Operating in the age of fast fashion requires technology to keep up. Consumers expect their clothes to be on trend, low in price, in good condition and ready to wear. Infor CloudSuite Fashion is an apparel ERP solution that can integrate with other business systems, requires no modifications to support product configuration, and helps fashion manufacturers grow and sustain their business.
Modernization strategies depend on an efficient implementation. If you are thinking of implementing Infor CloudSuite Fashion, there are important considerations that can affect your implementation.
With any ERP implementation, data is always key. This is more critical for fashion manufacturers, especially when moving from a legacy system.
Some key considerations include:
- Your retail calendar and the number of seasons to bring into M3
- Geographic locations
- Inventory, units, and styles
- Customer / vendor volumes
Understanding the volumes and what is being brought into M3 is one of the first tasks to consider. Best practice, for example, is to only bring in valid and operational seasons and SKUs, however this can be complex and the deeper you investigate the more data volumes will increase.
Our recommendation is at least three passes of data before loading to any production system. Each pass should go through 4 stages:
- Extraction from the existing system
- Cleansing and review
- Validation and sign-off
Through each load the data will become cleaner and contain fewer errors. The final data load at cutover will be fully validated and production-ready.
Implementors who understand fashion and the data required can enable optimal loading strategies and data validation processes to help achieve a faster more efficient implementation.
2. Operational Processes
Many businesses, prior to an ERP implementation project, focus a lot of energy and resources on understanding the existing operating model of the business. Whilst it is important to understand how the business operates, it can also be time consuming. A pitfall we often see is clients end up building a replica of the system they already have, instead of the ERP needed to compete in the future.
Infor Implementation Accelerator delivers predefined but easily configurable menus, processes, templates, training, and more, specific to the needs of mid-sized fashion companies. Infor Implementation Accelerator is based on industry best practices and extensive industry expertise, allowing organizations to put comprehensive core functions to use immediately without reconfiguration.
Having the right teams for your Fashion ERP Implementation is key. The client’s team should have a mix of:
- Executive / Leadership
- Process Leads
- Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
The implementation teams should have the right blend of experience in fashion, plus leadership, functional, and technical consultancy.
4. Infor Implementation Accelerator
Planning and implementing (end-to-end) Infor Implementation Accelerator can deliver the value and benefits of the integrated Infor Fashion solution faster and more cost-effectively than many full-blown implementations using traditional implementation techniques. Infor Implementation Accelerator is a flexible solution that gets your business up and running quickly while forming the foundation for an on-going process of continuous improvement. It delivers value via:
Quick implementation. By pre-configuring more than 70 percent of core processes, Infor M3 Fashion is flexible enough to adapt to your unique requirements
Industry best practice processes. Infor Implementation Accelerator is based on the experience Infor has gained from hundreds of projects
Reduced risk. Using the Infor Deployment Methodology to refine your pre-configured solution step by step, fewer personnel need to be involved in developing the project scope and implementing the solution. Instead, you can focus on helping users become proficient in the application
Foundation for future success. Infor Implementation Accelerator is ideal for companies that want to implement Infor Fashion applications rapidly and easily but envision future growth and need long-term scalability and continuous improvement.
Lower overall total cost of ownership. With Infor Implementation Accelerator, your Infor Fashion solution can be less costly with lower risk, and faster time to benefit.
Typical Phases involve:
- Prototype 1 (Alpha)
- Prototype 2 (Beta)
- Prototype 3 (Beta Final)
- Test / UAT / Go-live
The go-live event is the start or your journey, and it’s never too early to think about your post go-live support. While ERP is critical to efficient operations, it’s typically not the core strength of internal teams. Managed Services can sustain the power and value of your Infor software investment by reducing costs and enabling maintenance and support activities to be delivered remotely.
Infor CloudSuite™ Fashion delivers cloud on-demand computing as a service with rich industry-specific functionality to cover your unique business needs. It is built specifically for apparel, footwear, home textile, and fashion accessories companies and supports all core processes for manufacturers, brand owner, or a private brand retailer. Infor® CloudSuite Fashion can help shorten time to the consumer, seamlessly manage global operations, make operations leaner, and help fashion organizations profitably grow their business.
Paul Cornhill is a Project Manager at Avaap UK. He has 20+ years of experience implementing enterprise business software, including Infor M3, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and IBM. He has worked in the Fashion, Healthcare, Banking, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Distribution and Retail sectors.