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What is Apparel Software?
Apparel software is a type of business management software used to manufacture, distribute, and retail clothing. Apparel software typically consists of a database that records all product information to track sales and analyze data to make production or inventory decisions. It includes features such as inventory control, production scheduling, warehouse management, and accounting. Apparel manufacturers, clothing designers, and fashion retailers are all likely to use apparel software.
Apparel software is often used with other business management systems to offer an integrated solution to manufacturers. It helps manufacturers optimize their operations and improve efficiency by automating workflows, managing resources, and providing real-time information. Companies can use apparel software to manage orders from start to finish in the supply chain.
There are many types of apparel software:
1) Inventory Management – managing stock levels and forecasts based on customer demand
2) Production Planning - tracking materials needed for producing goods
3) Manufacturing Control - monitoring various stages of production like cutting or printing fabric
4) Quality Control - ensuring quality standards through inspections or checks at various steps in the manufacturing process
5) Warehousing and Fulfillment – managing warehouse space effectively so that products are available when needed
6) Point of Sale and Inventory Control - recording sales in real-time and tracking inventory
This software can be a standalone application or a module that’s added to an existing management system. Modules are focused on specific business processes and can be integrated with others.
Apparel Software Features
Apparel software products often include the following features:
- Production scheduling
- Apparel manufacturing ERP integration
- Apparel forecasting
- Apparel inventory management
- Apparel accounting
- Apparel e-commerce solutions
- Apparel customer relationship management (CRM)
- Apparel sales force automation (SFA)
- Apparel customization
Apparel Software Comparison
Software should also be selected based on apparel type (made-to-order, made-to-stock), apparel size (small, medium, or large volumes), apparel complexity (many variations and color choices for clothing like women’s shirts), apparel level (retailer, wholesaler, or manufacturing company) and apparel cost structure. Also, you’ll want to find out if the vendor will provide support through the setup and implementation process.
Apparel software for larger operations costs between $5,000-$10,000 per year to purchase or lease. Pricing plans for 3-25 operators range widely from $500 - $2500 upfront. There is usually an initial setup fee plus the first month’s fees--then monthly billing after that. Lower cost options will tend to provide less functionality and support. Most vendors do not offer pricing details but do provide custom quotes.