ERP that Suits the Fashion Industry31 Aug 2015, Posted by BLOG Posts in
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are not one size fits all. In fashion, you need an ERP system that meets the unique demands of the apparel industry and its customers. When a customer places an order, the ERP system coordinates all the individual business processes that lead up to that product arriving at their door. The ERP system also ensures that the right products are stocked, in order to meet customer demands. An ERP system with industry-specific functionality recognizes how complex fashion product orders can be and how important it is that the customer gets what they want when they want it.
Coordinating Every Step
An Apparel ERP system gives a real-time view of business processes every step of the way from design to delivery. All parts of the process are coordinated because the system consolidates applications into a single platform from design, through sales, purchasing, and warehouse management.
With an ERP system, you can wave goodbye to spreadsheet-based planning. Eliminating the need for email, spreadsheets, and hardcopies, the ERP system replaces manual processes. Purchasing management from entry to billing allows buyers to make decisions based on inventory-level requirements and customer demand.
Automation not only prevents delays and wasted labor, but it prevents human errors in record keeping. By reducing manual processes for shipping, the ERP system reduces risk of shipping errors that would disappoint customers. Improved accuracy ensures customers receive the correct products on time so they can stay on the cutting edge of fashion.
An integrated accounting system presents flexible payment options and allows for automatic generation of invoices, shrinking the possibility of invoice errors and providing automatic invoice delivery.
A Tailor-made Solution
The apparel industry puts unique demands on an ERP system. An order entry screen must take into account multiple factors, such as size, color, and style. An ERP system tailored to fit the apparel industry also needs to manage artwork and other steps needed to fulfill and deliver decoration orders. A decoration module can take order entry one step further by outlining the decoration specifications that would be added to the product before shipping to the customer, whether completed in-house or by an outside party.
The Customer Is Always Right
In retail, customer satisfaction is key. According to Gartner, 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers and it costs 5 times as much to attract new customers as it does to satisfy and existing customer. Consequently, you want to keep your customers coming back by using an ERP system that enhances the consumer experience.
Integrated ERP systems provide a personalized customer experience by working in concert with Customer Resource Management. If sales associates are able to review stock balances and real-time inventory availability, they can advise customers more effectively. When items are out of stock, the sales associate can suggest substitute items and prevent the disappointment of a customer waiting for delivery of an article that isn’t available. Real-time information also allows the salesperson to give the customer expected receipt dates.
Order processing and returns management ensure transparency throughout the entire order lifecycle, from quotes and orders through fulfillment and invoicing procedures. At any time, a customer can access real-time information on the status of their order. When a customer is dissatisfied with an order, the ERP system helps your business regain their trust and satisfaction through return management, which accelerates replacement orders and tracks returns.
By taking advantage of mobility, self-service enables customers to manage and review their accounts. Self-service empowers the customer and therefore increases the level of customer loyalty and engagement.
Keeping Up with the Trends
The retail industry can take advantage of the big data trend by applying data analytics to the information gathered and managed by your ERP system to understand and predict customer behavior. Not only will the insights gained through data analytics simplify business processes, but it will give you a fuller understanding of customer needs so you can further enhance the customer experience. Improved customer experience helps retain current customers and win new ones over.
FDM4 understands the unique needs of the apparel industry. We are the leading ERP provider for the activewear industry, including 7 of the top 10 distributors. Our deep apparel industry experience reduces your risk, increases the speed of implementation, and improves results.
Contact us to discover how an Enterprise ERP solution from FDM4 can take your company to the next level.