Could Your Legacy ERP Be THE One Thing Standing Between Your Organization and Your Goals?

Could Your Legacy ERP Be THE One Thing Standing Between Your Organization and Your Goals?

As the centralized system of record for sales, accounting, production, supply chain, workforce and business intelligence, everything your ERP system manages is mission critical. The right ERP should help your company drive business goals for growth, workforce productivity, profitability, and customer relationships—not impede those goals.

Apparel and soft goods manufacturers relying on legacy ERP face greater risks
It’s no secret that fashion is a rapidly moving and highly competitive industry. In a perfect world, with all of the business data you need and exceptional insight, you’d still have to work hard to read the marketplace and stay ahead of competitors. But with a legacy ERP system as the hub of business, the world is far from perfect. Many legacy ERP systems don’t deliver the necessary data and insight to optimize the business, leading to more business risks, including:

1. Lack of real-time data – Most legacy ERP systems can’t deliver real-time data, especially if your business has international operations or multiple locations. Instead of looking at what is going on in your business right now around the world, you will be presented with backward-looking monthly reports.

2. Isolated data streams – Integrating an application into a legacy ERP system requires extensive programming knowledge to build a proprietary link. Every time you have to install an updated version of your ERP, there’s a chance the integration will break. For this reason, many businesses operate their legacy ERP system without integration into essential applications such as Shop Floor Control (SFC), Warehouse Management (WM) or Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Isolated data streams prevent consolidated reporting that executives need.

3. Limited reporting for data analysis – The reporting tools inside legacy ERP systems are less robust and less easy to use than today’s business intelligence technology. Legacy database structures didn’t allow for slicing and dicing data as well as modern solutions, and the legacy tools weren’t designed to provide a 30,000 foot view while allowing you to rapidly drill down into granular detail.

4. Spreadsheets and manual data manipulation – Lacking the reporting needed from the legacy ERP system, many professionals turn to spreadsheets. There they try to integrate disparate data streams and manually manipulate the data into a more usable format for decision-making. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to make data entry errors, mistranslate data, or set up incorrect calculations.

5. Strategic gridlock – When executives don’t have enough information to confidently make decisions about the business, one possible outcome is strategic gridlock. The C-suite constantly needs to reach back out to sales, finance and accounting, and operations to request more information. Competitors move forward with strategic initiatives, while you’re stuck at the drawing board.

6. Less informed decision making – As a direct consequence of being frustrated by a lack of real-time information and analysis, some business leaders will simply try to make the best decision they can with the data they’ve got. That is not necessarily the wrong approach, but in today’s rapidly-changing business environment, going down the wrong road—even for a short time—can have disastrous business consequences.

With so many challenges, why do organizations hold onto their legacy systems?
People don’t like to change, and a big change to a mission-critical system like ERP causes more fear and indecision than smaller software adoptions. Even though spreadsheets and manual data manipulation are terribly inefficient and often lead to inaccurate information, it can be hard to let go of a process you have trusted.

Modern, fully-integrated ERP systems open new opportunities
Modernizing the ERP creates big opportunities for improvement within apparel and fashion organizations. Having real-time, reliable information at your fingertips enables your team to spend less time messing with spreadsheets and looking for emails. Instead, they can dive into timely data in order to:
• Discover new insights about demand patterns and customer preferences
• Become a better supply chain partner to suppliers, distributors and retailers
• Develop better products and bring them to market more quickly
• Identify workflow improvements that boost manufacturing efficiency
• Increase on-time order deliveries
• Control production costs and improve workforce utilization

Move legacy ERP out of the way and advance your business goals
Exenta can help you revolutionize your business by providing real time visibility across every aspect of your business—from design to delivery. From concept to cash, we give apparel and soft goods executives the tools to understand everything going on in the business, so they can make faster, better decisions that result in reduced cycle times, unprecedented efficiency gains, and increased profitability. This leads to better partnerships and happier employees—two keys to long-term business success.

Exenta ERP was purpose-built for the fashion and apparel industry, with 700 years of combined experience and apparel-specific expertise supporting its continuous development. Built on next-generation technology, Exenta ERP is a single fully integrated system that gives apparel manufacturers the ability to customize for industry-specific workflows and criteria such as style, color, label, pre-pack and size. To hear how Exenta ERP helped RG Barry Corporation increase productivity and profitability, watch this PLM video. Or, contact us today for a demo and learn how Exenta ERP can transform your manufacturing operations.

6 Ways You Can Profit from a New Shop Floor System

6 Ways You Can Profit from a New Shop Floor System

To increase profitability, manufacturers need to produce a greater quantity of merchandise at high levels of quality and efficiency, at a speed that delivers product to market before consumer tastes change. Although it is an increasingly digital world, the majority of apparel, soft goods and home furnishings manufacturers rely on outdated production tracking methods. Some still use pencil and paper. Others record work in progress with gum sheets in a production book and transfer that data into a legacy software system or an Excel spreadsheet at the end of shift.

Six Ways to Benefit by Automating Shop Floor Control
Shop Floor Control software is designed to track the progress of production throughout a sewing operation. Running across multiple platforms and devices, Shop Floor Control allows supervisors, managers and workers to receive real-time information and notifications regarding work in progress (WIP).

With real-time tracking of manufacturing operations, manufacturers can make changes more quickly to optimize efficiency and quality. Here are six ways that Shop Floor Control makes a positive impact that can directly contribute to improved profitability.

1. Increase Productivity and Efficiency
Implementing Shop Floor Control creates a more productive environment that yields greater operational efficiencies all through the production process. These efficiencies include real-time planning and scheduling, instant document delivery, scanning, facial recognition time tracking, quality control tools, real time alerts to machine issues and more.

Gum sheets get replaced with real-time scanning and tracking. Employees gain immediate access to job information, so they can keep working without waiting. Managers get up-to-the-minute reporting about quality, employee performance and labor costs.

Most companies enjoy rapid productivity gains of 10-15% after deploying Shop Floor Control software. When they elect to Include incentive pay and gains can exceed over 30%! Over time, Shop Floor Control generates operational improvements that lead to even greater productivity gains. For example, worker performance data may prompt better incentive pay design. Long-term productivity improvements of 25-40% are not unusual with Shop Floor Control.

2. Reduce Throughput Time
Bottlenecks slow down throughput either by slowing production or causing more rejected pieces. Without Shop Floor Control, production managers try to spot bottlenecks visually and then figure out how to resolve them—without the benefit of in-depth production data analysis.

Shop Floor Control captures the information needed to identify bottlenecks sooner and determine root causes. Whether poor line balancing, outdated equipment or inaccurate forecasting has created bottlenecks, Shop Floor Control helps management make more informed decisions to improve throughput.

3. Gain Greater Visibility and Control
Shop Floor Control measures performance of work teams as well as individual operators, providing constant feedback to production managers about what employees are doing. Management can use this information to fine-tune incentive pay structure and to optimize machine and employee utilization.

Employees also benefit from being able to see instructions, videos or pictures of products they’re assembling. They can notify the maintenance team when equipment malfunctions or notify a supervisor immediately if they need help.

4. Control Costs and Quality
Shop Floor Control helps workers and supervisors keep close track of quality control with real-time data about defects and repairs. When manufacturers use this data to improve their quality processes, it will result in fewer repairs and reworking as well as less scrap. If you can repair less, you can produce less, and that controls labor and materials costs, improves customer satisfaction with orders and supports profitability.

5. Reduce Absenteeism
When employees don’t come to work, workflow issues can lead to production loss. A Shop Floor Control system reduces absenteeism by giving managers access to real-time time and attendance information. Reviewing patterns of absenteeism can help identify employees who do not meet attendance expectations. They can see if certain stations or lines are overburdened by too few workers or too many temporary workers. Shop Floor Control information can also reveal areas where cross-training operators could result in improved coverage of a station when workers are absent.

6. Minimize Off-Standard Time
When operators are not working their standard jobs, overall production suffers. Many issues can cause an increase in off-standard time, including: power failures, machine delays or breakdowns, meetings, line setting, waiting for additional work, and waiting for replenishment of inventory items like trims or accessories. A Shop Floor Control system minimizes off-standard time by tracking machine uptime and downtime and automating inventory tracking to ensure that fabric and other items needed during production stay stocked on the line. Adding real-time notifications of problems delivers further gains in productive time vs unproductive time.

As you can see, the insights generated by Shop Floor Control affect performance and profitability in important ways. Without a way to gather real-time measurements throughout the manufacturing process, it’s difficult to improve. Manual processes cannot yield the information needed to increase operational efficiency, labor utilization and quality control—all fundamental aspects of manufacturing profitability.

Exenta understands that manufacturers of apparel and sewn products face constant pressure to reduce costs, improve quality and shorten delivery times. Our Shopfloor Control software leverages IoT technology and off-the-shelf tablets to place real-time plant floor management in the hands of manufacturers. To learn how Shopfloor Control delivered measurable results for leading international apparel supplier, read this case study. Or, contact us today for a demo and learn how Exenta Shopfloor Control can transform your manufacturing operations.