Apparel Software

Without the apparel industry, the world would look a lot different. The majority of people on the earth rely on it, in one form or another, every day.

Industry stats and figures reflect this truth. In fact, the apparel industry is one of the largest in the world. In the United States alone, the market was valued at $359 billion in 2015 according to Statista.

Because of the size and importance of the industry, apparel manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and others face unique challenges. The market is in a constant state of change as those involved in the industry try to anticipate and adapt to various trends and customer needs. If you work in the apparel industry, you understand these challenges. You’ve likely tried to find technological solutions to the situations you face day in and day out but may feel as though you’re coming up short.

FDM4 understands the challenges and needs of those in the apparel industry and has been creating technological solutions to solve them since 1978. As a leading provider of integrated ERP, WMS, E-commerce, CRM, PLM and Mobile Applications, many of our modular, industry-specific applications are designed with apparel manufacturers and retailers in mind.

Below, we’ll share solutions relevant to the apparel industry – from garment manufacturers to footwear suppliers, along with answers to frequently asked apparel-related software questions.

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning systems, are the fibers that hold most apparel businesses together behind the scenes.

The solutions we provide differ from traditional ERP systems in that they are modular. Instead of starting from scratch for each client, our ERP systems for apparel suppliers, retailers and manufacturers solve specific problems. They also require less customization than standard options and less time for implementation.

Our ERP apparel software modules include:

Manufacturing

When work orders require assembly from raw materials, the process can be complicated. Our simple, user-friendly manufacturing interface makes it easy to create specific jobs and to track the process – including employee time spent on each task – for better oversight.

The manufacturing ERP module provides users with a multi-level Bill of Material to help establish raw material requirements for each finished product, along with job routing requirements that help set standard amounts for labor.

Order Processing and Returns Management

The order life cycle is where many apparel businesses lose a significant amount of efficiency. FDM4’s Order Processing and Returns Management module is designed to streamline the process, from receiving quotes and orders through fulfilling orders and invoicing.

The system aids in allowing for on-time delivery, which helps drive client satisfaction, leading to increased sales and profits over time. The module reduces manual entry time by providing teams the information they need in the format that works best for them.

Purchasing and Forecast Management ERP Module

Without accurate forecasting and purchasing procedures, apparel businesses cannot grow efficiently. Our Purchase and Forecast Management system streamlines the procure-to-pay process from order entry to billing. Buyers can use the information provided to make informed decisions based on inventory requirements, current levels and overall customer demand. Additional vendor information provides performance and quality information to further aid in the decision-making process both domestically and overseas.

Collaboration and streamlined processes are a focus of this solution.

Inventory Management

Apparel businesses need multiple team members to manage inventory. Using an inventory management ERP system, these team members from various business areas can view and share information directly and efficiently.

In this system, inventory data is readily available, providing decision-makers with total control of all distribution functions to help manage inventory more effectively. Real-time inventory level information helps prevent out-of-stock and overstock issues, allowing for smooth processes across the board.

Each of our apparel-specific ERP solutions can improve process efficiencies, reduce frustrations and lay the groundwork for increased growth and profit-potential in the future.

Want to Know More?

 

For additional information on any of our ERP solutions, contact us today!

Finding a cost-efficient, out-of-the-box Warehouse Management System, or WMS, that requires no implementation delay and works from the start can feel like an impossible task.

Our WMS solutions for the apparel industry are designed to reduce the complexity and confusion of traditional software add-ons and integrations with a full-service solution that integrates fully with our apparel ERP solutions. You can use these solutions to increase the accuracy of inventory, maximize warehouse space and fulfill orders rapidly and without errors while streamlining cycle counting.

Features that differentiate our WMS solutions from those you’ve likely seen before include:

    • Inbound Module. This module allows users to create detailed set-ups for inventory, along with purchase orders, transfers, work orders, ASNs, returned materials and unexpected receipts.
    • WMS Order Functions. The Order Manager is a desktop tool management can be used to release work to the warehouse while providing an overview of available work – tied back to the ERP system. You can use the manager to release work back to the warehouse in waves consisting of one or more orders that warehouse personnel can then pick up. Waves can be created by pre-set logic, by the warehouse manager in a manual fashion or by the host system.
    • Designed to manage multi-carrier requirements like manifesting, compliance label generation and reporting, our WMS shipping tools make it easy to prepare orders for shipping with specific carriers, to generate accurate shipping costs and to track orders through the process.
    • Outbound Software. By driving picking in the way that works best for you – from the label, using label-and-RF picking or pure RF picking – our module adheres to your requirements while simplifying the outbound process and integrating with automation systems. Getting products out the door has never been easier.
    • WMS Hardware. By aligning ourselves with the TC8000 Touch Mobile Computer and creating a software solution to work with this tool, productivity can increase significantly. This product has been demonstrated to add an extra hour of productivity per worker per day.

What could you do with increased warehouse management capabilities and more efficient processes?

Consider the possibilities, then contact us today!

Whether you classify your business as B2B or B2C, our E-Commerce solutions could change the way you work.

Our software provides:

    • Flexible shopper transaction tracking. This allows you to identify which areas of your website are driving sales while analyzing abandoned cards and finished sales. This level of funnel tracking can help you make better marketing and site design decisions in the future.
    • The ability to update content easily. Regardless of your technical capabilities, our solution aims to make it simple to add new product categories, actual products, descriptions and pricing information.
    • Integrations with other products and tools. Because of the functionality of our E-Commerce solutions, and the ability to integrate with other systems like ERP, WMS and CRM, our out-of-the-box solution eliminates duplicate data entry and interfaces while streamlining all processes required to keep your apparel business running smoothly.
    • Manage multiple brands and websites. Instead of working off of different solutions for different brands, you can use our tools to manage multiple brands through a single platform.

Our user-friendly E-Commerce solutions eliminate frustrations for you and your customers, streamline the purchasing process and provide the records you need to make sound decisions going forward.

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To learn more about our E-Commerce software for apparel companies

Customer Relationship Management or CRM software solutions often miss the mark for apparel companies looking to take their sales forces to the next level.

Our CRM solutions are designed to change this. We understand that without software designed for the fashion and apparel industry, a business is likely to face unnecessary frustrations and setbacks. Sales reps who work with proper CRM systems, on the other hand, are 65% more likely to reach sales quotas.

FDM4’s solution starts with the ability to access client data in real time, making it easy for sales reps and managers to find sales histories without additional uploads or downloads, track payment information and view current order statuses.

Other capabilities of our CRM solutions include:

    • Contact management. Users of our system can see activity lists in various time frames, including current days or weeks, days past due and other custom ranges. They can then attach documents to customer activities by email or direct assignment, and Microsoft Outlook integration can manage appointments.
    • Mobile CRM options. Instead of being tied to desktops, our mobile solutions allow users to create orders on mobile devices that are simultaneously created in the ERP and dropped to the warehouse by salespeople or customers.
    • Sales team management. Our tools allow managers to oversee all CRM activity, view activities assigned to each user, monitor performance and reassign activities as necessary.
    • A focus on data integrity. Faulty data is useless. Our CRM allows you to restrict update functions, avoid duplicate entries and create custom fields and labels that can be added to a master customer file.
    • Instead of building and maintaining an interface between your ERP and CRM, our solutions integrate out of the box without the need for duplicate entries or interfaces. A single system set-up is critical for seamless operations.

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To take your customer relationship management to the next level

Our PLM allows apparel businesses to manage product development from start to finish. The system operates using sophisticated costing and critical path workflow engines to ensure on-time, on-budget products.

Features of FDM4’s PLM include:

    • Management functions. By viewing entire range positions on single screens, managers can see problem areas immediately while identifying bottleneck processes in development. You can easily reassign work to avoid similar situations going forward and view projected volumes, costs and margins in real time.
    • Style summaries and management. Our PLM provides a thumbnail of critical path statuses with icons to dig deeper into each style. You can customize layouts by user preference and arrange styles based on multiple filters.
    • Critical Path. The Critical Path coordinates product development activities to ensure each is completed in a timely fashion while assigning tasks to individuals or partner organizations.
    • Notes, pictures, videos and other attachments. Our PLM system can hold any documents relevant to a style’s development.
    • Sampling and fit sessions. Garments can be measured and compared against style standard grading tables to highlight variations or areas of improvement with feedback sent to the supplier.
    • Costing comparisons. To make the best decisions, you can use our PLM system to compare supplier cost options using flexible formats.
    • Our Merchandiser Report layout closely mimics a standard spreadsheet using real-time information that’s automatically updated based on changes elsewhere in the system, providing extra benefits.
    • Global access. You can access our PLM on various systems around the clock in a variety of languages to best suit the needs of your entire team.

Our Accounting system integrates traditional accounting tools including the General Ledger, Accounts Payable/Receivable, Consolidations and more with the other ERP modules, eliminating manual data entry and sorting. This increases process efficiency and reduces human error. Transactions can be generated quickly and viewed in a summarized format by those who need it most.

Critical functions of our Accounting ERP system include:

    • Shipping and Payment
    • Accounts Payable
    • Accounts Receivable
    • Voucher Entry
    • Customer Information
    • Consolidations, and more.

Each of these functions is designed to reduce the reliance on traditional accounting methods while integrating fully with other ERP modules and solutions.

Want to Know More?

 

To learn more about our accounting software for the apparel industry

Working with decoration orders can be complicated. What if you could manage those orders from a single screen? Using our Decoration Management Software, you can.

This software simplifies the process by mixing the flexibility of Style-Based Order Entry procedures with the capability to outline specific details that will be required to prepare a product for shipping – either in-house or with the help of a third party.

Functions include:

    • Decoration order entry and management with easy-to-follow and assign specifications.
    • In-house or third-party production management and tracking options.
    • Art records and proofs that provide a single point of reference and less confusion for all involved parties.

Want to Know More?

 

If your company allows customers to place decoration orders, your ideal management solution has arrived

Frequently Asked Apparel Software Solution Questions

WHAT’S BETTER? HOSTED OR ON-PREMISE SOFTWARE?

If you’ve been searching for apparel software solutions, you’ve likely come across hosted and on-premise options. Which is best?

In short, it depends on the capabilities of your in-house team. On-premise software solutions may have a lower price tag, but upgrades will require the expertise of your team members or the cost of bringing someone on site.

Hosted or “cloud-based” solutions provide the infrastructure necessary to keep your systems operating to your standards and allow updates to complete off-site. Hosted options, like those provided by FDM4, provide added layers of security, 24×7 monitoring and management, along with backup options to reduce or eliminate downtime.

FDM4 offers both on-site and hosted options that are designed to meet the needs of your business. Our IT Support team is here to provide the solution that’s best for you.

CAN YOU HELP WITH IMPLEMENTATION?

Implementation without support would be a frustrating, nearly impossible task.

Because apparel is your business, we have made it our business. Our consultants are available to help implement end-to-end software solutions and ERP systems from training to “go-live.”

As a Total Solution Provider, we customize and provide the necessary software, database products, project plans, modifications, integration, testing, training and ongoing support. Our expertise and experience in the apparel industry help you to achieve implementation success, reduce overall levels of risk, increase the speed of your implementation and improve results.

There’s no need to tackle implementation on your own – we have you covered.

CAN MODULAR SOLUTIONS BE CUSTOMIZED?

Simply – yes. While our products are designed modularly to reduce the level of customization necessary to implement and go live, they can still be customized to meet the needs of your business.

One size never fits all. We understand that each business – even within the same industry – has its own processes, products and services that are inherent with specific needs.


Our full-service programming and consulting department allows us to provide customized solutions that meet specific needs and are customized to work the way you need them to work from the start. Your solutions should reflect your business to both those inside your company and to customers. Customization makes this possible.

DO YOU OFFER IT SUPPORT?

In-house IT department? No. On-site IT department? No problem.

We provide IT support for all installations and integrations along with network connectivity support to customers. Our IT professionals have extensive knowledge in hardware, operating systems, networking, web security, database backup and disaster recovery, which means we can provide timely, solution-driven support when necessary.

Decreased downtime, increased scalability and improved reliability are our goals. We’re here to get you running and keep you running smoothly from the start.

Want to Know More?

 

To learn more about our apparel solutions or to get started