Fashion moves fast – can your software keep up?

by Infor Retail April 12, 2018 Digital Transformation

Three ingredients for fashion industry transformation

It used to be there were just two seasons in the fashion calendar. Then it was four. And now, well, some brands seem to introduce a new collection each week.

Why? Because consumers are highly connected, draw inspiration from a world of influencers and media, and are hungry for new products, more variety, greater customization, and the ability to make purchases whenever and wherever they want. It’s placed the fashion industry under constant pressure to produce fresh, original, and distinctive products – quickly, and at often at the lowest possible price.

But the supply chain isn’t short, and planning, sourcing, and production take time. Yet many brands still rely on decades-old software to get the job done. These legacy systems were built for on premises installation, are often highly customized, and lack the connectivity or scalability brands need to quickly adapt to the latest trends and get their suppliers and factories up to speed along the way. Here are three things brands should look for in their core planning software:

A path to digital transformation

Consumers want more from their brands. And they expect their interactions to span both the physical and digital worlds. These forces are in turn driving digital transformation of the fashion industry, and pushing businesses to invest in new technology, omni-channel capabilities, and fast fashion. However, companies running legacy systems are struggling to keep up with the pace of change, while rapidly growing brands must make their first decisions about investing in enterprise software.

Brands are at their best when they can focus on their core competencies and don’t have to deal with the strain of keeping IT systems running and up to date. Whether adapting to a fast-changing industry, or scaling the business up for the Golden Age of Retail, both strategies require an industry-specific IT solution with the flexibility to grow with you as you expand into new ventures.

If brands want to adapt, they need systems that don’t get in the way. The adoption of industry-specific software deployed in the cloud is often the first step to true transformation. Not only does it keep the business running with the latest version of the software, but it can help shorten time to consumer, seamlessly manage global operations, and helps eliminate some of the friction between business units, suppliers, and trading partners.

Greater agility

Whether you are a young, rapidly growing brand or an established fashion group, agility matters.
Cloud-based solutions help businesses quickly scale their operations for seasonal peaks and valleys or periods of rapid growth. allows you to integrate new acquisitions and international investments faster by quickly on-boarding new users and delivering cross-enterprise reports and analyses to management.

In the past, new capacity, new acquisitions, or new functionality meant hours of development time and a heavy investment in new resources. Today, businesses should expect their software to work for them, and not against them. By moving to the cloud and deploying the latest architecture, businesses can get better user experiences, a smooth path to the future, and all the scalability, resilience and security needed to keep the brand on a path toward constant innovation.

Easy access to information

Information about your business shouldn’t be locked away and hidden deep within your software. But in today’s highly distributed businesses – especially those with vast, global supply chains – the reality is that critical information doesn’t always exist at your fingertips.

From management to the warehouse floor, modern systems provide better user interfaces, and provide users with easier access to information – whether they’re on site or traveling. In a world where 80% of the data needed to run the business exists outside the four walls of the enterprise, it’s mission critical for businesses to know what’s happening across the extended supply chain. And that information should be available in real-time. In a world where consumers are often fickle and styles change at a moment’s notice, visibility and the access to information across the greater supply chain all the way to the consumer can make all the difference between the hottest style of the season or warehouses full of unsold inventory.

It’s time to focus on what you do best. Learn more about the next generation of fashion software at infor.com/fashion.


White high heels on city street

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