Apparel ERP has become very popular because it can do so much more than just inventory management software—it integrates into your business with ease and delivers valuable information on demand.
In this post, we’ll discuss the uses of ERP in the apparel industry, how ERP is more than just inventory management software and how ERP in the fashion industry saves time and money. We’ll also give tips on how to choose the appropriate ERP Solution for your business.
What are the Uses of ERP in the Apparel Industry?
ERP is so much more than just inventory management software. In the apparel industry, ERP addresses each stage of a product’s life-cycle – from planning to production to shipping and, finally, accounting for all aspects in between.
There are many benefits to using an integrated system like Apparel ERP, including:
- Companies who implement a new ERP system can see an average return on investment of 80%, according to a study by Forrester Research
- Reducing errors by having your entire inventory on one screen
- Reducing costs from things like improved inventory management and better visibility of processes
- Increasing productivity by being able to track production in real-time
- Decreasing the amount of time it takes to find information about your products or processes
Is ERP More than Just Inventory Management Software?
Software that is used for pure inventory management in a distribution center is known as a Warehouse Management System or WMS. A WMS, like ERP, offers optimization of your goods and allows you to track inventory and do fulfillment operations like receiving, picking and storing goods.
However, an ERP is more than that. It is an integrated all-in-one solution that offers complete management of your supply chain and so much more. And when it comes to ERP in the fashion industry, this couldn’t be any closer to the truth because ERP includes so much more than keeping track of products and inventory.
Instead, ERP software strength comes from its ability to integrate with other systems and provide valuable information in real-time. Moreover, apparel & fashion ERP software goes beyond just tracking products in the warehouse to include production planning, costing models, automated purchasing via e-sourcing tools, online order entry and more.
In addition, an ERP Solution can deliver powerful insights into your business, such as:
- Answering important business questions such as: Where are the bottlenecks of my production process? What’s working well that I should continue doing? What needs improvement so we can increase productivity?
- Optimizing inventory management —products are at your fingertips in an Inventory Management System so you can respond quickly to market changes and consumer demands.
- Providing a holistic view of your business, which gives you an understanding of the complete health of your company by being able to track financials, customer relationships, sales channels across all brands and more from one place.
In a nutshell, an ERP Solution offers a unified view of all aspects of your business through financials and accounting, e-commerce storefronts, inventory management, production planning tools for making mass changes on the fly—even customer relationship management (CRM) functionalities.
How ERP in the Fashion Industry Saves Time & Money
The adage “time is money” really rings true when it comes to the ever-changing fashion world. A system that can help companies reduce costs, increase productivity and provide real-time information is the key to growth in this industry.
ERP software helps businesses save time & money by quickly getting products into your store or on your website, meaning increased revenue and for your business. Using an integrated system like Apparel ERP saves time by automating processes that would otherwise require manual data entry.
Here are some other examples of ways that an ERP can help save time & money for fashion companies:
- You’ll have an automated system that runs your business 24/365—no human errors or omissions because the software is doing it for you.
- A large number of fashion items are made to order. You can reduce costs on purchasing and production by using e-sourcing tools to make quick, accurate bids.
- You can track your employees’ tasks to identify where they need help or what processes might be streamlined so that you’re only paying for their valuable, productive hours instead of an inflated operation cost.
- Production planning is optimized because you can easily see what is in stock, where it’s located and quickly pull the right product.
How to Select the Right ERP Solution for Your Business
50% of organizations have plans in the works to purchase, implement, upgrade or update their ERP Solutions. And if you are a business owner or decision-maker looking to do the same for your business, it’s important that you verify every aspect of the system is a good fit for your company before drawing up that purchase order.
To find a suitable fashion and apparel ERP solution, it’s good to get a clear understanding of your business needs and goals by considering the following 5 tips:
Tip #1: Know your Business Requirements
As a first step, it’s best to conduct a comprehensive assessment of your requirements and the benefits they offer before deciding on the one that you believe will work best for your company.
Also know your business requirements as they relate to your niche. For example, apparel ERP software, such as the one that N41 provides, is designed specifically to fit apparel and the fashion industry’s requirements. In addition, our ERP Solution is scalable and can be configured to meet the unique and lightning-fast changes the fashion industry demands.
Tip #2: Consider all Users from the Beginning
When implementing a new ERP system, it’s also vital to consider all stakeholders from the beginning. For instance, several groups will be using this application, including management, finance and accounting teams, and material planners, buyers, and production managers. Also importantly, their involvement will result in higher levels of buy-in and adoption when you choose the ERP for your business.
Tip #3: Cost Shouldn’t be the Deciding Factor
While cost is a consideration and important factor, it is essential to understand that purchasing and implementing an ERP Solution is a strategic investment in your company. In other words, you can’t afford to choose an ERP that isn’t a fit for your company. When implemented correctly, there will be long-term benefits in addition to its significant contributions to your company’s bottom line.
Also, lower costs typically correlate with poorer ERP software functionalities or lackluster implementation and support. So do your due diligence and fully delve into each ERP Solution’s flexibility, functionality, modules and integrations. Meanwhile, don’t underestimate the benefits an investment in ERP brings in return.
Tip #4: Keep Growth & Scalability in Mind
Keep business growth and scalability in mind as you select your ERP partner. In a nutshell, the system should be capable enough to be adapted and enhanced as your business grows without having to invest a lot of money in functionalities and new versions to make it happen.
Tip #5: The ERP Solution Must be Fully Integrated
ERP software can be a significant investment for any organization– especially to those in the apparel industry, where success is often measured by speed and control of processes like design, development and delivery. Make sure that both existing systems and future investments are fully and seamlessly integrated into one cohesive system.
Choose a Leading Provider for Your ERP Software
When you’re choosing an apparel ERP software provider for your company, make sure they have experience working with companies in the fashion and lifestyle brands industry. N41 is a leading Apparel & Fashion ERP with 16 years of experience in the industry. Our 99% customer retention rate is a customer satisfaction metric we’re proud of too!
We offer a comprehensive solution that provides fashion and apparel companies with everything they need to streamline business processes, improve profitability and manage growth. Our industry-specific modules ensure complete control over design, production, and distribution, while our mobile technology allows for real-time visibility of inventory across the supply chain along with enhanced collaboration capabilities.
Contact N41 for Your Comprehensive Apparel & Fashion ERP Solution
If you’re looking for a business management system that is truly scalable, versatile and configurable, then N41 Apparel & Fashion ERP software may be the comprehensive solution your organization needs to enable growth while maximizing profitability. Contact us today at (213) 738‐1010 to learn more! Alternatively, you can request a free demo by filling out our online form.