5 Must-Have Features in an ERP for the Apparel Industry

5 Must-Have Features in an ERP for the Apparel Industry

You've made the decision to invest in an ERP system. Perhaps you already have one, but it's a legacy system that lacks the tools needed to automate operations. If you own an apparel manufacturing company, generic ERP software will not suffice; you will need a specialised ERP for the apparel industry. This type of industry-specific ERP includes all of the standard functions as well as specialised applications and modules that streamline business processes at every stage of the apparel manufacturing process. Its design is tailored for apparel, fashion, home goods, and footwear manufacturers, and it integrates applications for sourcing, design and product development, manufacturing, supply chain, and even vendor management.

Choosing the best apparel ERP solution for your company is a big decision, so make sure you understand all of the features that will help your soft goods business grow. Whether you are purchasing your first ERP system or have an existing system that no longer meets your requirements, the guide below will assist you in selecting the critical features that will propel your apparel business to the next level.

Apparel ERP Software Must-Have Features

An ERP is a centralised solution that integrates processes and activity flows and provides you with greater control and visibility into your operations. An ERP designed specifically for the apparel industry will also provide you with a slew of customised features that will help you not only survive, but thrive, in this complex, ever-changing industry. Here are the top five features that you may require.

Demand Planning and Forecasting

As an apparel industry leader, you understand that fashion is nearly impossible to forecast, owing to the fact that trends shift quickly and life cycles are short, requiring you to focus on creating new items. With no previous sales data on these new SKUs, you would make predictions based on how similar items performed in the past. Furthermore, consumer tastes are fickle, and what sold well last year may bomb the following year. Nonetheless, accurate forecasting is critical for the fashion industry, but it is extremely difficult to achieve. Overstock results from an overconfident forecast; pessimistic ordering means you may run out of popular items. Forecasting demand is difficult, and if done incorrectly, you will lose both revenue and profit. Apparel ERP software with demand planning and forecasting tools integrates historical sales data as well as sales forecasts to assist you in making the best purchasing decisions. You will use the built-in tools in our apparel ERP to forecast the demand for new items based on the sales history of similar items. Then, using the system to track the number of new products sold in the first few weeks, you analyse how much more you need to produce to meet demand. With a few mouse clicks, an ERP for the apparel industry can provide you with critical forecasting information. You can also use historical data to identify sales trends for specific aspects of an item, such as style, colour, or size. With that information, you can generate a forecast for each item in your product mix based on sales projections and the amount of inventory you can keep on hand.

Planning for Material Requirements

MRP, or materials requirements planning, is a critical tool for apparel manufacturers. A MRP module, which is specific to the apparel industry, allows your company to gain complete control over fabric and trim purchasing and inventory. Because your bills of materials (BOMs) for each finished product are defined by colour, length, and size, all of your reporting and data must reflect that information.

MRP systems cover the entire production timeline, from product conception to raw material procurement to production start. When it's integrated into your ERP, you get the detailed data you need for each individual job, but you also get a big picture view of the entire manufacturing process. In general, the core function of an MRP is materials costing, which determines what is made versus what is purchased. Materials costing collaborates with the inventory system to check both quantities on hand and production logs for outside component and fabricated sub-assembly lead times.

This allows for better planning and resource allocation, resulting in better data and greater insight into inventory costs. MRP will provide you with a real-time picture of production and inventory costs by automatically integrating with the accounting system in our apparel ERP. Furthermore, because you are planning more efficiently, you will produce less waste and scrap, lowering your carbon footprint.

Inventory Management

The apparel industry differs from other manufacturing industries in that each item produced is available in a variety of sizes, styles, and colours. For example, one shirt could be available in five different colours and eight different sizes. This means you have 40 different items that must all be organised and tracked. With the apparel industry dealing with trends and tastes, staying one step ahead of the demand curve is critical. Agility is essential—pay close attention to what sells well and what does not. For example, you may need to quickly unload items that are losing favour in order to make room for next season's hottest items. Inventory management tools that can track items based on the parameters you specify should be included in an apparel-specific ERP. Inventory management involves carrying costs, and inventory is an unavoidable part of doing business. However, having too much excess stock in your warehouses reduces profitability. You need a consistent revenue stream, which you won't have if your money is tied up in maintaining extra warehouse space for inventory storage. Furthermore, carrying excess inventory increases the likelihood of loss due to damage, lost items, or theft. You can drill down into your inventory to manage styles, filtering SKUs based on colours, sizes, features, images, pricing, and costs using customizable dashboards and reporting. You will have real-time, accurate stock information that is in sync with what is in stock and what is still on order.

Warehouse Management

Supply chain issues are a very real issue for all manufacturers. In the apparel industry, you may need pre-assembled items from other manufacturers, such as cuffs or collars, in addition to raw materials for production. With these complex fulfilment requirements and continuous supply chain disruptions, you need a warehouse management system (WMS) designed specifically for the apparel industry. An apparel ERP should include specialised warehouse management functionality. To control and oversee warehouse operations from the moment goods enter your warehouse to the moment they leave, you need an integrated WMS. The solution should be scalable so that it can grow alongside you. Advanced capabilities such as label compliance, shipping integration, returns management, raw material management, and warehouse transfer functions are also required.

To maximise operations, your warehouse must make efficient use of every square inch of space. DoFort's apparel ERP with integrated warehouse management provides the visibility, agility, and control you need in your warehouse with wireless RF scanning and directed replenishment, cross-docking, and directed pick and pack.

Vendor Management Portal

Vendor communication and management are critical to running a successful apparel management enterprise, but many companies still manage these processes using disparate processes and clunky, cluttered Excel spreadsheets. Sending emails back and forth is ineffective—information can be lost, and sending and receiving large design files for approvals is nearly impossible. Siloed systems also make it difficult to track the status of a project. To communicate with your vendors, you need a one-stop shop. As a result, a vendor portal is essential for streamlining production operations by allowing you to easily upload images or comments to note changes to an item.

You can track essential product information, supply chain stages, tech packs, POs, and shipment information in one place with features like automated procurement and bidding, updated measurement variances, vendor costing, and an image library.


When looking for an apparel ERP, look for features that complement and improve your operations and business processes. You must be agile if you want to thrive in the fast-paced fashion industry. The best way to stay agile is to use industry-specific technology. Finally, an ERP for the apparel industry is a wise investment because it provides the tool you need to get your products to market faster and profitably. DoFort provides the Best Apparel ERP Software. Speak with one of our industry experts, and we'll assist you in identifying the business requirements and provide you the best solution.


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