With the recent surge in online shopping and more generous return policies offered by retailers, returns are on the rise. Often, customers are given a prepaid label and free return shipping, which significantly increases return rates. While returns are just a cost of business, according to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers returned approximately $428 billion in merchandise to retailers in 2020. Online return rates are nearly double, making up an estimated 18.1 percent of total U.S. retail sales.
Returns are costly for various reasons. Some returns are fraudulent, and the returns process puts customer retention on the line. The harder or more costly the return, the less likely they are to shop with you again. Physically sorting and processing returns is also costly, as a large number of returned merchandise can no longer be resold at full price. While merchandise is awaiting return, it is off the sales floor, potentially for weeks at a time. The environmental costs of returns are also prevalent. In 2020, returned merchandise created 5.8 billion pounds of landfill waste and massive amounts of carbon emissions.
So how can returns be mitigated and reduce their many costs on the retailer?
Data is essential to mitigating the cost of returns. A software solution that provides real-time data and visibility can help identify demand for different styles or products and lower shipping costs. Having more accurate returns data, like where returns are being placed, these items can be routed to more efficient destinations.
Another way retailers can mitigate returns is with more accurate and detailed product images, fit data, and measurements online. Sizing charts help customers see a more detailed and measured representation of the product and can mitigate many fit issues, reducing return and cart abandonment rates. Return reason codes (“too small”, “too big”, etc.) can be provided to give the retailer a reason to why an item did not work, and this data can be used to make product improvements that prevent more returns in the future.
Automating the returns process using technology like an ERP allows companies to analyze the reasons for returns, make more educated product decisions, and overall create a more efficient supply chain. Using an ERP system with a returns app integration like Exenta ERP allows for retailers to have more accurate returns reporting and insight. Integrating returns with ERP and warehouse, companies can use real-time information to calculate stage requirements. Having a more cohesive, efficient system using a software solution can improve the customer service experience. A strong ERP system with returns integration triggers a notification when the return is scanned in the warehouse to issue the refund, reducing time-consuming manual entry and providing the customer with their money back quickly.
Exenta client Veronica Beard uses Exenta ERP and the returns platform Returnly. “Exenta is integrated seamlessly with Returnly so we can get inbound returns information to our 3PL to receive against,” says Marc Ianotta, vice president of operations for Veronica Beard. “with Exenta we know once the warehouse checks something in it puts goods back to stock. That inventory is now available to be purchased online or through our stores via our omnichannel systems.”
To learn more about mitigating the costs of returns and how Veronica Beard found success using an advanced software solution, read our white paper: Reversing Reverse Logistics.
Interested in learning more about how an industry specific ERP can benefit your home fashion or apparel business? Request a demo today to learn how Exenta’s ERP solution can help your company streamline returns and other processes!
[New York City, August 6, 2021] Exenta is pleased to announce that we have officially joined Aptean. Aptean is a leading enterprise software company whose growth strategy is to specialize in industry-specific solutions, delivering world-class products and services that assist customers in effectively running and growing their business.
Digital disruption is redefining the fashion industry from product sourcing, labor, and supply chain to sales and distribution. To be successful in today’s market, “brands need a digital mindset to cater to their consumers” and manufacturers must respond effectively to rapid changes impacting operations, finances, and production. Recent research from McKinsey notes that fashion manufacturers must find ways to become more resilient and take action to increase productivity, operational efficiency, and financial flexibility.
Learn more about the four biggest problems facing fashion manufacturers and how dedicated fashion ERP software can help.
What is fashion ERP software?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), whether it’s called fashion ERP software or apparel ERP software, is a business system that manages finances and production resources. Because it’s an end-to-end solution, ERP for apparel industry emboldens responsive supply chain operations, better informed decision-making, and increased sales and margins. Using apparel ERP software, businesses:
• Streamline order-to-cash
• Improve financial controls
• Automate critical processes
Read on to see why fashion supply chain ERP software is uniquely positioned to help fashion manufacturers overcome four issues causing industry disruption.
Four problems facing fashion manufacturers
1) Responding to consumer shifts. Consumer behavior and preferences change fast and it can be difficult for manufacturers to keep up with appropriate inventory levels. Smaller orders with fast turnaround times can put pressure on raw material needs, quality control, and labor costs. As a result, manufacturers can be caught off guard with quick changes in demand causing unexpected increases in costs across the entire supply chain. Fashion ERP software allows you to integrate processes and information to embolden more responsive supply chain operations and higher levels of collaboration.
2) Product sourcing. Cost-effective product sourcing is now essential in the fashion industry. But it can be difficult for businesses who source internationally to keep up with the politics, trade regulations, culture, and financial issues that are essential to the success of your business. Apparel ERP software enables you to track and manage all of the costs associated with sourcing raw materials and production including transportation, tariffs, and more. Plus you can add on a vendor portal solution to your ERP to automate the procurement and bidding process and optimize the sourcing process to meet your business needs and requirements.
3) Sustainability and minimizing waste. Fashion businesses want to incorporate more sustainable practices to fight against waste and reduce their carbon footprint. Fashion ERP software enables you to manage and control costs during the manufacturing process to minimize unused raw materials like fabric scraps, increase labor and line efficiency, and reduce chargebacks due to quality issues.
4) Financial flexibility. Apparel ERP software helps drive innovation. With real-time data and analytics, you can analyze bottlenecks in your operation and solve these unique issues. ERP helps you make faster, more accurate, and better-informed decisions about your business.
How does ERP drive fashion manufacturing success?
Exenta ERP helps you manage your entire business and supply chain. It provides real-time visibility and control, increased productivity and efficiency, and speeds on-time deliveries. When used together, product lifecycle management ERP and SFC (shop floor control) combine to optimize the supply chain. Product lifecycle management (PLM) enables fashion businesses to track product information changes and communicate those changes to appropriate parts of the supply chain. ERP takes that information to manage the resources needed for production and tracks and reports on the financial impacts of those changes. SFC provides real-time plant visibility and control to improve your manufacturing execution processes.
Use ERP to analyze data and drive innovation
More fashion and apparel businesses are looking for new and practical ways to optimize the supply chain, drive efficiency, and increase access to real-time information. Exenta provides end-to-end software solutions that drive speed to market for the fashion and apparel industry. We help you meet ever-changing customer demands and provide greater supply chain control and visibility. For more information, contact us today for a free demo and find out how our innovative solutions will maximize your business potential.
Exenta™ Launches Powerful New Shop Floor Control™ Interface, Including Management Dashboards and Seasonal Planning Tools
[New York City, August 27, 2020] Exenta, Inc., creator of the most powerful end-to-end ERP, PLM, Innovation Lifecycle Management and Shop Floor (MES) solutions to support the apparel and soft goods industries, announced today the release of a new user interface (UI) for its Shop Floor Control (SFC) solution. This release, the most extensive in the solution’s lifespan, unquestionably makes Exenta Shop Floor Control™ the most modern manufacturing execution system available today. When approaching this system overhaul, Exenta looked closely at its PLM, ERP, and other solutions as frames of reference, creating a user interface experience that is consistent across all systems and bringing further cohesion to the full Exenta supply chain suite.
“In our industry, many companies have retreated somewhat as the pandemic surged and its ripple effects were felt through the fashion and sewn goods supply chain. I’m very proud to say that at Exenta, we forged onward and accelerated development of our new SFC user interface, knowing that the enhancements it delivers would be a much needed productivity boost for our current and future clients in this uncertain business climate,” said Roberto Mangual, CEO of Exenta.
Most notably, the new UI is more intuitive, visually pleasing, incorporating colors and graphics that create a better user experience. Accessed via an Android™ tablet like our previous version, the new UI allows for more graphical representations of data, supporting charts that illustrate percentages, timers, pacing tools, and more, further enhancing the user experience. The new interface is also adaptive, adjusting to a variety of display sizes, and is designed to be even easier for new and existing users to adopt and shrinking the operator application learning curve to near zero. Other app enhancements include the ability to customize the tablet display, reducing clutter and further contributing to ease of use for operators. The addition of user and account role functionality gives management greater control over access to information within teams and across departments, resulting in a solution that exceeds industry expectations straight out of the box, but also provides customization capabilities that support an even greater user experience and efficiency.
Exenta’s new SFC solution also delivers management dashboards and a live production screen, “Daily Targets”. These new analytics allow users to get an instant snapshot of their business for that specific date and time, granting organizations a powerful overview of their situation, status, and productivity. With multiple KPI’s present within a view, users will have a greater understanding of their progress and performance than ever before. “Daily Targets” screens show a live feed of units produced and a department line for direct comparison between how many units were made compared to target goals. The new app makes it much easier for operators and managers to see and understand progress toward goals; everything that the user needs to know to be productive is in front of them.
Finally, Exenta is excited to announce its new Seasonal Planning tool within Shop Floor Control. This tool allows the planning of large orders to be projected and managed further out on the calendar, and with much less difficulty than traditional methods. Seasonal Planning empowers manufacturers to strategically plan at the corporate level for the delivery of key, larger volume contracts and will be invaluable to those meeting orders from government entities or larger retail chains. Exenta’s Seasonal Planning tool is unique to the industry and will be a powerful asset to schedule future projects based on project capacity at specific factories, and also to capitalize on the strengths of performance from one factory to another. Being able to maximize resources, and to plan to do so further in advance, helps manufacturers meet delivery goals and ensure quality and consistency for their customers.
Exenta’s newest release of Shop Floor Control fortifies the company’s position as the most modern, end-to-end solution to support the fashion and sewn goods industries. “For brands and manufacturers in our industry, there is no other solution that can match what we deliver, both in terms of the sheer power of our solutions and also the exceptional abilities of the team that stands behind them,” concluded Mr. Mangual.
Exenta is the pioneer in global, cutting-edge, transformative ERP, PLM REVO™, Innovation Hub™ and Shop Floor Control™ solutions designed specifically for the fashion, apparel, footwear, accessory and home goods industries. Exenta is positioned to be a single solution partner for brands and manufacturers in every stage of business maturity and can support multiple languages and currencies. Exenta delivers high touch, 24/7 service to over 40,000 happy users of our solutions in 14 countries around the globe.
Engineered and developed by a team of experts in the fashion, apparel and manufacturing industries, Exenta offers deep domain expertise in design, sales, production, sourcing, warehouse management, Shopfloor, EDI, omnichannel and finance. With implementation support that continues long after the go-live date, Exenta continually shares best practices developed over years of experience and works with clients to adopt change and increase accuracy and efficiency, both through the use of Exenta solutions and in processes that go beyond the software to improve and accelerate operations. To learn more visit www.exentago.com.
Your fashion business might be producing one of today’s hottest trends with sustainably-sourced, quality materials. But what happens if your business experiences an unexpected supply chain delay and production falls short of your goals? Will your business be forced to add more equipment or hire additional workers? How can you improve visibility into production activities and shop floor control so it doesn’t happen again?
Fashion manufacturers are constantly racing against the clock to meet time-to-market expectations and consumer demand. To be successful, it’s critical to control operational costs and keep overhead low. That’s why adding more machines or staff isn’t always the best solution. Learn six reasons why efficient shop floor control is the key to fashion manufacturing success. Find out how manufacturers are using shop floor control systems to reduce costs, improve quality, speed delivery times, and maximize profitability.
What is shop floor management
More forward-thinking fashion manufacturers are asking what are shop floor control systems and how can those systems improve productivity and efficiency. According to Gartner, shop floor control, or shop floor management, is a software solution providing tools to track, schedule, and report on work progress in manufacturing facilities. With shop floor control, supervisors and managers gain the visibility needed to identify and resolve potential issues that disrupt production operations.
Shop floor control systems embolden manufacturers to:
• Collect data in real-time on the shop floor.
• Allocate and track resource usage including hours and quantities by work order or by employee.
• Define and set rules for processes including support for individual and team incentives.
• Gain visibility into plant floor activities with order milestone tracking and predictive notifications.
• Schedule production activities, track progress, and make real-time adjustments with line balancing tools.
• Improve quality control with better visual control and performance reporting.
Why shop floor control is key to fashion manufacturing success
With little room for errors and delays, fashion manufacturers must constantly stay on top of the status of each order, individual and team productivity, and any off-standard events that can make the difference between on-time delivery and chargebacks. Any misstep that results in order delays negatively impacts your bottom line.
Shop floor control systems, also known as real-time manufacturing execution systems (MES), make real-time shop floor management a reality for fashion manufacturers of all sizes. Consider these six benefits:
1. Increase productivity and efficiency. Increase productivity and efficiency with real-time scheduling, instant document delivery, scanning, facial recognition time tracking, quality control tools, real-time alerts to machine issues and more. Manufacturers have achieved long-term productivity improvements of 25-40% with Shop Floor Control.
2. Reduce throughput time. Shop Floor Control captures the information needed to identify bottlenecks sooner and determine root causes so management can make more informed decisions to keep production running smoothly.
3. Improve visibility and control. Managers receive constant feedback about work team and individual operator performance so they can make appropriate utilization adjustments. Employees can do their jobs better and faster with access to details about the products they’re assembling.
4. Manage costs and quality. Control your labor and materials costs with real-time data about defects and repairs. Use this insight to make quick adjustments and meet quality control expectations that increase customer satisfaction and profitability.
5. Reduce absenteeism. Managers have access to time and attendance information in real time so they can identify and address any attendance issues or trends that cause workflow issues or production loss.
6. Minimize off-standard time. Get real-time notifications of potential problems before they happen including machine downtime, inventory stocking levels, and line setting. Make informed decisions to proactively address issues affecting productive time versus unproductive time.
Increase shop floor control and performance
The insights generated by Shop Floor Control affect performance and profitability in important ways. Shop Floor Control delivers the real-time measurements needed to improve manufacturing processes, increase operational efficiency, maximize labor utilization, and improve quality control. All of these are fundamental aspects of fashion manufacturing profitability.
Exenta is here to help fashion manufacturers reduce costs, improve quality, and speed delivery times. Our Shop Floor Control Manufacturing Execution System (MES) leverages IoT technology and off-the-shelf tablets to place real-time plant floor management in the hands of manufacturers. Our Warehouse Management System works with Shop Floor Control to increase efficiency across your entire supply chain and sales channels. Request a free demo today and find out how our innovative solutions will maximize your business potential.