Technology is changing every industry imaginable, and the fashion space is no different. So, how do you and your team keep up with the software system terminology and functionality of key fashion business technology solutions?
There was a time when fashion sales revolved around a personal network of customers. Small high-street stores would be the gateway to serving people. Any brand that found a way beyond these barriers would see success in rising market-share, presence and profits.
Today, things have evolved. A more creative and efficient future is the aim of most fashion brands. The lines are blurred between designers and engineers. Changing rooms are being replaced with augmented reality. Supply lines are computer-generated and online stores are open 24/7 to meet the rising demands of the global economy.
What is important to remember, is that sales are only possible if there are products. Collections that are designed and developed, often at rapid pace, normally make use of international supply chains and generate an incredible amount of data across the business.
The role of fashion systems is to streamline the data flow, making it visible and usable to all involved. This should have the side effect of freeing up your team’s time, so they can focus on doing things better, creating next level products or implementing new ideas, rather than just keeping up.
Most fashion brands rely on manual processes and simple spreadsheets to create targeted output. Without adapting to the benefits of fashion business technology, these companies can easily allow their competition to dwarf them. But what fashion technology is available to most brands in this day and age? In this short overview, we will try to explain exactly how you can benefit from the use of properly managed fashion technology and allow systems to take over manual processes, so that your brand can flourish rather than stagnate.
We will have a look at:
PLM – Product lifecycle management
MRP – Materials Requirement Planning
ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning
WMS – Warehouse Management Software
Frequently Asked Questions by our Readers, Answered
PLM – Product Lifecycle Management
Inefficiency is the bane of any industry, and fashion is particularly hard hit by that. That’s where PLM software comes to your rescue. No longer is productivity be stifled by out-dated systems and processes. Within the realm of fashion business technology, PLM is arguably the one that makes the largest difference to brands and retailers with a significant product development focus.
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a software solution that manages products from inception to conclusion.
Fashion PLM solutions increase resiliency, productivity and centralisation. PLM centralises data and provides you with visibility across all aspects of the origins, development and collaboration processes of each product.
PLM systems reduce development and production costs and streamline the launch of each product. You can collaborate with suppliers more easily, allowing you to take full control of your collections. Integrated with current IT systems such as Adobe Illustrator, a dedicated fashion PLM is a must-have for fashion brands looking to grow and expand.
An investment in processes that reduces waste while improving collaboration has limitless returns. The right fashion PLM, deployed in the right way offers you:
- Smoother product development
- Increased collaboration
- Improved product management
- Better control
- Increased visibility
- Reduced costs
With the right fashion PLM system, you can further control your images, colours and sizes, grading table and much more. What’s more, with real-time and useful information easily accessible on demand, you’re better placed to make more effective decisions that impact your business for the better. There is no limit to the potential that a suitable system unlocks.
We have helped businesses and brands streamline their launches and take control of the most important aspects of new and existing product lines. Say goodbye to endless spreadsheets and hello to smoother operations, more resilient supply chains, fluid interaction and greater business agility.
MRP – Materials Requirement Planning
Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) gives you a suite of tools which calculate the raw materials and components required to manufacture your product. Combined with extended functions or ERP elements it can also help you to plan production and keep track of sales orders to delivery.
Wasted material is wasted money. By reducing excess resources, operations become more efficient, meaning wasted spend goes down while revenue and profits increase.
- Monitor the number of materials and components in circulation
- Alerts teams to low levels of inventory
- Automate the purchasing of required materials
Where staff and human error were once prevalent, now a timely and reactive system can automate your requirements and save you time and money. The right MRP system can tailor your production speeds to meet demand, provide you with agility in deploying new lines, and meet specific challenges from changes in supply of materials.
Where years ago, we saw steady supplies across the globe, never before have supply lines been as fragile as they are today. A dedicated MRP system allows you to navigate challenges and adapt to changes in real-time – putting production and your reputation first.
Improve your operations, reduce errors and solidify your brand position with the right MRP system for your business.
ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning
Connect suppliers, partners, events and devices with Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP allows you to take control of your operational channels. Within the realm of fashion business technology, ERP deservedly takes centre stage.
With ERP software you can secure your partner networks, automate invoicing and improve supplier collaboration. ERP software centralises data from inputs such as manufacturing, supply, sales and marketing, giving you access to real-time information that is critical to improving your productivity and resilience in the face of obstacles.
Other features include:
- Workflow automation
- Ecommerce applications
- Inventory planning
- Ecommerce analytics
- Supply management
- Automated accounting
The fashion industry is constantly evolving. Real-time information presented in a clear and concise dashboard allows you to identify demand patterns, optimise your supply chain and improve customer retention.
Want to quickly change your offering and gain a competitive advantage? With ERP systems you can.
WMS – Warehouse Management Systems
Each warehouse facility is unique. The management system of one brand’s warehouse may differ hugely compared to its counterparts. A Warehouse Management System (WMS) needs to be adaptable and ahead of the curve.
Working seamlessly with your ERP, a WMS can monitor and locate relevant inventory. The parameters of operation can be defined by managers to automatically locate and re-stock defined products, giving your staff flexibility at their fingertips.
Inventory levels can be minimised and warehouse space maximised, for effects that are noticed in your monthly accounts.
- Automate stock levels
- Provide real-time data to stakeholders
- Integrate shipping software for fulfilment
- Track inventory ownership
Previous practises strained the workforce. A WMS can automate your product management in a way which frees up your manpower to respond to specific customer requests – creating a more dynamic and adaptable team.
Moving Fashion Technology Forward
It’s more critical than ever that fashion business technology gets the right focus in what has become an industry that is re-inventing itself.
The solutions from its.fashion help brands to make the most of their data. We can guide you towards a relevant technology solution, simplification of your processes and easy access to information that can increase your productivity, reduce waste and make your manpower far more effective.
As experts across a number of technology platforms and mediums, we’re positioned to transition your operations with total solution technology, giving your brand the platform it needs to innovate. Get in touch to find out more.
Questions from our readers, Answered:
What is fashion product development software?
Fashion product development software is a type of software solution that is specifically designed for to help fashion brands and retailers streamline their creation and development processes. It can help users automate their steps and stages whilst reducing manual work and repetition. This type of software typically includes features like tech pack or specification tools, measurement charts and grading, bill of materials (BOM), critical path, product costing, sample order and approval management. By using fashion product development software, companies can typically streamline their design and development processes, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency.
What is fashion PLM software?
Fashion PLM software is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software that is tailored to the needs of fashion brands. It helps users manage the entire lifecycle of a product from ideation through launch and eventual retirement and can help streamline associated processes. Fashion PLM systems typically includes features like line planning, tech pack management, product data management, cost price calculations, supplier interaction, sample tracking, and production management. By using fashion PLM software, companies can improve collaboration across departments and geographies, ensure product consistency and quality, and reduce time-to-market.
What is fashion design management software?
Fashion design management software enables users to manage the design process more effectively, including design review and approval, version control, and sample tracking. This type of software typically includes features like digital sketching, spec sheet creation, material libraries and digital mood board functionality. By using fashion design management software, companies can digitize their design processes, improve communication and collaboration between teams, and ensure that everyone is transparently working towards the same vision and goals.
What is fashion product data management?
Fashion product data management is software that helps users manage product data throughout the entire lifecycle, from initial design to production and sales. This can include information on materials, colours, sizes, pricing, and other relevant data. Fashion product data management software like PDM (or its larger sibling PLM) typically includes features like bill of materials (BOM) management, vendor collaboration, and quality control. PIM (product information management) software may ignore these elements in favour of focusing on more commercially relevant information. By using fashion product data management software, companies can ensure that everyone is working from the same set of data, reduce errors, and speed up time-to-market.
What is fashion product information management?
Fashion product information management is related to product data management, and helps users manage product information such as style numbers, detailed product descriptions, regional or circumstantial prices and other related data. This type of software typically includes (or is linked to) features like digital asset management, workflow automation, and data cleansing. By using fashion product information management software, companies can improve the accuracy and consistency of their product information, reduce manual work, and speed up time-to-market.
What is fashion tech pack software?
Fashion tech pack software is software that can help users create and manage tech packs or product specifications more efficiently. Tech packs are critical documents that provide detailed information on how a product should be made. Fashion tech pack software typically includes features like bill of materials (BOM) creation, measurement charts, sample tracking, and cost estimating. By using fashion tech pack software, companies can ensure that all necessary information is included in their tech packs, reduce errors, collaborate better and speed up the development process.
What is fashion production management software?
Fashion production management software helps users manage the production process more effectively, including production scheduling, quality control, and inventory management. Depending on the business focus (for instance if the business buys, makes or controls elements of the production process itself) the management may predominately be done by PLM, MRP or ERP systems. This type of software typically includes features like order management, production tracking, quality management and supply chain visibility. By using fashion production management software, companies can improve their production planning and scheduling, reduce waste, and optimize their inventory levels.
What is fashion supply chain management software?
Fashion supply chain management software helps users manage their entire supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to delivering finished products to customers. This type of software typically includes features like supplier management, purchase order management, and logistics management. Depending on the needs of the business and their supply chain relationships, a Cloud based PLM or ERP would typically provide the functions needed. By using fashion supply chain management software, companies can improve their supply chain visibility, reduce lead times, and improve collaboration with suppliers and customers.
What is fashion ERP software?
Fashion ERP software is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that is tailored to the needs of fashion businesses. It can help users manage all aspects of their business, including finance, inventory, sales, and production. Fashion ERP software typically includes features like order management, financial tracking and reporting, inventory control and supply chain management. By using fashion ERP software, companies can centralize their transactional business operations, improve visibility into their financial and operational performance, and streamline their processes.
What are fashion software implementation services?
Fashion software implementation services are consulting and implementation services that can help users select, configure, and implement the right software solution for their business needs. These services can also help users train their teams on how to use the software effectively, ensuring that team members become proficient in operating improved processes. Fashion software implementation services typically include needs assessment, software selection, configuration and customization, data migration, integrations with existing systems, and user training. By using these services, companies can ensure a successful implementation that meets their specific business needs and helps them achieve maximum ROI.
What is Material Requirements Planning (MRP) software?
Material Requirements Planning (MRP) software can help companies process their demands based on orders or forecasts, plan and manage their materials inventory more effectively. This can ensure they have the right materials on hand when needed, in the right location. MRP software typically includes features like demand overviews, inventory analysis, reorder point calculation, and work order scheduling and management. By using MRP software, companies can optimize their materials inventory levels, reduce waste, and increase production efficiency.
What is fashion specific MRP software?
Fashion-specific MRP software is a type of MRP (Material Requirements Planning) software that is tailored to the needs of fashion businesses. It can help users manage their materials inventory and production schedule, optimizing their operations and reducing waste. Fashion-specific MRP software typically includes features like raw material tracking, capacity planning, and production scheduling. By using fashion specific MRP software, companies who produce or operate CMT models can typically better manage their materials inventory, improve productivity, and reduce costs.
What are integrated MRP and ERP software solutions?
Integrated MRP and ERP software solutions are software solutions that can help users manage all aspects of their business, from materials inventory to production to sales, in a connected system. This type of software combination typically includes features like order management, supply chain management, financial reporting, material requirements and production planning. By using integrated MRP and ERP software solutions, companies can streamline their operations, improve visibility and collaboration across departments, and reduce errors.
What are fashion technology system consulting and implementation services?
Consulting and implementation services are services that can help users select, configure, and implement MRP software that integrates with their existing systems and meets their specific business needs. These services typically include needs assessment, software selection, configuration and customization, data migration, integrations with existing systems, and user training. By using these services, companies can benefit from previous experience and rely less on their busy internal teams to achieve a successful implementation that meets their specific business needs and helps them achieve maximum ROI.