Exenta is excited to announce we have joined Aptean! Read More
Uncategorized | Exenta™ - Without Limits™
How to Prevent Supply Chain Waste in the Fashion Industry

How to Prevent Supply Chain Waste in the Fashion Industry

What is the Fast Fashion Supply Chain Model?

Fast fashion has changed the way consumers look at fashion and how companies produce and manufacture apparel. No longer are there just four seasons in the fashion industry, there are dozens. The weather no longer has a direct impact on what consumers wear or when they shop. The market has quickly adapted to a style of consumption that performs at breakneck speeds to keep up with increasing consumer demand, pushing inventory out as quickly as they make it. In order to keep up the pace, companies have compressed their supply chains to focus on agility, profit and growth. This process allows shoppers to expand their wardrobes constantly in an affordable manner and at a high speed.

Many companies in the fashion industry have perfected this fast-production supply chain model, opening multi-level stores across the globe and having an even larger ecommerce site. Brands like H&M, Missguided, ASOS, and Forever21 are churning out garments priced as low as $2, and items can sell out in a matter of minutes. According to the Fashion Law, fast fashion giant Zara creates nearly 450 million items a year, with most orders delivering within 48 hours. As clothing is pushed through the supply chain so quickly, these large fast fashion retailers will automatically send customers emails notifying them certain items are selling out quickly and need to be purchased immediately. This successfully pushes product out and keeps desired margins as brands clear inventory without having to slash prices.

In order to keep these margins and keep up with consumer demand, the fast fashion supply chain must have a quick turnaround on trends, a high inventory turnover rate, and strong relationships with business partners vertically or the ability to carry out operations in house. It is essential for companies turning out new product daily to have advanced data-driven trend forecasting software or AI to stay on trend. This forecasting is constant and references historical data. A collaborative system must also be in use to share forecasting with all parties in the supply chain. To keep profits and continue adding new styles, companies must be able to push out older product quickly through discounts and different marketing strategies. A high turnover rate keeps those desired margins. A vertical integration model is key for a fast fashion company to keep this supply chain model. It is essential for fashion companies to have strong relationships with all parties involved in the supply chain and strong contracts to keep short shipping times. As for labeling, packaging, etc., it is often kept in house to keep a tight grip on warehouse activities and low costs.

However, with such an advanced, speedy supply chain comes a lot of waste. In the past, working to keep waste low and focus on reducing their environmental impact was associated with a loss in profit.

So what does the fast fashion supply chain model do to the environment?

The Consequences of the Fashion Industry Supply Chain

The fashion industry is the second largest industrial polluter after aviation, accounting for up to 10% of global pollution, according to phys.org. Over 92 million tons of waste are produced per year and 1.5 trillion liters of water consumed. Up to 85% of textiles go into landfalls each year, and nearly 25% of all materials shipped in the global fashion supply chain are wasted.

Consumers are now more aware than ever the environmental impact of their shopping habits and have begun pushing companies to reduce their carbon footprints. In response, companies like H&M are beginning to roll out new green initiatives, and small companies are emerging that are more sustainable and eco-conscious. While it is easy to think big businesses are the root of the environmental issues caused by fashion, companies of all types and sizes can be to blame. Even well-intentioned fashion companies can struggle to enforce ethical standards without clarity in each stage of the production process. In order to reduce waste in their supply chains, fashion companies of all sizes are looking to cutting-edge software technology.

What Fashion Companies Are Doing to Combat Supply Chain Waste

The benefits of reducing waste are abundant, and companies are becoming more aware. CB Insights states that over 65% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, with 42% of millennials and 37% of Gen Z saying they want to know what goes into products and how they’re made before buying them. Large fast fashion retailers such as H&M and Nike have announced plans to reduce carbon emissions, use more recycled materials in clothing, and take textile byproduct and manufacture it into new garments. Consumers are also looking to companies to have more transparent supply chains, so they can see the garment’s journey, for example from an alpaca farm to knitting and assembling in a studio. In order to cut back on waste and have a more transparent supply chain, companies need technology.

How Exenta’s innovative end-to-end software is helping fashion companies reduce their environmental impact while creating a streamlined supply chain

Enterprise Resource Planning software provides real time information with automatic reports, cutting time from the manufacturing process and keeping all parties in the supply chain aware. ERP software allows fashion companies to streamline order-to-cash, improve financial controls, and automate critical processes. With the rise of fast fashion, traditionally defined seasonal calendars are being replaced by continuous development cycles that deliver greater and more frequent product innovation. Order management and fulfillment is far more demanding in the era of omnichannel retailing. To address these new realities and build sustainable success, retailers, brands, and manufacturers know that they must leverage the latest information technology to streamline processes and manage costs.

Another technology that is creating a streamlined and efficient supply chain while reducing waste is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software. Exenta PLM REVO™
software streamlines companies’ development cycles, reduces production costs, and has a calendar all parties can track and manage to stay up to date. As consumers demand ever faster and more innovative products, fashion and soft goods brands and retailers are challenged to evolve with the times. To remain competitive in these fast-paced and competitive markets, companies need to find better ways to grow revenue while reducing costs, such as an advanced PLM system. Exenta PLM REVO provides a collaborative platform and increased communication between designers and other parties involved in the design and manufacturing process, reducing miscommunication and therefore faulty samples and wasted product.

Click here to read our supply chain Whitepaper and learn more about how Exenta technology reduces waste and streamlines the fashion supply chain. The future of fashion, and our planet, is in innovative software technology for the supply chain.

Protect Your Brand: Understanding the Emergent Importance of Cybersecurity in the Fashion and Apparel Industry

Protect Your Brand: Understanding the Emergent Importance of Cybersecurity in the Fashion and Apparel Industry

The cyber threat landscape has vastly changed in recent years, and the apparel manufacturing industry is seeing a large uptick in cyber-attacks. These attacks are costly, ranging from around $50K on the low end to as high as $2M in immediate damages, including the impact to operational productivity when a target is unable to ship product for several weeks. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime damages are predicted to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. Global ransomware (one of the fastest growing types of cybercrime) damage costs are predicted to hit $20 billion in 2021, up from $11.5 billion in 2019. Ransomware attacks saw a 350 percent increase in 2018, according to one estimate. Cybersecurity Ventures expects that businesses will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by 2021, up from every 14 seconds in 2019.

To understand the problem, you must first understand the cause. There are two primary causes of cyber-attacks:

1. Credential stealing via “phishing”, which is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication
2. Breach of systems that are not properly secured

Protecting against any and all potential attacks is a complex process, but below are some basic areas to address as a best practice:

Educate your users
A common way for cyber hacking to happen is via email. Emails are being sent to users which seem to come from recognizable vendors such as Microsoft, Zoom etc., in which the recipient is prompted to reset a password. These emails direct users to a phishing website, where they inevitably enter credentials such as a username and password, which is immediately received by the attacker who will then use that information to access your systems. To protect against phishing, companies must establish clear protocols with email users:

• Inform users of the dangers of clicking links in emails or opening attachments they aren’t expecting and ask them to forward anything suspicious to your IT team. Remind all users regularly of the importance of being vigilant and their responsibility to help protect your company from the potential impact of a breach.
• When onboarding new staff, provide very direct instruction on the dangers of opening or engaging with the wrong email.
• Send fake phishing attacks into segments of your users, then educate the people who still fall for it, do this quarterly.

Add rules server-side
As an added step to educating users, companies may want to add rules to their mail servers to quarantine emails or add “warning” headers to inbound emails.

• Add a warning header to every inbound email alerting recipients that the email is not from within the company, and reminding that that, before clicking any link or opening any attachment, they should contact the sender or IT support to confirm that the email is legit.
• Add checks for impersonation attacks: Each inbound email should be checked against the company’s complete user list – if a name matches, a header can be added to the inbound mail with a warning that the email is potentially an impersonation.
• Add extra checks for any email purportedly from a vendor, such as a verification check to confirm that the email is being sent from a legitimate source.
• Block emails from free top-level domains such as .tk, .ga, .ml.
• Enforce SPF and DKIM policies – either tag or don’t deliver emails that fail

However, monitoring email alone is not enough. Best practices include a look at other channels that may create opportunity. Bad actors will use a multitude of platforms for phishing and may even target individuals on multiple platforms at the same time. For example, a user might receive a phishing email with an attachment they would be interested in, and at the same time, they might also receive a message on a social media account (Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, etc.) referring to the email and further enticing the recipient to check it, and the cyber-criminal might even take the bold step of looking up the recipient’s phone number and giving them a call to ask them if they received the email and to prompt them to open the attachment. Contact details and social media profiles are more readily available online today than ever before and a very clever hacker might be able to reach a recipient simply by calling a company’s switchboard. The more steps someone takes to make an attachment appear legitimate, the greater the likelihood that a recipient will ultimately open it and in doing so, compromise the company’s entire network.

Breach of systems that are not properly secured
Secure your backups
Backups should only be accessible one-way, and be away from everything. The set-up should ensure that backup server can access the machine being backed up, BUT the machine being backed up cannot access the backup server. Additionally, the server should be in a different physical location to the data being backed up. If the network is breached, the backup server could be scanned, flaws could be found, and the backup server could be breached and erased. In fact, this is a common scenario with crypto attacks. Generally, having the backup server in a separate physical location is a sound practice. If there’s a fire in the building or a natural disaster at the office, the backup server is at risk for damage or destruction.

Know what you have and control it
Install an agent on every single computer that can a) pull data from any machine at any time, b) install/uninstall applications, c) review these systems, and d) shutdown systems that are no longer in use.

Have a patching strategy
Once you’ve identified all your systems, make sure they are always up-to-date. Use the agent to enforce updates and reboots and to alert you if systems aren’t adhering to the policy.

Have a firewall strategy
Ensure all servers and workstations only have the necessary firewall ports open. Use your tool to identify any systems that are not adhering to policy.

Identify and minimize your endpoints
What systems are open to the internet? Do you know? If there are open systems, they need additional policies in place, such as faster patching or a web application firewall. Systems open to the internet should be kept to a minimum. If your users aren’t responsible for a breach, one of these endpoints most likely will be.

Close down direct RDP Services
Remote desktop is vital for many organizations, you should continue to use it – but all users should go via a gateway rather than directly to an RDP machine.

Use a safer password policy
We know passwords can be cracked easily, so having a memorable longer password or even a phrase is key – one that the user will not have to write down to remember. Using biometrics where possible is even better. It’s important to note that enforcing password rotations leaves us with poor passwords because users will nearly always just add “1”, or “2”, or “!” to the end of an existing password.

Audit your accounts
When a user leaves your organization or a service is removed, disable all associated accounts. Your team should run regular audits to ensure any and all accounts belong to something or someone. If an account is for a service and not a user, make a note of the associated service so it’s easily identifiable when you remove that service.

Use next-gen anti-virus protection
Solutions such as CrowdStrike allow your system to join a large security cloud which updates quickly when new 0-days are found. Anti-virus solutions also monitor what is actually happening in real-time when an application runs. If an application is performing actions that look suspicious: escalating access, scanning multiple machines, or renaming multiple files. Cloud security platforms will raise an alarm and do their best to stop suspicious activity.

Aim for a Zero Trust security model
It is best practice to assume a bad actor is already in your system one way or another, and rather than relying on a ring fence approach (a firewall surrounding everything with nothing in the middle), configure every system so it’s as locked down as possible, educate the users to be wary, and ensure the user experience is as easy and safe as possible.

(Zero Trust is a very in-depth concept. More information on Zero Trust can be found here)

The Exenta Difference
Manufacturers and distributors are being actively targeted by cryptolocker attacks, don’t be the next one hit!

At Exenta, we are passionate about our customers and our goal, every day, is to ensure that our customers fully experience the impact our robust, industry-specific solutions have to not only streamline operations and increase revenue, but also deliver a higher-level of job satisfaction and work-life balance to your entire workforce. Our approach to training and support is second to none. In our many years of operation, we have replaced every known competitor, but have never been replaced by one.

Exenta is supported by a dedicated support staff, ensuring you have one point of contact for any issue, backed by our team’s deep expertise guaranteed to resolve any issue quickly. We see every inquiry through to a satisfactory conclusion. At Exenta, we offer 24/7 personalized support to help defend your company against cyberattacks. Experience the Exenta difference today.

How Can Designers Communicate Effectively While Working Remote?

How Can Designers Communicate Effectively While Working Remote?

How the pandemic has changed design and highlighted the importance of communication
The coronavirus crisis has drastically changed what our daily lives look like. Millions of people are out of work, and consumers are changing their spending habits quickly to evolve with the times. Consumers just want what they know they will wear, for a reasonable price. Beth Goldstein for The Washington Post claims that high heels are “way down”. Lately it’s all about comfort: Slipper sales doubled in April, and Crocs also have been “super hot,” she said.

Behind the scenes, designers have had to adapt quickly to these drastic changes in consumer behavior while most are working remotely. For many designers, there is no longer an in-person team working together in one collaborative setting. While the challenges of communicating are evolving due to COVID-19, it is more important than ever to have effective communication with employees and partners in the design process.

Why is a PLM so important?
Having a product lifecycle management (PLM) system allows designers to have effective, real-time communication in one collaborative space. When designers and their teams have all necessary data in one place in a central system, they are able to work together with increased efficiency. A PLM system gives designers access to unlimited amounts of data at their fingertips. Speed is critical in getting fashion to market, and a product lifecycle management system cuts down on tedious data entry and allows designers to work more quickly and efficiently. Due to the pandemic, many designers are now working remotely and collaboration and communication are more important than ever. A PLM system helps designers and their teams to work in a collaborative setting that updates in real-time. A study by The Daily Chronicle found that “The product lifecycle management (PLM) software market was valued at USD 46 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 67.3 billion by 2024.” However, lack of interoperability among dissimilar product versions coupled with low acceptance of PLM services by SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) is expected to hinder the market growth.

So why are there fashion companies who still do not use a PLM system?

Low acceptance of PLM software has many explanations. Designers often want to stick to what they are comfortable with. There is rarely time in the design process to stop and learn an entire new system, and then teach it to their teams and partners. Another issue is that some PLM systems do not integrate with existing ERP systems. Without proper integration, implementation of the software may not be beneficial.

What does the Ideal PLM look like?
While there are different reasons why a fashion company may not use a PLM system, ultimately, the right software can help exponentially in the design process. So, for a designer, what does the ideal PLM system look like?

The ideal PLM system has all the information needed for the design process in one place. Not only users, but also partners and clients can have access to information within the system as needed. A strong PLM system prioritizes the designer and what they need to work efficiently. It is easy to learn and teach to other users and has quick editability to reduce risk of any incorrect data going through the product lifecycle.

How Exenta PLM REVO supports designers working remotely
Exenta PLM REVO puts the designer first. It is an advanced global system that can be accessed not only on a desktop, but also on mobile devices. Exenta PLM REVO brings customers and partners into one system so all parties involved can effectively collaborate, opening up data outside of traditional users with all the necessary security protocols and preferences. Communication tools are laced throughout the entire system, with real-time commenting and notifications. Traditional PLM systems have all the data points in one central place, while Exenta PLM REVO makes it effective to get to that data. While a traditional PLM system may offer ways to upload information like spec sheets and tech packs, Exenta PLM REVO allows a designer to build all of this within the system itself. The designer can make changes right in the system and avoid re-uploading tedious information. Although remote work may have accelerated due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many designers anticipate that they will be working remotely indefinitely, and to support the success and productivity of their design talent , brands need to invest in systems that are collaborative and easy to access.

Exenta PLM REVO is cloud based, allowing all users to access information in real-time on any device. The Daily Chronicle study found that the “introduction of the cloud has had a significant impact on the PLM market. PLM in the cloud is a helpful tool for product data management because it allows manufacturers to consolidate information about product development, streamline change orders and requests and improve communication with suppliers.” Taking the user experience to a whole new level, PLM REVO eliminates much of the tedious data entry to keep designers creative and automates time-consuming processes to speed products to market and simplify global collaboration. Exenta PLM REVO is extremely flexible and supports collaboration in every step of the design process, so that designers can get their products to market efficiently and effectively, even from home.

See how Exenta PLM REVO can revolutionize your design process. Request a custom demo today.

Sustainable Fashion & Why It Matters in 2020

Sustainable Fashion & Why It Matters in 2020

What is Sustainable Fashion?
In the past few years, sustainability has been on an upward trend. But what does it mean? Sustainable fashion refers to the movement and process of designing, manufacturing, and distributing clothing in an environmentally ethical way that does the least amount of damage to the planet possible.

With the rise of fast fashion came the realization that the planet is suffering now more than ever due to our production and buying habits. The growth of ethical consumption has pushed large fashion retailers such as Zara and H&M to roll out sustainability initiatives, but is that enough? How can companies that aren’t fast fashion giants move toward a more ethical and sustainable way of production that is also cost effective?

Sustainability in 2020
According to the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply. Since 2000, clothing production has nearly doubled. In the US, the EPA estimates that although the textile recycling industry recycles 3.8 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW), the vast majority of PCTW, 85%, ends up in a dump. Fast fashion has helped increase consumption – people bought 60% more garments in 2014 than in 2000 – but it also causes more closet turnover as consumers keep clothing for half as long.

The rise in fast fashion has put production quantity and speed above the health of the planet, and pressure for companies to keep up with consumer demand has continued to grow. The Fashion Law states that by 2030, the industry’s water consumption will grow by 50 percent to 31.17 trillion gallons, its carbon footprint will increase to 2,791 million tons and the amount of waste it creates will hit 148 million tons.

As stats continue to rise and receive more attention, consumers are becoming educated about the fashion industry’s impact on the planet. Millennial and Gen Z consumers are learning about sustainability in school, focusing on how future generations of consumers can shop more consciously and how future designers and manufacturers can cut down on pollution and waste.

Consumers and designers alike are realizing it is important now more than ever to make sustainability a priority. In fact, nearly three fourths of fashion and retail leaders recognize more sustainable measures are needed in the fashion industry, as per a poll conducted by search firm Odgers Berndston. Large retailers such as H&M, Zara, Gap and PVH Corp are all examples of major names in fashion making new promises to consumers about reducing their negative environmental impact.

The Toxic Supply Chain Model in the Fashion Industry

The fast fashion model is designed to mass manufacture, produce and distribute new product every two weeks. However, this supply chain model can lead to overproduction and large amounts of waste. According to the New York Times, fast fashion giant H&M reported a global excess inventory of $4.3 billion in 2018. Luxury brands have also contributed to this problem as millions of dollars’ worth of designer clothing and bags were burned last year to keep profit margins high and continue operating their supply chain model. If these practices continue, the fashion industry could top the list of global pollutants and consume a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. The fashion industry is currently responsible for a tenth of humanity’s carbon emissions through manufacturing and distribution alone. But with increasing consumer demand for more sustainable products and a rising focus around eco-friendly practices, the fashion world is taking steps to lessen its negative impact on the environment.

A Push Towards Change
As the fashion industry’s environmental impact has come to light, consumer demand for more sustainable practices and new technology are pushing change. Major fashion retailers are moving toward greater transparency around production and supply chain behaviors. Fashion United states that in 2019, both H&M and Amazon published details regarding their supply chains for the first time. These fashions giants are not the only ones working towards change. Fashion and soft goods companies around the world of all different sizes are looking to simplify their supply chain and cut back on waste in a way that is affordable and beneficial to all parties involved in their specific supply chain processes.

How Exenta Can Transform Your Supply Chain and Reduce Your Environmental Impact
Exenta’s Supply Chain Management Software provides this solution to companies of all different sizes each with personalized and complex supply chains. Exenta SCM software is the simplest path from concept to consumer. Exenta provides a comprehensive set of tools for managing fashion supply chains that help promote sustainability and efficiency on the shop floor.

Our solutions are currently enhancing the lives and livelihoods of more than 40,000 users worldwide, while helping brands reduce material waste and improve efficiency in all aspects of product development and manufacturing. Exenta SCM technology provides the real-time information you need to make critical decisions that affect you, your customers, and your bottom line. This prevents miscommunication, which in turn reduces overproduction. Real-time visibility across your supply chain helps you continuously optimize operational decisions while balancing competing demands for cost, speed, and quality.

Let Exenta streamline your supply chain and reduce your environmental impact. Request a custom demo today.

What is Fast Fashion?  An in-Depth look for what the future holds for this segment of the apparel industry

What is Fast Fashion? An in-Depth look for what the future holds for this segment of the apparel industry

What is Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion can be defined as high trend clothing at low cost that pulls ideas from the runway or celebrity closets and produces these styles at high speed to meet consumer demand. Since fast fashion collections are based off of the most current trends, they do not follow a seasonal product cycle, instead introducing new product every few weeks. Before the 1990’s, shopping was seen as a more occasional event, and there was a distinct difference between high fashion and consumer wear. In the last 20 years, production increased, clothing became cheaper, and high fashion became accessible to everyone. For example, fast fashion giant Zara creates a design, produces, markets and distributes the final item to over 2,000 of its stores (as well as its ecommerce site) in just two weeks. Online retailers, often nicknamed “ultra-fast fashion”, have an even faster turnaround. Coresight Research published a report stating that online retailers such as Missguided, Boohoo and Fashion Nova launch nearly 900 styles every week.

Fast fashion has established itself as a strong and influential presence, both in stores and online, through its speed and flexibility. These characteristics are clearly reflected in its hold on the global market. According to Fashion United, the global apparel industry holds an industry market value of 406 billion dollars and a market share of 4 percent. Fast-fashion giant Inditex, which owns Zara, Pull&Bear, and other fast fashion retailers, is the third largest fast fashion company worldwide with a market value of nearly 92 billion dollars.

Fast fashion pre-pandemic
Before the Coronavirus pandemic, fast fashion was projected to continue increasing exponentially in market value. According to MarketLine, the global apparel industry had been growing at a 4.78% rate each year since 2011. In 2017, the industry was valued at nearly $1.4 trillion dollars in sales and showed no signs of slowing down, with a projected 5.91% yearly growth over the next three years. By 2020, the market size of the apparel industry was expected to reach $1.65 trillion sales in US dollars worldwide, a 60% increase in market size since 2011. A report by McKinsey stated that the world was consuming an excess of 100 billion pieces of clothing a year. Fast fashion retailers, including H&M, Forever21 and Zara, were rapidly expanding their online presence, reaching consumers across the globe.

The impact of Covid-19
The Coronavirus pandemic has dramatically impacted the ongoing success of the global apparel industry. As countries went into lockdown, consumption quickly declined, brick and mortar stores closed their doors, and massive retailers like Forever 21 and J.Crew filed for bankruptcy. Beginning in March, sales in clothing and accessories dropped by nearly half. This marketplace contraction continued into the months that followed, with consumers quickly altering their buying behaviors and thinking twice before making purchases. Fast fashion, however, did not experience the same sharp drops in revenue. These companies were able to adapt more rapidly to consumers’ need to shop online because they already had three factors working in their favor: established ecommerce sites, solid procesess to manage transactions, shipping and returns, and a strong, loyal base of online customers. Zara, for example, reported an increase of 50% in online sales in Q1 2020 and a 95% increase in online sales in April 2020.

So how have fast fashion retailers stayed afloat? Or even, how have they come out ahead?

How fast fashion is staying ahead
According to the New York Times, clothing sales fell 79 percent in April in the United States, the largest drop on record. However, purchases of sweatpants were up 80 percent. Fast fashion retailers quickly evolved with the unprecedented times, designing and manufacturing loungewear to meet the sudden rise in demand. Loungewear and athletic wear retailers with affordable prices and quick turnaround began to show a substantial increase in sales, while fashion retail giants continued to go under.

Fast fashion is an extremely agile segment of the market, quickly adapting to changing consumer behavior and the global landscape. Digital platforms have become the new normal for the fashion industry, with large retailers going primarily online, and fashion shows around the world being projected through a screen. A strong online presence has now become essential to success as a fashion retailer, and that has only become more imperative with the Coronavirus pandemic keeping consumers home.

The fast fashion retailers offering a variety of product on their websites are forced to turn to heavy discounts and promotions in order to push the loads of product left from summer out to make room for fall and winter product quickly coming in. As a result, consumers have been able to worry less about their budgeting aspects as clothing has become more affordable.

Making Sustainability a Priority
This disruption in the supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic further exposed just how wasteful some fashion companies are, as they were forced to dispose of thousands of pounds of clothes never purchased. While it is no secret that fast fashion coincides with a numerous amount of environmental and ethical issues, consumers began to pay closer attention to the facts. According to Vogue, the industry as a whole is responsible for over 92 million tons of waste dumped in landfalls per year. Fast fashion retailers have begun to increase their efforts to address these problems and have announced new sustainability models. Zara, H&M, Mango, and others have launched a new wave of green initiatives involving reduced water and energy use, materials and products to be recycled or sustainably sourced, offset carbon and cut greenhouse gas emissions by a certain percent over the next ten to fifty years.

As more consumers make sustain ability a priority, designers are reducing the number of collections released each year. Like many others, trending designer Jacquemus no longer has separate menswear and womenswear collections to cut down on waste and allow designers more time to create pieces. With this fewer pieces and collections to mirror, fast-fashion is having to look elsewhere for inspiration. The rise of influencers on digital platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube is quickly filling this gap. Brands have been experimenting with influencers collaboration for several years, as it has grown in popularity since 2010 when Instagram first launched. Due to the pandemic, consumers have been more present than ever on social media, and buying has become heavily influenced by the stylists that consumers follow on social media channels. Fast fashion retailer NastyGal recently launched a collaboration with Swedish-based Instagram influencer Josephine H.J. that sold out in a few days.
How can fast fashion continue to evolve and grow profitably to meet consumer expectations?

Innovating the fast fashion supply chain
Fast fashion retailers deliver new products to market in as little as two weeks, so brands with better-than-average supply chain visibility through technology enjoy more opportunities to profit from changing trends than supply chain laggards. To move this quickly, brand owners use Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software to accelerate design, development and sourcing while fostering greater supply chain collaboration. PLM helps brands streamline approvals, change management, line selection, vendor quotes and bids, compliance and other global processes.

As consumers demand even faster and more innovative products, retailers must evolve quickly to meet these needs. To remain competitive in this fast-paced market, companies need a PLM that turbocharges their product lifecycle. Exenta PLM software for the fashion industry eliminates much of the tedious data entry to keep designers creative and automates time-consuming processes to speed products to market and simplify global collaboration.

With the continued decline of traditional department stores, fast fashion companies now have the opportunity to take over a new segment of the market. As fast fashion continues to grow with this new opportunity, a streamlined and efficient workflow for retailers is essential. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) provide complete visibility into inventory levels of production supplies and finished garments. Our WMS fashion software delivers the solutions needed to accelerate product development by speeding operations, increasing productivity, and ensuring accuracy during production.

Exenta provides a comprehensive set of tools for managing fashion supply chains that help promote sustainability and efficiency on the shop floor. Our solutions are currently enhancing the lives and livelihoods of more than 40,000 users worldwide, while helping brands reduce material waste and improve efficiency in all aspects of product development and manufacturing.

Be a part of the future with us. Schedule a custom demo today.

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.