In this post-COVID landscape, gravitating towards a customer-centric approach requires fashion brands and retailers to consistently provide a holistic experience, regardless of channel the consumer uses to interact with products, while adapting to rapid changes in consumer preferences. How can SAP’s newest solutions enable this?

The fashion industry has emerged from the COVID crisis with a unique chance to redefine itself. Today’s discerning, digitally-savvy consumers demand a seamless, immersive, and personalized experience across all channels, pushing fashion brands and retailers to adopt a customer-centric approach.

SAP’s cutting-edge solutions are transforming the fashion landscape, empowering businesses to adapt and thrive in this new era. Legacy ERP systems, once known for their rigidity, are now replaced with innovative tools that address the complex fashion supply chain ecosystem.

Previously, retailers were forced to rely on forecasts or pre-season purchases for assortment planning, often leading to inefficiencies and lost opportunities. However, SAP’s revolutionary technology streamlines the categorization and prioritization of demand against supply, reducing errors and enabling a more agile response to market fluctuations.

No longer hampered by the limitations of traditional ERP systems, fashion brands can now anticipate and address disruptions, such as those caused by the pandemic or shifting consumer spending. This increased adaptability results in fewer missed deliveries, reduced markdowns, and ultimately, improved profit margins.

Join us as we dive into SAP’s dynamic solutions that are reshaping the fashion industry, driving customer-centricity, and ensuring success in the post-COVID world.

Innovations enabled by SAP fashion

SAP’s solutions for fashion and lifestyle have been designed to provide the digital core tailored for fashion companies in the 21st century. It also enables them to be resilient and adapt to the ever-changing fashion ecosystem.

Some of the traditional pain points in the fashion industry that have been addressed by SAP’s latest solutions include:

  • Flexible Purchase Commitment

This allows sourcing teams to give suppliers a projection of anticipated overall order quantities for a particular style very early on in the calendar. This enables suppliers to begin production planning without requiring a confirmation of size scales and/or colors until the appropriate time suppliers need that information for raw material procurement.

Sourcing teams can also take advantage of delaying the decision on where the product should be delivered until production is complete. This allows them to analyze actual demand closer to expected customer delivery dates and adjust where the product lands accordingly.

  • aATP (Advanced ATP)

How can brands and retailers ensure optimal availability to various channels/segments in order of priority (and to maximize profitability)? The answer lies in segmentation, supply chain protection, and product allocation.

Segmentation allows brands to classify demand sources and sources of supply. Brands can then set time-dependent minimum required quantities for a demand segment (i.e., regional eCommerce) through supply protection, guaranteeing stock for that time period.  

For that same time period and segment, brands can use product allocation to set time-dependent maximum thresholds for different demand segments. This ensures that no one segment usurps all the available product.

  • IFO (Inbound-for-Outbound)

How can brands and retailers ensure that the product makes it to the intended destination as efficiently as possible? IFO provides distribution centers with all the necessary information to flow received inbound goods to outbound orders, with minimal system processing in between.

  • Endless aisle

Even with all the strategies defined above, stock-outs are still possible. How can brands and retailers still salvage a sale? Endless aisle allows order fulfillment from alternative sources of supply based on omnichannel article availability in SAP’s CAR (Customer Activity Repository) solution.

With the right tools, the fashion industry can reach sustainable growth

With these newer SAP capabilities, fashion retailers/brands can be proactive, have optimal product availability, and be sustainable. They can also react to disruptions much faster, leading to enhanced order fulfillment, faster inventory turnover, reduced deadstock and wastage, and overall sustainable growth.

For more information about how SAP S/4 fashion can improve your business, feel free to reach out to our experts.

Balaji Santhanam

Balaji Santhanam

Associate Partner, Infosys Consulting

Balaji joined Infosys Consulting in 2021 and plays an Associate Partner role in the Consumer Goods, Retail and Logistics vertical. He is a fashion and retail enthusiast with an extensive background in consulting driving large transformation programs. Balaji has a stellar record as a trusted advisor for customers in the fashion & lifestyle space for the last 15+ years. He is an entrepreneurial leader with demonstrated supply chain expertise and a proven track record of excellence in consumer insights to steer successful retail strategies. Balaji is a regular speaker at retail events like NRF and SAP Retail Forum. He is an alum of Wayne State University where he completed his mechanical engineering degree and completed a few certification courses on entrepreneurship from The Wharton School.

Richard Delos Reyes

Richard Delos Reyes

Principal, ERP & Platforms

Richard has over 11 years’ experience in ERP design, implementation, and support in the Fashion, Luxury Goods, and Retail industries. He’s a supply chain applications specialist, focused on SAP order-to-cash processes in Wholesale and direct-to-consumer environments. This includes EDI, B2B, and B2C integrations, credit card processing, in-house and factoring agent credit management, pricing optimization by channel, omnichannel available-to-promise strategies, order fulfillment and warehouse/3PL integration, and revenue recognition.

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