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Top challenges in implementing ERP for fashion retailers

Michele Rotini,

In ERP, like in fashion, one size does not fit all.

Implementing enterprise resource planning  solutions (ERP) is no more easier to implement in the fashion industry than others. Unique industry needs and being in a fast-moving sector means the adoption of IT solutions are fraught with problems and could result in more problems than you originally started with if these challenges are not identified and addressed.

Does the solution fit the company?

The first of the challenges in implementing ERP in fashion is to find a solution suitable and proportional to the current needs and their company's growth. The market offers many dedicated to profit and loss management, supply chain and retail management but are often not part of an ERP in an "extended" way and are actually "third parties" which are then integrated with the ERP currently in use.

Fashion companies and retailers must be able to manage, control and analyze many areas at the same time to be able to be competitive. Among these are: 

  • The process of the fashion product development (prototypes and collections)
  • Life cycle of the product (PLM), purchasing, production, subcontracting and contract manufacturing
  • Optimization of the supply chain
  • Use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology
  • Omni-channel approach (that is, to see a single product through various sales channels, i.e. traditional and online)
  • E-commerce
  • B2C market
  • Business Intelligence for data analysis (timing, cost, control models, accounting analysis; both financial and analytical etc.)
  • Internal communication
  • Globalization
  • Human Resources

All the points described above (or at least a good part it!) must be within a single integrated system and should be scalable. The real challenge is therefore to adopt a system able to ensure the inclusion of the majority of these features, without having to resort to costly integrations with other products.

Is it Cloud-based?

The second challenge is to find a habitable ERP on a Cloud platform, with solutions that are "On-Demand" and "SaaS" (software as a service) that adapt to the needs of end users. These must also accessible anywhere via smartphone, but still monitored by strict safety protocols.

Rememberthat the adoption of Cloud computing also means eliminating costs right away especially those coming from the management of heavy hardware infrastructure.Not all ERPs are made equal. New technologies such as cloud and open source can be more effective for small and medium-sized companies

Do you have a trusted and competent ERP supplier?

The third and final challenge is to find a reliable and efficient partner in the supply and implementation of ERP solutions that understand the complex national and international factors to consider that may affect your ERP implementation.

The selected partner must adopt a methodology for the system implementation focused on the identification and improvement of processes which provide high functionality in order to produce a structured project plan capable of achieving the objectives and the kind of the value that your company is looking for.

All this of course is not possible without a thorough examination of internal processes, carried out with a high level of sharing between the partner's analysts and the company's business managers.

Complete your knowledge ERP in fashion by learning more about Openbravo enVogue, an ERP specially designed for the fashion  retailers and the overall industry's needs and processes. Download the brochure now!

 

openbravo EnVogue brochure

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