Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 13

The 8 Must-Haves

of an ERP System

ERP BUYERS GUIDE


The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

ERP systems have numerous components, functions and ways to be deployed.


When its time to select the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that will support your
business operations in the fashion, apparel, footwear and accessories industry, finding the right
ERP system for your needs can be a daunting task. Dont get bogged down by the endless
options; in fact, we would argue that there are only eight critical functions to consider.
In our recent survey of over 100 key influencers in the fashion and apparel industry, 25 ERP
Trends Shaping the Fashion and Apparel Industry Report, we learned what decision-makers
consider to be the eight must have requirements for a successful ERP selection.
1. PROCESS INTEGRATION

For apparel companies, this means knowing the status of all of your orders, their
production schedule and the fastest, most economical supply chain path to get them to your
customer whether thats a demanding retailer or consumer. Your in-house business processes
and global supply chain operations should also be centralized and integrated enough to manage
critical business transactions, including everything from customer orders to deliveries, planning to
production and raw materials to finished products, as well as everything in-between.

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

In the past, the apparel industry typically worked on only two- or four-season cycles, but now
consumer expectations require a continuous flow of merchandise throughout the year.
People used to shop less frequently, says Linda Fargo, the senior vice president of famed
New York department store Bergdorf Goodman. But now, the consumer is always
shopping online or coming back to the store, and they dont want to see the same thing.
Supporting this need could require more software vendors, more logistics providers, more capital
and more merchandising. However, an ERP system that integrates all of this data and produces
key decision-making results can provide your company with a streamlined and more agile
competitive edge. For this reason and the clear cost-savings, business integration is a primary goal
of 37 percent of the respondents to the ERP Trends survey.
According to a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), only 18 percent of apparel
companies surveyed have removed operational silos in their organizations. Business silos in
apparel organizations continue to be one of the biggest barriers to operational performance,
effective communication, speed to market and profitability.
By implementing a next-generation ERP system, companies have the ability to automate and
integrate internal and external processes to ensure one version of the truth, no matter where the
information is gathered and storedthereby eliminating operational silos.
Working from the same database of information, companies are able to make better and moreefficient business decisions, collaborate more effectively, shorten time to market and improve
productivity.

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

2. ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE CAPABILITIES

As an apparel business, you have tons of valuable information, but what do you do with it and what
does it all mean? Detailed analytics and rapid report availability is key. The easier the ERP
software is for executives and everyday users to transform the data into real actionable intelligence
and insight, the easier day-to-day business processes are managed.
The latest ERP systems offer actionable intelligence tools to understand what is happening in the
business right now and how you can move forward. Its one step further than whats been called
business intelligence, which is just the culmination of data. Many organizations are now thinking
about how to make the leap from spreadsheet-based data and business intelligence to a more
real-time, dashboard-based analytics environment.

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

In a recent ERP survey, apparel professionals were asked about their strategic goals and areas for
improvement and technology investment agendas for 2016. Survey respondents overwhelmingly
indicated (92 percent) that they plan to maintain or increase their spending on analytical
capabilities.
Nows the time to use intelligence tools to tap into that rich pool of data, sitting unexamined
on your ERP system. The prize? Increased visibility into what actually makes your business
tick.Thomas Wailgum, ERP and BI: A Match Made in Heaven, If You're in Data Hell,
CIO.com
Intelligence and data that are actionable drive better business decisions to improve customer
service, profitability and growth.

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

3. INTEGRATED EDI

If you are a supplier to large retailers, it's likely that you have incurred some form of chargeback
due to a non-compliance event, such as an incorrect ASN. Perhaps this is a recurring problem for
your business that is driving down your margins and negatively impacting your scorecard
performance with your most strategic accounts.
Put simply, mastering retail compliance is becoming crucial for suppliers that want to continue
working with retail partners. Suppliers that don't comply with requirements are unlikely to have
future opportunities with their retail partners.
Non-compliance can be significantly disruptive to a companys bottom-line performance, given the
unbudgeted cost offsets that are incurred for nonperformance. Even if a company budgets for
seemingly inevitable charges, the margins of the business will be negatively impacted.
An ERP with fully integrated and automated EDI capabilities eliminates the need for expensive
third-party EDI translation software or services, and ensures that purchase orders, invoices,
shipping, inventory and other critical business documents meet retail compliance requirements,
while improving relationships and profitability.

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

4. VERTICALIZATION

When embarking on an ERP implementation, its essential for your software and service provider
to know your business. Every industry has its own requirements; from terminology to specific
functionality, and a one-size-fits-all ERP will leave you with many gaps and needed
customizations. Customizations are expensive and difficult to maintain over time as system
updates are released.
Whether you're in a specialized vertical such as footwear or are a well-known apparel
manufacturer, ensure your ERP provider is an industry expert. Start the discussion at a business
level and evaluate how a specific ERP solution will be able to help you achieve your specific
business needs. Consider the core values of your ERP vendor if you are looking for a true
business partner.

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

5. CLOUD HOSTING

If you aren't already using cloud applications consider implementing your ERP in the cloud or
replacing some of your legacy systems with more modern cloud-based platforms. Moving to the
cloud is one of the top eight strategic goals of respondents to the ERP Trends survey.
In its 2016 ERP Report, Panorama Consulting found that cloud-hosted ERP systems are
making the shift from trendy buzzword to industry norm.
The question is no longer about whether or not the cloud trend will continue, but it is instead about
which organizations will move in this direction and which ones wont." Panorama Consulting, ERP
Report, 2016
Cloud-hosted ERP has significant cost and operational benefits related to several of the "musthaves" identified and is becoming increasingly more attractive for companies looking to implement
an ERP system. Cloud-hosted ERP is rapidly taking market share from traditional on-prem and
SaaS-based applications. According to the 2016 IDC Cloud Spending Report, cloud infrastructure
investment will top $52 billion by 2019, representing 46 percent of total IT infrastructure spend.

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

6. FLEXIBILITY AND ADAPTABILITY

In the fast-paced world of apparel, every ERP must be flexible enough to support changing
business models such as direct-to-consumer distribution strategies, increasing supply chain
complexities, social and ethical compliance requirements and growing governmental regulations.
Review the areas of your operation, which will likely change in line with market needs on a regular
basis. Will the ERP system you select be able to accommodate adjustments to specifications,
internal processes, changes in business strategy, industry trends or customer needs?
In todays competitive landscape, apparel companies experience constant regulatory
challenges, pressure to be innovative and expectations for growth," says Daniel Erickson
forERP Focus.
Furthermore, flexible and robust integrated multi-channel planning capabilities can maximize sales
and margins by reducing stock-outs and mark-downs. Detailed assortment plans are used to
translate the overall plan into the most appropriate and profitable mix for each unique distribution
channel, based on specific customer preferences and needs.
In addition, keeping the ERP system running smoothly and supporting users on a daily basis is
critical to all phases of your operation. Where will you and your ERP provider's staff be

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

located? Fashion industry operations tend to be global and around-the-clock. Find a true business
partner that meets your needs now and as your business evolves and grows.
Questions to ask:

Will the partner provide managed cloud services so we can worry less about
maintenance and support and spend more time focusing on business?
Can the partner support adding locations, ad-hoc deployments and international
expansion?
Does the partner always include disaster recovery, patch management and systems
upgrades?
Does the partner have verified expertise in level 1 - 3 support for ERP systems?
Can the partner deliver the highest security tier (level 4) to all of our locations?

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

10

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

7. MOBILITY

Every one inside and outside your organization wants the flexibility of working and shopping with
their choice of mobile device. Your sourcing team needs to be able to update the ERP system on a
tablet while visiting vendors. Your compliance team needs to be able to conduct factory audits on a
mobile device. Your sales team needs to be able to engage retail buyers faster, make visually
compelling presentations and confirm orders on any device, anywhere, anytime.
74% of top performing companies support the use of mobile applications and
technologies,Aberdeen Group Research Report, 2015
Employees and executives need the tools and flexibility of working on-the-go and not be tied to
their desks. Your customers want to order your products from their mobile phones and
tablets. Mobility is now an imperative for the entire end-to-end product lifecycle. The integration
among the ERP, your eCommerce operation, sales applications and other solutions is crucial.
The apparel industry is changing as fast as technology. And as technology devices and
capabilities have grown, mobile and role-based apps are becoming the newest gamechangers. Applying them is a logical and crucial step in the apparel maker's evolution; it's

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

11

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

hard to find reasons why an apparel manufacturer concerned with its brand wouldn't go
mobile." Apparel Magazine
With the advent of Apple Watch and other smart watches, companies and vendors are also
exploring how to best deliver ERP application information to wearable devices in 2016 and beyond.

8. CONSUMERIZATION

Finally, what does your ERP user interface and experience look like? Is it intuitive and easy to
use?
"Although ERP vendors were slow to get on the social media bandwagon, the integration of social
networking tools with an ERP system can enable better communication and increase productivity
beyond emails capabilities," observes TEC (Technology Evaluation Centers) in its 2015 report,
The Makings of a Great ERP User Experience.
BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

12

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

With social networking communication tracking and storage, the data is stored within the context of
peoples work, so the information can be better cataloged and organized for later use than is
currently possible in an email-centric environment.
TEC, The Makings of a Great ERP User Experience, 2015
ERP vendors are increasingly moving toward making the system module screens work more like
social mediaFacebook and Twitter style. Social media and customer interaction have more of an
impact on business decisions than ever before. Will your sourcing team be able to see the latest
Instagram feed, images of your production concepts and adjust their buying to respond to
customer feedback? This will require more varied insights and analysis of "big data" to keep you
ahead of the fashion curve.
All eight of these ERP functions should be reviewed in your system requirements, software
demonstrations and evaluation process. Then, prioritize them based on your business
objectives. Keep them in plain sight, and review and revise them as often as necessary
during your ERP selection and implementation process.

BlueCherry Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a best-in-class solution that provides a


comprehensive set of tools to power your fundamental business processes and manage all of your
critical business transactions, including everything from customer orders to deliveries, planning to
production, raw materials to finished products and everything in between.

For more information or to speak with a CGS representative call 1 (212)-408-3800


or email applications@cgsinc.com

BUYERS GUIDE: The 8 Must-Haves of an ERP System

13