Fashion retail, wholesale and manufacturing businesses benefit immensely from dedicated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, incorporating digital monitoring, analytics, and distribution planning. However, knowing what you need that software to do, where you need it in place, and how it will work in practice can be tricky, without a detailed assessment and an implementation plan.
Each ERP implementation requires an initial evaluation. This is when the capabilities of the software, who will supply it and who within the business will use the ERP software are mapped out. An effective plan allows for better, more productive ERP integration, as the software package you invest in is better fitted to your needs. Here are the three vital steps to putting together a great ERP evaluation that will let you get the most out of your new ERP software suite.
1) Initial Assessment
The first step in any evaluation is to highlight the areas you want the ERP system to help you improve. There's no point prioritising ERP-enabling areas that won't benefit significantly from digital monitoring - or are already being managed effectively by a separate system.
Start by outlining the areas in which you'd like to see improvement. For example, do you need more flexibility in how you're able to relay decisions, faster stock-picking, better visibility of margins, or better anticipation of product demand? Would an overview of the entire company aid you in making long-term, strategic decisions?
2) Criteria and Practicalities
Once you've assessed what you want to improve, it's time to outline how you'll make that happen. You'll need to balance your budget, in-house expertise with business management software (including any necessary training), and minimise disruption to the business, customers and staff. You should also consider how you'll facilitate cloud access and how the ERP will integrate with legacy systems.
3) Design Selection and Providers
Once you have a full plan assembled, find a software provider who can fit your needs. Software vendors will either offer you an 'off-the-shelf' package, or build a bespoke ERP suite for you to meet your requirements. Bespoke developments are very expensive, so it's worth shopping around for a packaged solution. Most ERPs are designed for general businesses and are not fine-tuned for the apparel industry. So a specialist ERP like STYLEman ERP may meet your needs far more closely.
STYLEman ERP From Option Systems
If you purpose-designed ERP software for the fashion and apparel industry, get in touch today to arrange a free demo of STYLEman ERP. Our specialised platform meets the accounting, logistical, and retail needs of a diverse range of clothing and footwear clients.
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