Chances are your brand already relies on an ERP solution to house foundational functions and master data. But can it withstand the rapid developmental, transactional, and digitized industry of the future? To meet the rigorous demands of supply, demand, financials, inventory management, and the needs of a collaborative network, the ERP solution employed by your company needs to have the flexibility to meet changing business models, encapsulate industry best practice processes, and integrate in real time with other key applications. Just as your people need to be connected in a collaborative network, so do your technology solutions.
The fashion business has unique demands, and one of the most critical is the need for a collaborative design and development process. This process must be able to function in an environment of complex global sourcing, whether a company is in high fashion, luxury goods, apparel, footwear, home textiles, accessories, or any other style-based products. What makes this unique—and quite complicated—for fashion companies, is the sheer number of varieties that typically exist within product lines, such as styles, colors, and sizes. This complexity compounds further when additional lines and collections enter the mix.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the first step in reinforcing a collaborative network which is to establish a strong product lifecycle management process that helps manage collections, sustainable fabric compositions, and design specifications.
An established digital ecosystem lets brands reduce design-plan-manufacture cycles, improve supply chain planning accuracy, enable end-to-end inventory visibility, and help manage financial orchestration and liquidity. This helps ensure that the right products get to the right place, at the right time—on budget, and aligned with sustainability efforts that appeal to customers socially and environmentally. Additionally, a connected supply chain can improve visibility of key production metrics such as water usage and chemical content, all of which can be shared with consumers.
Collaborative networks connect complex systems of enterprises, applications, service providers, data sources, and devices involved in a fashion brand’s value chain and host them on a cloud-based platform for optimal performance and accessibility. Cloud-based systems facilitate the communication, performance, scale, security, and computing power needed to leverage technology solutions across the entire design to the manufacturing cycle.
Consumers want new fashion product, more variety, and the ability to make purchases whenever and wherever they choose.This is driving businesses to invest in digital transformation and fast-fashion. However companies running on legacy systems are struggling to keep up with the pace of change, while young and rapidly growing must take their first decisions about investing in enterprise software.
Infor CloudSuite Fashion delivers cloud on demand computing as a service with rich industry-specific functionality to cover your unique business needs. It's build specifically for apparel, footwear, home textile and fashion accessories companies and supports all your core processes whether you manufacture, are a brand owner, or a private brand retailer. Infor CloudSuite Fashion can help you shorten time to consumer, seamlessly manage global operations, make your operations leaner, and profitably grow your business.
With Infor CloudSuite Fashion your data is held in a secure and resilient environment, so that you can focus on running our business. You can count on our industry specific software to provide you with the same proven functionality, that is already helping hundreds of fashion customers worldwide, both on premise and on cloud.
If you follow industry news, attend prospect events, or read our partner Infor's website, you know that vertical industry expertise is a favorite topic for Infor executives, leaders, and strategists. Industry-specific functionality is part of our critical foundation and a strong differentiating feature for our software solutions, we say frequently. But, have you thought about why? Do you know where our industry expertise comes from and how we leverage it into valuable selling points? Let’s look closer at what “industry expertise” means, why we are highly focused on it as a strategy, and how it will propel Infor forward.
To understand where we are going, it helps to know how we got here. History provides context. In the evolution of ERP solutions, there’s a long and winding road that providers and users travelled before today’s Software as a Service (SAAS) model became the accepted best practice. In early days of ERP solutions, massive monolithic solutions with complex architecture and rigid code structure were the norm. Large enterprises invested heavily and hired consultants to customize the operational features. The heavily modified systems were costly to update.
Then came cloud computing. But, for companies to take advantage of the benefits of multi-tenant cloud deployment, they needed to have their industry-specific functionality already built into the solution—so modifications wouldn’t be needed. Modifications slow down deployment and can get in the way of upgrades.
Infor had been heavily investing into industry-specific features of the core ERP solutions. The solutions contain the functionality needed for industry specific applications—making it easier to migrate to the cloud.
Creating supply chain resiliency through more precise demand prediction.
An accurate demand prediction is one of the most critical elements of a resilient supply chain. When catastrophic events occur that can cause a massive shift in consumer behavior, retailers of all shapes and sizes are suddenly scrambling to adjust their forecasts. With the pandemic potentially forcing new or extended “shelter in place” orders, people will continue turning to new methods of receiving groceries, clothing, and other consumer products.
As we see different parts of the country and globe beginning to reopen, it’s possible many of these shopping behaviors may stick as people opt for less dining out due to new grocery shopping trends: pantry loading, working remotely, willingness to try private label, and a shift to new fulfillment channels.
As inventory levels drastically fluctuate, many shoppers have settled for what they (or their personalized shopper) can find, ultimately throwing brand loyalty out the window for cheaper brands, private labels, or store brands. Consumers have opted for new buying channels as well, ordering online and having groceries delivered. If the ease of these channels stick, it’s possible to see a long-term shift.
Food and beverage companies have long struggled with the unique requirements of shelf life management, complexities of batch scheduling, traceability, and many other factors. In addition, uncertainties around tariffs, sustainability initiatives, and growing regulations are some of a multitude of dynamics that will surely add even more complexity to the mix. Many of these issues and trends can have profound impact on your entire supply chain—from procurement to manufacturing to delivery.
Infor's Mike Edgett and Christine Barnhardt and I had the opportunity to discuss a number of challenges as it relates to supply chain complexities in the food and beverage industry. In the webinar, we segmented the challenges into three buckets; gain global visibility, predict and respond to volatility, and embrace the best technology.
We all tend to limit our focus to the variables within our control, however, it’s time to rethink all supply chain processes because they are not as efficient as they need to be. We did a survey of the companies that were on the Infor Nexus network, about two years ago, and what we found is that about 46% of them said that prior to implementing Infor Nexus it took them as long as three days to identify where a product were, and when it was going to be available. Very clearly the data is not available to help us make good decisions. On top of that, there are gaps for how manufacturers connect with customers, suppliers and carriers outside of the enterprise, whether it be multiple point-to-point EDI connections, portals, spreadsheets, emails—the list is almost endless—and very difficult to maintain.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the health of individuals, communities, and economic sectors—and that includes retail establishments. Around the globe, in every country,normal life has changed dramatically, and we see the results in store closures (both temporary and permanent), employee layoffs, and people focused on and immediate essential needs. So we see apparel, shoes and non-essentials dropped down the list of purchasing priorities.
We already know that most retailers were under intense margin and revenue pressure before this crisis hit. Now one of the new financial burdens resulting from the pandemic is an abundance of inventory trapped throughout the supply chain. But, amidst this, there is still good news. If you are a retail business, there are a variety of options for you to work through these situational excesses. The optimal combination will depend on each retailer’s unique situation.
As the global economy slowly reopens, this timely blog from our partner, Info shares how retailers actually have 5 major opportunities for resolving their overstock issues.
In today’s highly technical, data-driven fashion environment, the limited functionality of spreadsheets and other outdated, manual-entry tools often result in significant time lags, data inaccuracies, linear sequential processes, and an inability to integrate with shared data libraries. When the greatest asset a fashion manufacturers can have is getting new ideas to consumers quickly, manufacturers can’t afford to let technology slow them down.
That’s why fashion companies need Infor CloudSuite™ PLM for Fashion—a modern, product lifecycle
management (PLM) solution that can handle the fast-paced demands of a 21st-century fashion business. It can help brands develop new styles with increased speed, greater flexibility, and more consistent quality.
Based in the cloud, CloudSuite PLM for Fashion lets you work from anywhere, on virtually any device.Innovate faster. Infor CloudSuite PLM for Fashion is a powerful PLM and collaboration platform that can help fashion manufacturers and their value chain partners innovate faster, make processes more efficient, and easily share information. As a result, fashion manufacturers will have the tools they need to create exciting fashions and deliver them to consumers faster.
Mitchell Chi, General Manager - Americas Enterprise Software, attended the NRF 2020 Vision show at Javits Center in NYC. “RETAIL IS FAR FROM DEAD," said Mitch. "Only the complacent retailers should be worried. The atmosphere here is “let’s INVEST to grow our business in 2020”. Lots of smiles, serious questions and tremendous interest from senior execs, who are here in droves”.