8 Things To Consider Before Purchasing Your New Apparel Management Software

So you are thinking about changing your apparel management system. But do you know what business issues need to be addressed when selecting your new software? Given the range of capabilities available with modern business management technology, there are many factors to consider to ensure that all of the functionality you are looking for can be covered by the features of your new software system.

Being the best within your design area is not enough.

You also need to be the most effective.  

Whether you operate a small business or an enterprise-level company, the goal is the same — improved business productivity and business intelligence. When buying apparel management software is on the horizon for your business, evaluate the following features to ensure implementation success:

Supplier Portal

Any component, material or color in the right quantity can be crucial to the quality and popularity of your product. However, if your production is completely or partially outsourced, it is a challenge to ensure that all materials and components are available at the appropriate time and in the right number. With a Supplier Portal you can exchange information online with your suppliers in any phase of you product life cycle. As soon as you enter a change in the specification of a product, your supplier can see the same information on any browser, even on a mobile device.

Integrated Accounting

Having one software system instead of two (or three or four…) is great!

OK, we know everyone loves QuickBooks, yet business management is much more efficient when accountants and operations managers are working within the same system. In addition to all the technical (and financial) benefits of developing and supporting one system instead of several, integrated apparel management software will easily allow you to complete both your accounting-related tasks, such as billing and AR and your production tasks, such as managing supply chain, entering orders and managing availability.

B2B Webshop: Interact directly with retailers

The retail business – your customers – often need to know when they can get a new item, when they just sold the last one. They always need the information immediately as their customer is waiting at the counter. With a B2BWebshop, you can interact directly with your retailers, your own stores or your customers. Store staff can, for example, check whether an item is in stock or expected delivery date directly from the store. It is also possible to make orders via the Internet outside the office without having to call or fax.

B2C Webshop: Interact directly with consumers

People shop at all hours of the day.  Typically a webshop raises many questions about graphic design and hit rates, but most people tend to forget the most important question – the integration to ERP:

  • How are we going to maintain products and prices in both in ERP and on the web?
  • How do we manage availability?

A B2C Webshop should offer all of these features: CMS, SEO optimization, wish list, gift cards, customer club, my page, and more.  It should be browser independent and work on touch devices like smartphones and tablets and have a user-friendly environment.

Access Anywhere

First of all, if your software is on your premises – can you access it online, out of the office, using another computer if needed? We are witnessing the rise of cloud solutions, and more business management software is becoming web-based. Still, you should check if you can access it using different web browsers (Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) and if mobile devises are supported. Even if your software is not web-based but used on-premises, it still should be accessible through the web, on tablets and smartphones, so as not to tie you to the office.

Ease of Use & Training

Be sure that your new software provider not only trains your team on the new software, but has also prepared software-training materials you can use later on your own. The idiom “in one ear and out the other” was created with a reason… In order to use all the features your software provides, you need to know what’s there and HOW to use it! Therefore it is essential that your provider will spend enough time on training and that training materials have self-serve access.

Professional Support

Support is very important during the software set-up and the first steps in using the new software. Most of our customers are very active during the first month after they go-live with new software; later the flow of questions decreases. But it is also great to have somebody answering your questions quickly, despite your having used the software for years. Support can be provided through various channels – email, helpdesk system, phone, on-site or remote support.

Reporting

As your business grows, reports become a must-have in your software. It is essential for both accounting and production management. Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, budget reports, order tracking – these are just a few reports needed by every operations manager. Static reports are good, but great systems will provide you with the ability to customize reports and compile them according to your own needs.

Choosing the best apparel management software for your company is not easy.

To request a demo of TRIMIT Fashion, contact us and an Admiral Executive will schedule a complimentary business consultation to help ease your selection process.

To contact Kat Wuethrich, Client Relations Associate at Admiral Consulting Group, e-mail kwuethrich@admiral-usa.com or call 732-257-7440 ext 238.

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