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How Colombiatex is Helping Revive the Fashion Industry in Colombia

How Colombiatex is Helping Revive the Fashion Industry in Colombia

From July 27-29, Colombiamoda and Colombiatex were held together for the first time in Medellin, Colombia. Colombiamoda, Colombia’s yearly fashion week, and Colombiatex, a textile show that features textile suppliers and technology solutions, came together to revitalize and reactivate the textile fashion industry in Colombia. The events provided a unique and all-encompassing look into different avenues of the fashion supply chain and integrated all players to discuss topics such as sustainability and digitalization.

This year, nearly 500 exhibitors from around the world met to discuss and carry out different deals involving textiles, sleepwear, sportswear, denim, leather goods, jewelry, and more. Because of the pandemic, many of those in attendance were virtual. However, this did not take away the incredible experience provided by the two events. The two events offered various reports, conferences, presentations and other content showcasing new practices and technologies available to fashion brands today, and how they can increase efficiency, and therefore profits, reduce waste, and more. The Sustainability Route at Colombiatex and Colombiamoda focused heavily not only on fashion’s impact on the environment and the good that can come from more sustainable practices, but how these practices are becoming much more attainable for companies.

“We celebrate the Colombiatex and Colombiamoda merge for the 2021 trade shows. We believe that they will promote a speedy economic recovery of the industry through their joint leadership,” said Flavia Santoro, president of Procolombia. “In 2020, 8,000 international buyers acquired Colombian fashion products, giving us their vote of confidence, and this year with the lessons learned during the pandemic, Colombia is readier than ever to welcome international buyers to the fashion industry’s most important fair by offering sustainable and responsible fashion.”

Exenta participated in this unprecedented event by hosting a virtual booth, showing attendees the many positive (and attainable) changes technology can make for a fashion textile company. Colombiatex and Colombiamoda joining together in 2021 provided a unique omnichannel experience that brought all the value chain players together from around the world to discuss the future of the industry.

To learn more about these joined events, click here.

Exploring the Core Functions of an MES System

Exploring the Core Functions of an MES System

No matter the product, in the manufacturing industry, speed to market is critical. Now more than ever, it is imperative for manufacturing and distribution companies to increase their efficiency on the shop floor and their speed to market without sacrificing quality. To do this, companies must leverage software solutions such as a manufacturing execution system (MES). An MES system bridges the gap between different manufacturing operations and improves production efficiency through worker performance feedback, real-time data collection, and more.

What is Exenta Shop Floor Control MES?

Today, many manufacturers are still using legacy systems that rely on gum sheets and manual data entry. Without a modern MES software system, companies are missing the proper checks and balances needed to address issues on the shop floor, leaving many decisions to be made by operators, therefore opening companies up to miscommunication and costly errors. By having a manufacturing execution system such as a shop floor control system, data entry is automated, workers are more productive, and overall communication improves across the shop floor.

Exenta Shop Floor Control MES not only increases productivity, efficiency and communication on the manufacturing floor, the system also reduces throughput time, improves visibility and control, manages costs and product quality, and more. To understand this complex system, it is important to understand manufacturing execution systems’ core functions and the advantages that follow.

Real-time Data Collection and Acquisition

Using wireless networking, Shop Floor Control MES collects production data in real-time, providing extensive visibility and control into production all on one collaborative and web-based management dashboard available for most smart devices. As products are assembled on the manufacturing floor, the MES system is tracking, scheduling, and reporting on the progress. Employees can scan barcodes on garment pieces as they work rather that writing everything down by hand, improving efficiency instantaneously. Improved efficiency and productivity translates to increased profitability.

Labor Management

Many manufacturers still pay their operators an hourly base rate along with a piece rate. Studies have recently shown that workers who are compensated solely by piece rate have lower levels of anxiety, as their wages do not vary as much, and they can see the direct relationship between piece rate and pay. With an MES system, workers are provided pay transparency through direct visibility of their productivity rates such as piece rate, bonuses, and total pay per shift. This gives workers on the shop floor the ability to have more control over their wages and therefore increasing efficiency across the manufacturing floor. With Exenta Shop Floor Control, payroll is calculated automatically with the option to export data to a third-party payroll service.

Plant Floor Visibility and Quality Control

MES technology allows for unprecedented visibility and control on the manufacturing floor. To achieve maximum performance levels, manufacturers need the most advanced visibility across all levels of the manufacturing process, including a drill-down view of each operator. With Shop Floor Control MES, wireless dashboards provide instant access to key performance indicators (KPIs) for any date and time. To increase productivity and efficiency, a high level of visibility is needed for both management and operators. Exenta Shop Floor Control provides a screen called “Daily Targets” that displays units produced, target goals, and other production data points in real-time.

With Shop Floor Control MES, management receives visuals showing all WIP across production, allowing supervisors to view and analyze various performance indicators. Not only does management have access to indicators such as quality and downtime, they also have real-time information regarding defects, repairs, and other issues during the production process that helps management identify and address problem areas. By addressing a problem quickly in the manufacturing stage, management can then avoid further costly issues down the line.

There are many additional core MES functions and benefits including reduced absenteeism, minimized off-standard time, better management of large orders, inventory control, and more. Learn more about the extensive benefits of an MES system by reading our informational white paper here.

To see what an industry-leading Shop Floor Control MES system can do for your business, request a demo.

Exenta Has Joined Aptean

Exenta Has Joined Aptean

[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.

Read the Full Release Here

How to Use ERP Software in the Apparel Industry

How to Use ERP Software in the Apparel Industry

While apparel ERP software has become commonplace in the fashion and soft goods industries, many companies do not know the proper way to set up and use such a complex and dynamic system. Utilizing an ERP software system has many benefits including automating critical processes, improving financial controls, boosting productivity and efficiency, and increasing collaboration among parties along the supply chain. According to Aberdeen Group, “ERP systems that provide accurate, real-time information about daily operations help companies reduce operational costs by 23% and administration costs by 22%”. Implementing a fashion ERP system can be tedious and time consuming, but doing it correctly will be highly rewarding for a company in the future.

Reviewing Your Business Processes and Defining Scope of Implementation

Before implementing a fashion ERP solution, it is crucial to review the processes a business goes through daily that make up a product lifecycle. Most companies have a variation of these core systems: Customer Acquisition (Sales), Product Delivery, Product Development/Manufacturing and Accounting. How can these processes be improved? What goals does a company wish to achieve once an ERP system is implemented? It is critical to look at each core process of the business and see how an ERP system for the fashion industry will improve them. From there, a business can define the implementation scope: What will be affected? How long will it take? What is going to change? Each ERP implementation project is unique, and a detailed, research-based approach will ensure successful implementation.

Investing in Training

To avoid the many risks associated with the application of an ERP system, training is a critical step in the process. Functional training should be arranged for all users, both before implementation and during. A flexible and dynamic ERP system has consistent updates and advances, and a good ERP company provides consistent training during the entire implementation process, all system updates, and beyond. This helps avoid any major operational disruptions after go-live.

Exenta delivers 24/7 service to over 50,000 customers in 15 countries worldwide. Exenta ensures security, flexibility and increased control of a business’s total cost of ownership. With Exenta apparel manufacturing ERP software, companies don’t have to worry about a fashion management plug-in disappearing or a shift in development that may cause a speed bump in their unique operations, and will only deal with Exenta products and team when there is an inquiry.

Focusing on Data Quality and Migration

One continuing benefit to a strong ERP system is accurate, real-time data collection.Prior to implementation, a company should remove any outdated or inaccurate data from their existing system, such as supplier data, customer data, accounts history, etc., and confirm the remaining data is accurate.

Customizing and Integrating your ERP Platform

Customizing an ERP solution refers to the act of altering the system in different capacities to meet a company’s specific needs or requirements. Many garment manufacturing ERP software solutions allow very little customization. Most companies need customization to achieve the goals they set before implementation. Some examples of customization include adding new features, modifying existing ones, and/or configuration of the existing system to support other solutions (such as PLM, Shopfloor Control, EDI) or other third-party functions. With Exenta, ERP can be configured with multiple other systems to create a cutting-edge digital supply chain.

“Due to the integration between Exenta ERP and Exenta Shopfloor Control, our operators are able to scan their own work. By not having to scan barcodes in the office, we reduced our managerial and administrative time by 80%. Basically, we saved one FTE (full time employee) who was then reallocated to a sourcing and business development role, which increased revenue opportunities.”

-Carrie Bovender, CEO and Owner, Grand Forest

ERP software solutions are the future of the fashion and soft goods industries. To keep up with demand and changing consumer behavior, it is essential to have an integrated digital supply chain, and ERP is the backbone. Exenta’s industry-specific fashion ERP system software supports apparel management businesses by making it easy to manage business processes for products designed, manufactured or sold. The Exenta fashion ERP system is supported by a skilled staff, ensuring every customer has one point of contact for any issue, backed by the Exenta team’s deep expertise — guaranteed to resolve any issue quickly.

We see every inquiry through to a satisfactory conclusion. See what the right ERP system can do for your business, and what being an Exenta parter means. Request a demo today.

What is ERP Software?

What is ERP Software?

What is ERP software?

ERP software is not new to the manufacturing industry. However, fashion companies are beginning to see more and more advantages to adopting this cutting-edge system and further digitalizing their supply chains. A system is defined as a set of elements that work or interact together as one unified structure or whole. A system is typically comprised of people, technology, and various processes that are all highly integrated. So what are ERP systems? While ERP is a software solution, it is also a system, as it combines software (technology), the different processes involved in a product lifecycle, and the people that work in these processes.

So what is ERP/enterprise resource planning software solution? Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a streamlined digital solution that organizes and manages all activities involved in a product lifecycle. Businesses use ERP software to collect data in all facets of their supply chain operations to make more accurate and knowledgeable business decisions. By tying different supply chain processes and elements together into one solution, the system can provide a centralized collaborative platform for all parties involved in the product lifecycle to use.

With the rise in e-commerce and drop-shipping in the fashion industry, accurate data is essential for survival. Companies need an ERP system to avoid overproduction, inaccurate trend forecasting, stale data usage and more. According to a TEC Software study, nearly 50% of companies surveyed have an ERP system or are planning to acquire one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of an ERP system?

While implementing an ERP system provides accurate data to help avoid a surplus of product and imprecise forecasting, the benefits go on. Some of the many advantages of an ERP include:

Increased Operational Efficiency

-Increased Inventory Accuracy

-Improved Visibility and Service

-Reduction in Chargebacks

-Master Omnichannel Fulfillment

-Enhanced Collaboration

-Automation of Critical Processes across the supply chain

What are some challenges companies face when acquiring ERP software?

-Scalability: Some ERP systems do not have the ability to change in size or scale with a business. Without a scalable solution, companies must purchase add-on software in the future, or reinvest in a new solution altogether.

-Integration: The wrong ERP solution cannot integrate new applications or systems into the original solution. Companies need an ERP system that can integrate seamlessly with other systems to create a digital supply chain and one collaborative platform.

-Flexibility: Having an ERP that can integrate with other systems and can scale with a business creates a more flexible overall system. Without flexibility, the ERP system may not be able to adapt with the company to fit new needs or embrace challenges in the future. 

It is important that an ERP solution can scale with the company. Implementation and integration of an ERP system is “like open heart surgery” for a business, says Exenta CEO Roberto Mangual. Once this complex and advanced system is integrated into all business processes, it needs to be able to scale with the company in the future.

How to use ERP software?

While there are many benefits to adopting an ERP solution, it is important to learn how to use it before it is fully implemented. This helps avoid issues with integration and flexibility. An ERP system is a major investment, and when utilized correctly, it can completely transform a business. Prior to implementation, it is important for a company to review all business processes and solidify what areas need improvement. Another important step in the ERP implementation process is investing in training. A good software company will partner with you and assist you every step of the way before, during and after implementation to avoid any potential issues or bumps in the road. Advanced software systems come with learning curves, and the right company will be there to train and assist as needed, as well as train users on any software updates in the future.

The right ERP for your business

Exenta has highly trained experts armed with application and industry expertise to deliver rapid responses and support resolutions seamlessly. Exenta’s enterprise management systems and staff’s leading-edge technological expertise simplify and optimize IT across business systems and processes. Exenta provides professional consulting and support solutions for Exenta ERP, SHOPFLOOR REVO and PLM REVO, and helps clients navigate technology issues, implement best practices across business functions and stay informed on fashion software trends.

In contrast to big box ERP systems that requires complex customization and integration, Exenta ERP is an industry-focused enterprise solution that manages the entire business and supply chain by spanning traditional software categories. A strong ERP solution with automated and advanced tracking and reporting can deliver to as much as a 20% reduction in administrative labor hours. Exenta has built the most modern, advanced technology in the apparel ERP space, and once implemented, it continues to scale and adapt with your business.

At Exenta, our customers are our partners. Exenta ERP is scalable, flexible, and can integrate with other software solutions, helping you build a dynamic supply chain that will stand the test of time.  See how Exenta ERP can transform your supply chain here.

Why the Pandemic Has Fashion Brands Creating Smaller Collections- With Better Results

Why the Pandemic Has Fashion Brands Creating Smaller Collections- With Better Results

In 2019, the fashion industry was barreling forward into fast fashion and seasonless shopping. Suddenly, everything was put on pause, including consumers’ desire for new clothes. Layoffs and stay at home orders forced people inside with nowhere to go and no reason to shop. On March 16, 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.9%, and trading was temporarily halted. “Among those hit hardest by the decline were G-III Apparel Group (down 27.1 percent to $11.07), Capri Holdings (down 26.2 percent to $10.29), RealReal Inc. (down 19.3 percent to $7.02), Tapestry Inc. (down 19.3 percent to $13.10) and Nordstrom Inc. (down 17 percent to $17.93)”. Retail sales fell nearly 9%, with clothing sales dropping by over half, as stated by the Census Bureau in April. According to The New York Times, this was the largest drop in one month for retail since the 2008 financial crisis.

In April, apparel sales were down nearly 60% from 2019. The future of fashion was looking dim, and industry leaders recognized that drastic changes needed to be made across the supply chain in order to survive.

A Fashion Industry Overhaul

The coronavirus pandemic has forced consumer buying habits to change, and according to a study by The Nines, apparel categories such as sweatshirts and pullovers accounted for $112.4 billion in sales in 2021. Comparatively, blazers made only $36.4 billion in sales in the same year. While there is no question there has been a considerable surge in demand for comfortable clothes, it has not been enough to make up for the damage the pandemic has done to the fashion industry and global economy. What retailers and manufacturers are now beginning to focus on is the change happening with how and where consumers shop. How we buy has become a major focus for fashion manufacturing companies looking to stay ahead and survive the effects of the pandemic, as 40% of all sales will soon be digital, according to Anita Balchandani for McKinsey & Company. The industry was already on the fast track to e-commerce and supply chain digitalization, but the events of 2020 have given companies a bigger push. With a majority of people around the world working from home, online shopping sales skyrocketed, and the industry’s digital reliance grew. Now, retailers and manufacturers are seeing the benefits of a more digital supply chain, including reduction in overproduction and overhead costs, increased efficiency, accuracy and overall communication and collaboration across the supply chain.

Overproduction is not a new issue for the fashion industry, but with the recent push to digitalization and consumers’ pressure to be more sustainable, companies are needing to address these issues to stay in business.

Quality Over Quantity

According to a 2020 Forbes article, overproduction in the fashion industry typically runs between 30% and 40% each season. While the business as a whole has over $2 trillion in global annual revenues, it has become imperative for fashion manufacturing companies to streamline productions and reduce costs in order to survive. Not only is overproduction costly, it is not sustainable. The pandemic highlighted just how bad the fashion industry-specifically fast fashion and a seasonless production schedule-is for the environment, and consumers have begun pushing brands to reduce their carbon footprint.

So what is sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion refers to apparel that is designed and produced using practices that are environmentally friendly. Brands that practice sustainability in their supply chains understand that the materials they use and how the produce their garments matter. Consumers have started pushing for industry leaders to reduce their carbon footprints, resulting in many companies making environmental pledges, changing their fabric sourcing, using more organic materials, and more.

Navigating the new retail world: The Less is More Approach

One way that is growing in popularity for brands to improve their sustainability is a reduction in product. The industry is realizing that more merchandise does not necessarily increase profits. Companies are beginning to reduce inventory levels with a more integrated, digital system. Designers are producing more slimmed down fashion collections, and designers such as Jacquemus have done two seasonal fashion show collections instead of four, each including both menswear and womenswear together.

While this is a step in the right direction, becoming more sustainable can be costly to fashion companies. They need a solution that allows for cutting costs and increasing efficiency while being able to keep their doors open. Reducing consumption and production is imperative if businesses want to become more sustainable, but how can this be done while retaining their bottom line? The answer may be on-demand manufacturing, also called made to order fashion. On-demand manufacturing in the fashion industry is a method of production where garments are manufactured only when they are ordered. Retailers will not order garments seasons in advance, but rather wait until the customer directly places the order. Traditionally, the industry has used wholesale manufacturing, where bulk orders are placed weeks or months in advance. While this model has worked for years and still works for some companies, it can result in large amounts of dead stock, waste, and overhead costs. “According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, US landfills received 11.3 million tons of MSW textiles in 2018.” With the growth in e-commerce, the on-demand manufacturing model is one way to reduce costs and support a more digital supply chain. To support on-demand manufacturing and e-commerce, fashion manufacturing companies need an advanced, integrated software system.

Strong fashion manufacturing software is essential to on-demand manufacturing and drop shipping. All parties involved in the product supply chain need accurate, up to date inventory and sales data to make the right decisions and avoid waste.

The Exenta Approach

In the new era of e-commerce and digital supply chains, it is important for businesses to have a strong back-end system like an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or EDI. An ERP system provides a centralized source of truth that helps connect other business systems for analysis and planning. The right ERP helps fashion companies optimize financial management and reporting and plan for materials requirements. Exenta ERP automates tracking and reporting—leading to as much as a 20% reduction in administrative labor hours.

EDI enables two companies to exchange information instantly about orders, payments, inventory, shipments, production orders, and more. With Exenta EDI, fashion apparel brands benefit from a fast pipeline of timely, mission-critical information about production, inventory, warehouse logistics and retail, while reducing error-prone data entry. In addition to enhancing visibility while reducing costs, brands that leverage EDI in supply chain management position themselves to do business with the world’s largest retailers and e-commerce platforms, many of whom require EDI as their standard for information exchange.

2021 has become a transformative year for fashion. The pandemic became a major disruptor for the industry, forcing retailers, wholesalers, and designers alike to take a step back and see what was necessary to uphold brand longevity and their bottom lines. Sustainability and digitalization, once trends, have now become the future of the fashion industry. See how innovative, state-of-the-art supply chain software can help your company thrive in the future, request a demo today.