Friday, November 4, 2016

WMS Tip: Reduce Inventory Shrinkage with Apparel Management Software

Today’s fashion ERP systems can be leveraged to help you better control inventory, which includes reducing or even eliminating inventory shrinkage problems.

If you own an apparel or footwear business, you may be heavily invested in inventory. If so then you probably are dealing with inventory shrinkage. Shrinkage is the difference between the amount of inventory listed in your accounting records and the amount that is actually on your shelves. In today’s challenging economy, avoiding inventory shrinkage is an easy way to increase profits and prevent a host of problems including:

  • The people in your sales department promising your customers apparel or footwear that appears to be in stock but isn’t actually available to deliver
  • The additional cost to replace the missing material
  • Paying your employees to search for missing products

4 key causes of shrinking inventory

  • Theft: This is the number one cause of a shrinking inventory, and it often comes from employees who help themselves to your stock.
  • Careless record keeping: If everyone involved is not attentive to recording all transactions, it affects inventory.
  • Errors: When a shipping clerk packs seven pairs of shoes instead of six, or you return a dozen boxes of buttons to your supplier but only reduce your inventory by one box, you are causing inventory discrepancies.
  • Vendor Fraud: A dishonest vendor bills you for a quantity of material but ships less than promised 

Solutions for inventory shrinkage

Minimizing inventory shrinkage starts with accurate inventory tracking. This is accomplished with frequent cycle counting and the use of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that is optimized for the apparel and footwear industry and is fully integrated with warehouse and inventory management components. This ensures that inventory numbers are up to date and accurate across all systems, and will improve key aspects of your fashion business operations, including reduced inventory, better customer service, and fewer data entry errors.

While it may not be possible to totally prevent inventory shrinkage, you can significantly reduce it by having a strong knowledge of your inventory status. An ERP system, specifically designed for your fashion enterprise, will assist you in keeping accurate counts at all locations and verify the quantity of items in your shipments, thus avoiding most “honest” shrinkage. And transparent and methodical procedures, along with well-trained and trustworthy employees, will go a long way to reducing “dishonest” loss.

Need a better Warehouse Management System to Control Your Inventory?

If you need a better WMS to control your apparel or footwear inventory, or if you are considering upgrading to world class enterprise system for your fashion business then contact us online or call us at 610-967-5821. We'll be happy to learn about your needs and provide a demo so you can decide if Xperia's apparel management software is right for you.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Analyze Data with Fashion Business Intelligence Software

Business Intelligence Software for the Fashion Industry
Your fashion business collects a large amount of data from its operations. Without Business Intelligence (BI) software to keep track of that information, you would need to use a variety of software programs--Excel, Access and some database applications--for various departments in the organization. These multiple software programs make it a challenge to retrieve information quickly and to perform analysis of the data.

BI software for your apparel or footwear enterprise is designed to make effective use of data and information so that your business can make sound decisions. Its primary goal is to extract important data from your fashion organization's raw data to reveal insights that can then help you make faster and more accurate decisions.

BI software integrates data from all areas of your business and provides end-users with reports and analysis. Your apparel or footwear company gets a better understanding of its strengths and weaknesses. It helps your management team to better see the relationship between different data, which allows for better decision-making and optimal deployment of resources. Business Intelligence fashion software plays a key role in the strategic planning process of the company.

Fashion BI encompasses the following elements:
  • Reports: accessing, formatting, and delivering data inside and outside the organization
  • Analysis: identifying patterns and establishing relationships in a group of data
  • Data mining: the extraction of original information from data
  • Data quality and interpretation: the correlation between data and the objects they represent
  • Predictive analysis: the attempt to predict probabilities and trends

Make Better Decisions with BI
BI can give your fashion business the ability to make better decisions by quickly understanding the various sources of information in the company and how these interact with each other. The information can include customer databases, supply chain information, personnel data, manufacturing, product data, sales and marketing activity, as well as any other source of information critical to your operation.

BI applications for your footwear or apparel company include integration and data cleansing functions. These allow disparate data sources to be integrated into a single coherent framework for reporting and detailed analysis by employees, managers, and executives.

Are You Ready to Move Up to Fashion BI Software?
If you're considering BI software for your fashion business, please contact Xperia Solutions today!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Xperia Announces Uniform Management System with Employee Ordering Portal

Xperia Solutions now offers a complete uniform management system (UMS) for uniform and career apparel manufacturers and suppliers. It includes features enabling their customers and their customers' employees to place orders through a company-branded online portal linked directly to the ERP back end.

Fully integrated with Xperia's Apparel ERP Software

Uniform management system is integrated with apparel ERP software
Developed as a fully-integrated extension to Xperia's powerful industry-specific apparel ERP system, the uniform management software enables uniform and career apparel manufacturers, as well as embroidery and screen printing shops of all sizes, to significantly streamline their order processing, manufacturing and shipping processes, resulting in faster throughput and reduced operating costs.

Xperia's ERP system is fully scalable and has been used by some of the world's most successful apparel companies, including multi-national firms with $billions in annual sales. ERP modules include Order Processing and EDI, Customer Management, Supply Chain Management, WMS and Inventory Control, Manufacturing, and a full-featured Accounting Management suite.

Branded Self-Service Uniform Ordering Portal

Xperia's white-labelled B2B online ordering portal makes it easy for uniform and career apparel companies to create separate websites appropriately branded for each of their customer accounts, and linked to each account's pricing and business rules, thereby creating a competitive advantage to help uniform and image apparel companies acquire new customers.

Portal set up is quick and easy, and includes a bulk-import feature for uploading employee information and related data such as the employee's uniform budget, wardrobe (the clothing associated with their role), and the rules for handling budget overages, such as whether to prevent the overage, deduct the overage as a payroll deduction, or to allow employees to charge overages to their personal credit cards.

By allowing employees to personally enter their uniform orders, supervisors and HR personnel are freed from the tedium and time normally associated with this burdensome task.

Employee Packaging

Employee uniform shipments can be sent to the company's business address or directly to the employee's home.  Orders can also be entered by supervisors for multiple employees, in which case the software produces employee labels for each garment as well as carton labels and packing slips indicating the garments to be distributed to each employee. Production tracking visibility is also provided at the employee level, as well as by other variations to speed order processing through the shop.

Embroidery and Screen Printing Capacity Planning Breakthrough

Embroidery and screen printing operations are unusually machine-dependent in terms of their impact on shop capacity. Xperia's UMS provides detailed machine-level capacity information, including variables for average stitches per minute, number of heads, average set up time, and more.

The Shop Scheduling software then takes into account machine speed as well as the number of stitches per logo, per garment, and per order, and indicates how much time will be required to run the order through various machines, as well as providing the current backlog on each machine. The manager can then assign the order to the optimal machine, thereby minimizing backlog and speeding throughput of the right orders at the right time.

Consolidated Company Invoicing Across Employee Orders

With Xperia's Uniform Management System, career and uniform companies can provide their customers with consolidated invoicing, as well as detailed information all the way down to the employee order line item level.

Built-In Artwork and Order Approval System

Xperia's UMS contains an easy-to-use approval system to ensure that orders containing new logos or based on new garments are not released until the customer has indicated their approval. Approval workflow rules can be copied from pre-defined workflows, or created on-the-fly.

Learn More About Xperia's Uniform Management System

To learn more about how Xperia's Uniform Management System can speed throughput and improve workflow while helping your uniform, career, or image apparel company gain a real competitive advantage, contact us online or call (610) 967-5821.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Why You Need Fashion-Specific ERP for Your Apparel or Footwear Business

Xperia’s ComprehensivTM Enterprise (ERP) System has been built from the ground up to meet the unique needs and challenges of today’s apparel and footwear industry. From startups to multi-billion dollar corporations, fashion and uniform companies of all sizes can enjoy the benefits of Xperia’s incredibly robust, reliable and scalable industry-specific solution.

But why is it important for clothing and footwear suppliers and manufacturers to choose an enterprise system designed specifically for their industry? Unlike other products, apparel and footwear items come in a variety of colors, sizes, and dimensions. Simply put, if your database and applications are not optimized to address that reality, then you will be in for a lot of duplication of effort!

Consider, for example, that a single garment style such as a shirt or pair of pants can be offered in multiple colors and sizes, and in multiple dimensions by size (think of inseam lengths for a size 32 waist, or sleeve lengths for a dress shirt). Likewise, shoes may come in a multitude of colors, sizes and widths for a single shoe style.

With typical enterprise software, you would be required to set up each variation of the style separately, AND, if something changes such as the cost, description, or other specifications, then the change must then be applied to every color, size and dimension. That can be a lot of work, and it opens the door to data inconsistency.

By contrast, with Xperia’s industry-specific enterprise system, you only enter style-related information once, and then define size, color, and dimension overrides as needed, which is super-efficient both up front and in the event of changes!

We refer to this ease-of-use feature as the Style Matrix. It applies not only to how styles are defined, but also to how information is stored for sales orders, purchase orders, manufacturing orders and more. 

The style matrix makes it easy to answer questions like these:
·      What are the total sales for this style?
·      What are the sales by size and by color?
·      How much inventory do I have for this style in total, and by color and size?
·      What colors are selling the fastest?
·      What sizes am I running low on?
·      And so on …

So now it should be clear why you need an enterprise system that is optimized for your industry.  You can learn more about Xperia’s fashion-optimized ERP software at