It’s not often you feel excited about being involved with the introduction of something new, with SAP Fashion Management the buzz is growing.  The launch was trailed at NRF in January where the name could not be disclosed, so at SAPPHIRE NOW on Orlando June 3-5 the fashion collection is ready for the runway. 

For fashion companies this marks a solution that will truly run their business end-to-end.  It simplifies their business by bringing together the manufacturing / wholesale and retail parts of their business to work as one.  With processes and data all using a single real time platform, fashion companies and their customers will benefit from increased speed, efficiency and innovation.

Innovation comes when great companies share great ideas and a common vision.  Four great fashion companies have worked with us to ensure we include their ideas of what vertically integrated fashion companies will need in the future.  With the help of adidas, Giorgio Armani, Luxottica and Tommy Hilfiger, we are confident that SAP Fashion Management will drive innovation in fashion.

The scope of the solution is broad so I want to highlight a few areas where I think the business value is the greatest. In the words of two of our innovation partners:

“We’re focused on taking our retail, wholesale and manufacturing businesses to a new level with our SAP collaboration,” said Dario Scagliotti, Group CIO, Luxottica. “The future looks very bright for our operations.”

“Innovating with SAP will create a new single platform for speed and growth across our multiple businesses,” said Ludo Onninck, CIO, Tommy Hilfiger. “We look forward to using these best practices to run faster than ever before.”

Integration and one set of real-time master data ….. across the whole world

This is a must for the internal ecosystem of fashion companies with their partners and external customer connection across multiple sales channels.  Speed is of the essence. The notion of “I read it in a magazine and I want it in my store or online” reflects the accelerated newness of fashion ideas and the increased speed and number of collections. Fashion companies are traditionally complex with multistage sample processes, complex costing, raw material development, planning, assortments building and then aligning marketing activities to availability. With a complex supply chain and suppliers that need to understand compliance and quality standards, it is vital that information is provided quickly and accurately to ensure the brand promise.  Whilst facing this complexity it is also true that spreadsheets proliferate with information being keyed in multiple times across multiple systems. 

Global Supply Chain

Too many companies are faced with siloed inventories with multiple names and SKU numbers reserved in different channels, leaving too little in one channel and insufficient in another. Global supply chain execution is the foundation to omni-channel customer service. Get this right and you reduce markdowns, improve customer satisfaction and impact business performance. As execution improves, new business models will emerge that can cope with smaller more frequent shipments, direct ship and click and collect.   

 

Omnichannel         

Omni-channel is not new, this conjures up e-commerce, mobile commerce, social media and of course stores and wholesale customers. But the challenge it to ensure one consistent face to the customer, across all these points of contact and to connect the customer processes together seamlessly. If I go online to browse a product can I get it in the store when I want it?  There is a shoe retailer that I spoke to recently who is developing a mobile app that shows the stock availability real-time for each item to the size, in each store, delivering great service and driving increased sales to the store from the internet. 

Enjoyment of the store

A UK retailer is investing in system in their stores to allow customers to order from the store and receive items in at an address of their choice. Fashion retailers will not see an end to the enjoyment of the customer visit to the store, on the contrary, they will innovate and successfully leverage different technologies to enhance the experience.      

This is just a flavor of the opportunities SAP Fashion Management can address. In a sector as complex as this and as fast moving, SAP has worked with true innovators to deliver simplicity of execution. By connecting the company, we take the technology away and let retailers get back to the basics of designing, buying and selling the right products that their customers want.

You can learn a lot more by joining us at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, June 3rd to 5th 2014.

To learn more go to SAP.com/fashion-management

                                

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