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Four Biggest Problems Facing Fashion Manufacturers and How a Dedicated ERP System Can Help

Four Biggest Problems Facing Fashion Manufacturers and How a Dedicated ERP System Can Help

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

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.

About EXENTA™
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.

PLM vs. ERP: What Are the Differences and How Can They Both Benefit Your Fashion Manufacturing Company?

PLM vs. ERP: What Are the Differences and How Can They Both Benefit Your Fashion Manufacturing Company?

The estimated worth of the global fashion industry was about $2.5 trillion in 2017, yet most apparel manufacturers deal with razor-thin profit margins. RIS notes, “few supply chains are as dynamic as those relied upon by the fashion industry…speed and cost efficiency are both critical” as businesses manage numerous products, suppliers, and shifting consumer demand. That’s why more forward-thinking fashion and apparel businesses are leveraging technology to drive the visibility, speed, and accuracy needed to adapt to evolving customer demands and increasingly competitive industry landscape.

The good news is that there are many fashion-industry-specific software solutions on the market to help your business improve control, minimize costs, and improve productivity. With so many choices out there, choosing the right solution to meet each business need can be overwhelming. Sometimes different solutions appear to manage the same functions or provide the same benefits. All too often, manufacturers are led to believe that ERP for the apparel industry can help with fashion PLM when in fact, they are very different. In this post, I will provide an overview of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) as well as a comparison of PLM vs. ERP. Discover the details behind each solution, their benefits, and how PLM and ERP work together to enhance collaboration and improve business performance.

What is an ERP and how does it work?
ERP, whether it’s called fashion ERP software or apparel ERP software, is a business system that manages finances and production resources. Fashion ERP software is an end-to-end solution that emboldens responsive supply chain operations, better informed decision-making, and increased sales and margins. Using fashion ERP software, businesses:
• Streamline order-to-cash
• Improve financial controls
• Automate critical processes

What is PLM or PLM fashion software?
PLM, also known as fashion PLM software and apparel PLM software, manages all the information related to your product or style throughout the product development process—including concepts, work-in-process, and revisions. Fashion PLM software keeps designers creative by eliminating tedious data entry, automating processes, and enhancing collaboration to speed products to market. PLM fashion software manages all aspects of the product lifecycle from conception and design to production and distribution. Businesses use fashion PLM software to:
• Streamline the development cycle
• Reduce product costs
• Track and manage calendar

How do ERP and PLM work together to drive fashion manufacturing success?

The fashion and apparel industry must manage a large range of size and color combinations and materials from a design and production perspective—as well as a stay on top of sourcing strategies and efficient production at various facilities. 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.

Integrating ERP and PLM provides greater visibility across fashion business operations by delivering accurate, up-to-date product data to stakeholders. Business and finance managers have greater visibility into product launch timing so they can better manage cash flow and plan sales, purchases, inventory, facilities, and more.

By integrating ERP and PLM, your business gains seamless control of product development, business financials, and manufacturing processes. PLM enables you to keep up with the latest trends and gets your products to market as fast as possible—while minimizing costs and enhancing quality. One important transition event between PLM and ERP is the creation of production orders.

While the design process may be finalized within the PLM system, production orders are created and managed within your ERP. Once your design and style are complete, an ERP system can help you procure the materials you need at the best price. Fashion ERP software manages financial information and organizes reporting for order processing, purchasing, accounting, inventory management, and manufacturing management.

Automate Your Fashion Supply Chain
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. By integrating PLM and ERP, you’ll better manage information at every stage of design, manufacturing, and distribution.

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 solutions can help you maximize your business potential.

Six Reasons Why Efficient Shop Floor Control is the Key to Fashion Manufacturing Success

Six Reasons Why Efficient Shop Floor Control is the Key to Fashion Manufacturing Success

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.

6 Ways to Increase Your Bottom Line by Optimizing Your Fashion Supply Chain Management Process

6 Ways to Increase Your Bottom Line by Optimizing Your Fashion Supply Chain Management Process

Across every segment of manufacturing, operations leaders are looking for ways to increase the bottom line by finding and eliminating deficiencies in the supply chain. This has never proved more important than in 2020, as the global pandemic disrupted supply chains and logistics across the planet while simultaneously impacting consumer demand and reducing traffic into retail stores.

The way forward will require fashion manufacturers to become more data-driven than ever, honing precision and efficiency throughout their operations. The recent McKinsey State of Fashion coronavirus update notes that to “mitigate the damaging impact of the pandemic and adapt to economic and consumer shifts, companies must introduce new tools and strategies across the value chain to improve operational agility, boost productivity, and future-proof business models.”

Fashion industry supply chains have been notoriously wasteful and inefficient, losing an estimated 25% of fashion manufacturers’ purchased materials to waste at the factory level. Today, leading fashion manufacturers leverage apparel supply chain management software to shore up fashion supply chains and make them both leaner and more sustainable. Doing so helps fashion manufacturers develop greater operational agility—leading to direct improvements in the bottom line. Let’s examine six ways fashion supply chain management can optimize profitability.

Gain End-to-End Visibility Over Your Supply Chain

When optimizing any operational process, the first task should be making sure you have the ability to study all of the relevant data. Spreadsheets are useless if they contain old data. Paper files require too much time to search for answers. Software packages that can’t talk to one another hinder your ability to collect up-to-date information in one location for analysis.

When you have real-time visibility throughout the supply chain, you can make better decisions about where and how to produce a product because you can forecast more accurately. End-to-end visibility can improve the bottom line in a number of ways, such as:

 Meeting important customer deadlines
 Ensuring the correct amount of material gets ordered
 Avoiding the need for expedited shipping costs
 Keeping the right amount of inventory in stock to match customer demand
 Improving quality so you can lower return rates

Accelerate Your Development Cycle

The first stage of the fashion supply chain begins with designing a new product and managing its materials requirements. The product development cycle needs to work like a well-oiled machine, because fashion trends and customer demand patterns can shift very quickly. Product Lifecycle Management software improves apparel supply chain management by making it easier and quicker for designers to create new products from existing styles. It also helps product managers study sourcing requirements to see how going with different suppliers, materials and production facilities might impact product cost and delivery timelines.

Fashion supply chain management technology empowers you to perform what-if analyses that help balance costs against delivery requirements when deciding between suppliers. With the complete picture of historical performance between different vendors, your team can procure textiles, thread and other materials from reliable vendors at the best possible prices. Being able to consider quality, performance and cost ensures you can delight customers while containing costs.

Exenta customers have been able to compress the time needed for design and product development by up to 35% using PLM REVO™. By shortening that window, designers and product managers have more time to spend on additional product lines, helping to keep labor costs lower in this area and contributing to profitability.

Reduce Product Costs and Overruns

When you have visibility into work in progress—whether inside your own facility or at a third-party production partner—you can help reduce product costs and overruns by keeping a sharp eye on workforce productivity and overtime. Having real-time data and excellent communication tools is critical here. Shop Floor Control systems can provide information and notifications to brands, supervisors, managers, and production employees, so they can keep the line moving, avoid bottlenecks and optimize pay. Real-world results with Exenta Supply Chain Management have reduced overtime by up to 72% while improving workforce productivity by up to 37%.

Improve Testing and Quality

Throughout the design, procurement and manufacturing stages, having integrated, end-to-end Supply Chain Management technology helps brands standardize and automate their product testing, leading to higher quality finished goods. In fact, Exenta customers have been able to increase quality by up to 44% in real-world applications. Better quality contributes to profitability by reducing waste and product returns. Higher quality products satisfy customers and enhance brand reputation.

Improve Inventory Control

Real-time visibility into your supply chain data can revolutionize your product inventory control, especially if your supply chain management solution includes a Warehouse Management System (WMS). These solutions help you control the movement of goods within your warehouses and give you a live view of inventory levels. Having complete awareness over inventory levels can help you run leaner by increasing warehouse operational throughput in the warehouses allowing you to reduce overall inventory levels without disappointing customers.

Improve Collaboration with Your Vendors

Being able to get accurate information on demand from contractors for both committed and consigned goods enables retailers to ensure their customers can purchase the styles they desire while the trends are still fashion-forward. For the best possible communication and collaboration with retailers, leading manufacturers establish a Vendor Portal.

Drop More to Your Bottom Line through Better Supply Chain Management

Exenta offers the most modern, complete, integrated, end-to-end fashion supply chain management technology suite for the apparel and sewn goods industry. It’s designed specifically to help fashion manufacturers achieve cost savings, efficiency gains, and productivity improvements that enhance bottom-line financial results. For a guided tour into how Exenta Supply Chain Management software delivers real-time visibility from initial design to final customer delivery, register for a free software demonstration.