Highly depending on the industry that you’re working in, you probably have an inventory of products that contains many of the identical items from year to year, or you may have a stock of products that changes more frequently. In case you’re in the clothing and apparel industry, you’re probably overwhelmed by replacing outdated fashion pieces with new ones.
You probably also add new clothing options to your inventory at least as frequently as the end of every clothing season, so you presumably have to alter your inventory’s product mix regularly. And inventory management represents just one piece of the apparel business puzzle. There are many other background issues to be resolved for the business to operate seamlessly and with success.
Manual workload processes are highly inadequate for any apparel retail businesses, specifically with the variety and volume of apparel products, sales, orders, and overall operations complexity. Thankfully, today’s technological advancements paved the way for the emergence of multiple robust solutions in this specific niche.
In the apparel business, apparel management software solutions are somewhat vital to apparel retailers to streamline and navigate even the most complex business procedures. If you’re genuinely interested in finding out more about why smart apparel business owners are massively utilizing the latest software to gain an edge over the industry’s heightened competition, check out this apparel management guide from Apparel Magic to broaden your knowledge on the matter.
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On the other hand, and in the broadest sense, the features usually included and that should be covered through software within each apparel business include inventory management, order processing, accounting, forecasting, administration, production, sales, reporting, shipping, warehousing, and supply chain management. And because of that, there are multiple types of apparel management software available. Read along to find out must-haves software for your apparel business if you want to reach the top and run a successful clothing business operation.
Enterprise Resource Planning Software
Enterprise resource planning or ERP software is pretty much the cornerstone of any modern apparel business. This software type can give you the power to track every step of your production process, from materials sourcing to final product shipping with extreme granularity. It can also deliver a host of in-depth reports and analytical tools to optimize your resource planning processes.
Regarding the fact that the apparel industry’s needs outgrew the basic ERP software systems, they were expanded with these additional tools, often referred to as modules. They are integrated with the original ERP software, and these modern-day ERP software systems with integrated modules represent what most apparel businesses rely on today. Across different ERP software systems, a handful of modules almost always appear to benefit the apparel company that employs the software. These modules include:
- Inventory management software so you’ll be able to keep track of your inventory and keep it organized by size, color, style, or stock keeping unit.
- Apparel decoration software to help you streamline the process of decorating orders and keeping up with their maintenance.
- Manufacturing module to store the manufacturing information in one place and plan the production more accurately.
- Order processing software to help you track a specific product from the moment it’s ordered until the moment it’s delivered, and this way improve delivery times and customer satisfaction.
- Purchasing module to better forecast your purchases and manage your resources and inventory as effectively as possible.
- Accounting management module to handle the cash flow in your apparel business.
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Product Lifecycle Management Software
Product lifecycle management or PLM software is another common type of software that is an essential part of every successful apparel business. The PLM software establishes a technological foundation for relationships amongst everyone engaged in the product lifecycle, and it’s the place where products are being thoroughly conceptualized. This software covers all aspects of creating the apparel you’re later going to sell, like materials sourcing, design, testing, reviews, presentations, and other processes that take place before the final products are created.
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PLM software allows businesses to speed up their products’ production time, improve their quality, drive product innovation, and manage resources better so that there are less waste and reduced expenses. Those involved in designing new products, from production teams to IT and executives, use this software to enhance their everyday operations continually.
Customer Relationship Management Software
Customer relationship management or CRM software is a type of software that is needed and indispensable in nearly every industry, and the apparel industry makes no exception. Brand loyalty can differentiate your business from the rest of the pack, and fostering a deep sense of brand loyalty within your customer base has everything to do with how you keep them engaged.
Even if your apparel business is doing fine and has many customers, those customers need to be contacted, engaged, and persuaded to return to your business again and again. CRM software can put the customer experience over the top and create a path for everything else to fall in line with the concept. By employing this type of software, you will track, analyze, and categorize your customer base and get a clearer picture of their buying habits and where they stand with your business.
CRM can undoubtedly be of great help to any sales team to track leads and maintain detailed notes on long-lasting customer relationships. Also, many CRM software systems include modules for email marketing and various targeted promotions, as these modules could be very beneficial if your apparel business is involved in direct-to-consumer sales.
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Project Management Software
This type of software is specifically designed to be of great assistance to you and your employees to designate company tasks, map out projects, and sustain accountability in your business organization. For instance, if your finance department has to put together an annual report, you can create that task, attach the finance department to it, and steadily track each step of the process’s progress.
Most modern project management software is hosted in the Cloud, so they can be easily installed on the servers in your offices and accessed from anywhere.
The software you will implement within your apparel business will undoubtedly improve overall efficiencies, operations, free up resources, and people and enable your fashion enterprise to grow. Apparel management software solutions can help you manage all aspects of your business, from basic accounting to the pattern management of each fashion piece. Determine your business’s needs, find the right software solution, and cement your place in the vast apparel industry.