Fashion ERPs: The Challenge of Disconnected Systems and How to Solve It

December 7, 2023

What’s been your biggest fashion nightmare? Streamlining complex wholesale relationship management processes has got to be up there, simply because connecting fashion ERPs and wholesale management platforms can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be.

The rewards of having integrated software systems are sky high: visibility across the entire supply chain; opportunities for optimisation; efficiency; sales generation; reporting; and more.

In this article, you’ll discover:

Integrating Different Systems Should Be Easy… Right?

It depends! Huge numbers of fashion brands find it challenging to integrate their fashion ERP with their other systems. There are several reasons for this, including:

-There is no one-size-fits-all solution. 

There are lots of disparate systems in the fashion supply chain, which is a situation causing constant friction. Assuming a single solution will fit all needs ignores the unique requirements of all the different systems currently in place.

-Despite what people think, integrations can be complex. 

Many fashion industry leaders believe integrations are relatively straightforward. But it’s not always seamless and the idea of a plug-and-play integration, without considering system compatibility and data mapping complexities, is not always realistic.

-It’s easy to underestimate how much time and effort is needed for a successful integration

Lots of people think API integrations are quick to build and deploy. This is almost universally wrong and immediate results are always unlikely.

-Data quality cannot be ignored at any stage of the process

To avoid inaccurate outcomes, all data must be cleansed and normalized before integration takes place. It’s a time-intensive process—and there isn’t a shortcut.

-Continuous monitoring is essential

Once an integration is set, you can’t simply forget about updates and monitoring. If you do, you’re risking major data inconsistencies and missed opportunities.

Understanding The Big Picture. Why Is It So Important to Have API Integrations Between Systems?

In any industry, disparate tools can have a major negative impact on operations and growth. 

There’s no reason for fashion to be any different—especially when there are so many separate stages where disconnected software platforms might be used.

In wholesale fashion, taking a product from concept to customer is an incredibly complex journey. 

Now imagine all of this happening on different software platforms: one for design, one for manufacturing, one for inventory management, and one for order processing.

With siloed systems like this, how much potential is there for inaccuracies, communication breakdowns, and inefficiencies?

Answer: a lot.

Next, consider the consequences of using all these poorly integrated systems. Without accurate data, brands can struggle to achieve real-time visibility into inventory levels, order statuses, and demand trends. 

In effect, they’re operating blind—without the strategic insight they need to make their business a true success.

Which means overstocking, understocking, delayed shipments, and missed opportunities all become much more likely.

But all of those issues are avoidable… if you get your ERP and wholesale order management systems integrated via APIs that effectively act as translators, letting different systems talk to each other, share information and work together.

With your tech aligned, you can set up your brand for long-term success with enhanced visibility, accurate demand forecasting, optimized inventory levels, and efficient order tracking. You’ll also benefit from:

10 Specific Issues Resolved by Successful Fashion ERP Integrations 

Integrating your ERP and digital wholesale fashion platform streamlines your operations and creates visibility across the supply chain. 

In granular terms, successfully building these integrations can help to minimize or eliminate:

  1. Data inconsistency and duplications that take up valuable time to identify and resolve
  2. Real-time information black holes that prevent you accurately assessing inventory levels 
  3. Compatibility issues that can lead to important information being siloed
  4. Security concerns and data breaches that risk both your finances and reputation
  5. Inter-department comms breakdowns that fuel costly mistakes and poor customer service
  6. Complex manual data entry and updates that are more prone to errors 
  7. Difficulties in tracking and reconciling data changes that cause your team endless headaches
  8. Limited visibility into business processes that mean you’re never 100% clear on what’s happening with each order
  9. Time-consuming and costly maintenance that adds unnecessary delays and expenditure into your operations
  10. Inaccurate reporting and analytics that hinder your ability to make strategic decisions about the direction of your business

Finding a Wholesale Fashion Platform with API Integrations

As someone charged with overseeing your brand’s operations, you should be challenging your wholesale fashion platform about its existing API integrations. This is the only way to determine if you’re stuck using a system that simply cannot deliver the service you need. 

As a leading, innovative wholesale fashion software platform, JOOR is able to integrate with most ERP systems. In fact, JOOR has 100+ pre-built APIs and, along with PLMs, accounting and POS systems, it integrates with most ERP systems used in fashion—including:

Here’s why this is so powerful: let’s imagine you sell your products directly to customers on Shopify. Using JOOR means you can use our API integration to automatically sync your product and style information. 

That means for every product you make available on Shopify, you’ll avoid having to manually input its associated data and then keep track of every individual change as time goes by.

Instead, the API integration means you effectively have a set-it-and-forget-it system.

And that could potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of hours as your range expands.

It’s Time to Solve the Disconnected Systems That are Holding You Back

Finding the right wholesale platform for your business is a critical part of unlocking your brand’s potential. 

If you can find a platform like JOOR that integrates with your ERP system, you can immediately start to drive operational efficiency, increase productivity, enjoy consistent oversight, benefit from better decision making, and optimize your inventory management.

Book a JOOR demo today and get an inside glimpse of what our platform can do to help you achieve your ambitions.

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