As we continue in this series of blogs for the fashion, apparel, and footwear industry, we’re going to dive into the importance of sustainability and minimization of waste (and how a modern ERP solution such as Acumatica and/or Sage 100 can help).

According to the lean manufacturing or lean production theory, there are seven types of waste in today’s manufacturing and distribution processes. Waste is seen as anything which customers are not willing to pay for and/or anything that does not add value to tangible products. While minimizing waste and maximizing productivity, businesses will see benefits such as reduced lead times, reduced operating costs, and improved product quality.

So, how can your business minimize waste and maximize productivity? The answer is simple, a modern ERP solution. Here’s exactly how and where an ERP solution can help…

Transportation – The movement of items creates a potential for damage and loss of products – something customers don’t want to pay for. However, with the right features and modules, such as inventory management and/or forecasting, businesses can reduce unnecessary transportation by ensuring stock is in the right place at the right time. Materials can be delivered directly to point of use (whether that be storage or manufacturing) bypassing the usual receiving inspection.

Inventory – Unused materials, work-in-progress products, and finished goods sitting on a shelf, have no value to customers and are considered waste. With an inventory planning module and an accurate Bill of Materials, businesses can reduce this waste. Minimum stock levels can be calculated based on historic usage and notifications can be triggered when stock reaches the set minimum level, meaning inventory consists of only what is necessary and arrives just-in-time. Maximum level triggers can also be set to avoid overstocking. Depending on your business, stock may have an expiry date or could be temperature sensitive. An inventory management system, combined with the correct sensors and IoT integration, can log and track these criteria and provide assurance that the stock is stored in the required conditions and consumed before expiration.

Motion – There are two main wastes created by motion: time and wear and tear. A modern ERP solution with warehouse management features can consider the layout of a warehouse to calculate the best way to move around while picking. The unnecessary motion of tools and machines causes avoidable wear and tear so is also considered waste of motion.

Waiting – If you’re not making progress, you’re waiting. This could be a product not in a state of process or transportation, waiting for a machine or tool when operations are not properly planned or even waiting for information. With a clear view of end-user and equipment effectiveness, businesses can better plan and eliminate bottlenecks of the warehouse. Modern ERP solutions have evolved into systems of insights – information is easily accessible and offers one version of the truth so there is never a need to wait.

Over Production – One of the worst kinds of waste – every action taken to produce the product was pointless. This leaves capital tied up in stock, eating into profits and potentially getting sent to landfill. The same modules that can streamline your inventory can also reduce over production too. The single data source that ERP provides across the entire supply chain combined with successfully forecasting demand means manufacturers never need to err on the side of caution and over produce.

Over Processing – Over processing can be caused by an overzealous workforce. This is a double-edged sword; it’s great to have an enthusiastic workforce that want to do a great job, but by over processing they’re costing the business money. If this is the case, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) need to be implemented on the shopfloor to provide instructions and specifications for what is and is not required for tasks. Monitoring overall labor efficiency with the Manufacturing Operation Management module delivers an insight into which areas of the business are in need of SOP reminders and training.

Defects – The need to discard or rework a product due to defects will probably never be fully eliminated, but the earlier a business discovers the defects, the more they can be reduced! A modern ERP solution is great for making sure defective products don’t reach the customer. If an ingredient or component is found to be defective or not to the required quality, end-users will be able to quickly determine which parts or products that may be affected and quickly mitigate any risk or further waste.

Fashion, apparel, and footwear businesses want to incorporate more sustainable practices to fight against waste and reduce their carbon footprint. Luckily, ERP software enables these businesses to manage and control costs during the manufacturing and distribution processes to minimize unused raw materials, increase labor and line efficiency, and reduce chargebacks due to quality issues.

Your Next Steps

Contact the ACC Software Solutions as we understand the unique challenges within the fashion and apparel industry. This knowledge, combined with top technology solutions, delivers a feature-rich, fully integrated manufacturing, distribution, customer management, project management, and accounting solution.

ACC Software Solutions is the leading ERP cloud provider for the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. At ACC, we offer a full range of business management technology services, including consulting, ERP implementation, targeted training, and ongoing support. We aim to build long-lasting relationships based on trust by committing to support your business goals today, and tomorrow. With over 25 years of software and industry experience, you’re guaranteed to find success with our team.

Contact ACC Software Solutions for FREE consultation.

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