Clothing Inventory Management: The ApparelMagic Guide

Clothing Inventory Management:
The ApparelMagic Guide

From the raw materials source to the textile manufacturers to the quality assurance officer to the end customer, every item of clothing passes through many hands. Clothing inventory management encompasses all these stops (and more).

Inventory management, at its most basic, is the process of tracking, managing, and maintaining an optimal inventory level. Inventory management software for the apparel industry tracks clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories and related items as they move between locations. Each of these steps were once manual, the information tracked by hand in paper spreadsheets and logs. 

Today, real-time inventory automation improves accuracy and saves time. In the warehouse, for example pickers, checkers, stagers and truck loaders and material operating handlers use a centralized, cloud-based way to stay up-to-date and to make the best decisions. Business owners now have inventory management software that lets them respond quickly to fashion trends and other changes in market demands and conditions.  

 

Terms to Know

Bill of materials (BOM) is the inventory of the raw materials as well as the quantities of each material needed to manufacture a product.

Days of stock is a period of time for which you would like to have enough stock, or stock cover. The days of stock may also be called your purchasing frequency

Sell-through rate is a calculation of the amount of inventory a retailer receives from a manufacturer or supplier against what is actually sold. Sell-through rate is generally a percentage of units sold during a period (typically one month). Compare to inventory turnover, which generally refers to a year at a time. 

Lead time is the amount of time between placing a purchase order and receiving products. This can include manufacturing and shipping time.

In the warehouse, a bin location is the smallest addressable unit of space where your goods are stored. This space may be a shelf, a pallet location, or a storage area.

Pick tickets are slips of paper that tell you what to pick off your shelves and pack for shipment. Pick tickets list not only the items a customer requested but how many of each and the exact style that they want. 

Work in Process (WIP) tracking means tracking each garment or other item throughout the manufacturing process; reliable barcode reading makes this tracking possible.

1. Why Do You Need Inventory Management


 
  
Today’s clothing brands, fashion retailers and apparel companies manage inventory between physical stores and ecommerce platforms. Fashion retailers need to quickly unload items that are selling well. They need to order the items that will be popular next month or even next week.
 
Meanwhile, the cost of everything from raw materials to retail space is going up. Anyone who sells apparel, from big luxury brands to small fashion companies, must do everything they can to make operations more efficient. Brick and mortar retailers are looking for ways to add value to their customers’ shopping experience, while online shopping becomes more and more attractive to consumers.
 
Large companies can better align their supply chains with world markets by optimizing inventory allocation. Smart stock allocation strategies help them avoid stocking too much (or too little) at their online and real-world stores.
 
Complicated retail environments mean stock is spread across multiple warehouses, stores and ecommerce channels. However, retailers need to avoid empty shelves due to too little stock. They also need to avoid cluttered back rooms due to too much stock.
 
Inventory allocation requires determining the right service levels per location and balancing inventory to Improve your sell-through rate and reduce waste. You have to consider local customer demand at each location and calculate the optimal level of inventory to push to each outlet.
 
Some customer orders need to be fulfilled right away. Others aren’t as urgent. Inventory management means warehouse managers can prioritize orders based on when they need to ship, as well as by customer. balanced inventory allocation across all channels.
 
When it comes to inventory allocation, clothing brands must weigh the risk of stockouts vs the risk of markdowns/waste. This means taking into account the speed at which inventory can move from distribution centers to stores. Is there available space at the warehouses? Is there available shelf space in the stores?
 
What about stock redistribution when something changes? How much does reallocation cost and how much time does it take.
 
Technology is revolutionizing the industry. Clothing inventory management, once dependent on spreadsheets filled out by hand, is now based on software. Thanks to advances in AI/machine learning, the data it takes to allocate stock is becoming more accessible. Even small retailers and medium-sized businesses can have access to the data insights that make this optimization possible.
 
Aside from avoiding overstocks and stockouts by tracking inventory levels, clothing inventory management software is used to accomplish many things, including:
 
  • Track sales processes
  • Track orders
  • Track deliveries
  • Generate work orders and bills of materials
  • Organize inventory data
  • Spend less money on inventory
  • Keep transactions secure
This last point—security—is a problem those who use outdated systems won’t know they have until it’s too late. Hackers love old software. They look for ways to infiltrate legacy software, since the original vendor no longer releases fixes for those vulnerabilities. Apparel businesses using old inventory management systems could be putting their business at an unneeded disadvantage and risk.
 
How do you know if it’s time for a system update? Ask the people on the warehouse floor if they are happy with the current system. If they’re constantly rebooting the computer and pulling their hair out because things are running slow, listen to them.
 
If you’re still manually tracking the movement of a new item, creating space for it on your warehouse floor and preparing purchase orders by hand, your inventory process is more difficult and time-consuming than it needs to be.

Reduce Inventory Errors

Modern inventory management solutions can reduce the errors that plague your business. For example, forecasting errors create serious headaches. Order too much and you’ll end up having to mark down inventory to move it. Order too little and you’re missing sales. You’re also missing the savings that come from ordering inventory at scale.
 
Reducing inventory errors should be a top priority. Each order goes through a picker, checker, stager and loader,If you’re using paper pick tickets to pull orders, the likelihood of delays and canceled orders goes up.
 
With a modern warehouse management system (WMS), your employees will be able to use barcode scanners to identify the products they receive, pick and ship without having to manually enter the number or exact identity of the items they’re working with. Their barcode scanners will capture this information automatically. This information will then be shared across all of your warehouse’s departments in real-time, which can help to prevent errors in purchasing, sales and billing.
 
Robust inventory management tracks orders as your employees work to complete them. You can get instant alerts about missing items and errors in production-related documentation (orders and bill of materials, for example). This means that everyone who handles an order knows its status and location in real-time, without exchanging paper pick tickets.
 
When your customer service representatives estimate delivery times to your customers, they’ll know when packages will actually be delivered and can relay that information accurately. This means shoppers are more satisfied with your business, making it likely that they’ll order from you again in the future, because they’ll know they can rely on the information you provide.

Reduce Carrying Costs

The carrying costs of inventory include the total cost of purchasing, warehousing and handling inventory. It also includes the cost of markdowns if clothing items don’t sell quickly.
 
As we’ll see, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software integrated with a warehouse management system (WMS) gives you full visibility of your inventory at all times. This helps to make sure you have enough product on hand to satisfy demand, while keeping your carrying costs to a minimum by not having too much stock in your warehouse.

Reduce Out of Stock Inventory

An ERP system helps avoid missing sales due to a lack of inventory. By tracking the amount of every item you have on hand in real-time, these solutions help you order your most in-demand items when stock levels reach a designated level. A robust ERP system can generate purchase orders based on sales figures, minimizing the chance that you’ll run out of a product when you need it the most.

Increase Supply Chain Accuracy

Optimized warehousing, real-time item tracking, packaging accuracy, and rapid delivery all contribute to supply chain success. When applied globally, inventory management technology empowers fashion retailers and apparel companies to track their entire supply chain comprehensively. 
Today’s inventory solutions improve the accuracy of your supply chain fulfillment, from raw textiles to finished garments. You and all your supply chain partners are responsible for ensuring the right amount and the appropriate mix of products available at all times. Technology can help you manage your inventory and product shipments and increase the accuracy along the full length of your supply chain.

Improve Planning/Forecasting

Although the challenges vary greatly according to company and market, today’s most successful apparel companies leverage robust demand forecasting. Poor planning and forecasting results in:
  • Stockouts/overstock
  • Obsolescence
  • Rushed orders
  • Inefficient resource utilization
Accurate forecasting allows you to better meet customer demand while lowering overall operational costs. Accuracy, in relation to the supply chain, can be measured using the Mean Absolute Percent Error (MAPE). MAPE is calculated by dividing the absolute value of the difference between your forecasted and actual sales, dividing the result by your actual sales, and multiplying the result by 100.

Optimize Fulfillment

You want your customers to have the best experience, whether it’s online or in the store. This means aligning inventory and tracking fulfillment across customer sales channels. Today’s comprehensive order management solutions can give you full insight into new orders and new business, in addition to managing shipping and freight.  They integrate with your back office systems, letting you track orders from sales reps in the field. They let you make any necessary order adjustments before processing each order. 
Optimizing the fulfillment process means leveraging automated order processing at every touchpoint: warehouse operations, administration, customer service and more. Today’s technology can verify customer credit, ensure accurate pricing, and ensure fast delivery, all while minimizing processing errors.

Streamline Production

Producing goods at the right time, in sufficient quantity to meet demand, at minimum possible cost, at the level of quality your customers demand. What a balancing act!
As more clothing businesses introduce services such as customization into their brand, they’ve been taking more production responsibility from manufacturers. Whether you manage in-house production or work with a contract manufacturer, keeping stock in line with your orders means knowing exactly what physical resources and raw materials are required. It means scheduling production and calculating deadlines. It means tracking finished goods and allocating them to sales orders.

2. Inventory Sheets

 

Clothing brands and fashion retailers used inventory sheets to make smart business decisions and to keep track of everything they made, bought and sold. If you are a small clothing business without a lot of stock, an inventory sheet can still help with budgeting and with knowing how much inventory you have and how much you will need.

For most competitive brands today, however, inventory management technology replaces the older, physical inventory sheet.

Using Sheets For Tracking

At its most basic, an inventory sheet is a spreadsheet where you record inventory levels and turnover. Inventory sheets range from basic to complicated, as different companies will track different things on them. Tracked information generally includes materials, supplies, inventory in transit. 

A small apparel business can use an actual paper log to keep track of items. Small clothing manufacturers or jewelry makers can use basic inventory sheets to track materials and supplies as well.

However, manual spreadsheets are notoriously error-prone. And businesses with employees at more than one location need to be able to share a spreadsheet and collaborate in real time. That’s why growing clothing businesses usually end up giving up manual inventory practices for a more automated approach.

Inventory Sheet Templates

At its most basic, a free inventory spreadsheet template is a table with columns for you to fill in a record number/inventory number/Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), item description, purchase price, stock reorder level, quantity and location.

  • Microsoft offers Excel templates that are user-friendly and that allow for some customization to fit your needs.
  • Google Sheets is a good “in the cloud” alternative—perfect if you need to share access with co-workers and update your inventory sheet in real time.

Limitations of Inventory Sheets

If you own a small apparel retail business that doesn’t carry a lot of stock, your point-of-sale (POS) system or other basic manual inventory system may be all you need to track inventory.
 
But an inventory sheet takes time and effort to maintain, especially if you aren’t working “in the cloud.”
 
Businesses that work across multiple locations need to collaborate in real time. That’s why using an Excel spreadsheet for inventory management is one of the biggest things keeping small apparel retailers and manufacturers from growing—they’re simply wasting too much time keeping manual records (and fixing the errors that inevitably happen).

3. Inventory Management Software Features

 
 
Today’s clothing inventory management solutions generally come with out-of-the-box functionality. They don’t take a lot of time to import data from your legacy systems so your team can get up-and-running quickly. There are often customization features to meet your unique needs.
 
What do these clothing inventory management systems come with? Let’s look at standard features, one at a time:

Number of Users

 
A good inventory management system means nothing if the right people don’t have access.  Before you begin discussions with vendors, think about how many users will need access to the system. When thinking about how many employees need access to inventory management software, include anyone handling inventory. Someone in finance and accounting will most likely be using it as well.
 
Keep in mind for many of the features below, additional users come at a cost. Cloud-based solutions typically charge a monthly fee based on the number of users and level of functionality desired.

Scalability

 
 
Tracking your inventory is tedious, slow and difficult if you’re doing it manually. As your business takes you to new places, you’ll open up new warehouses or new sales channels. Apparel manufacturers and retailers who want to scale quickly need tools to help automate data and make this growth possible. 
 
Clothing inventory management software should adapt to the needs of an expanding organization. You may choose licensed software purchase or a subscription-based, hosted SaaS solution. Make sure you select one that doesn’t have to be reconfigured every time your business needs evolve and your sales increase.

Offline Access

 
 
Powerful inventory management tools allow your warehouse employees and field technicians to manage supply, track and control orders and stock at all times. “In the cloud” apps and mobile devices make this possible. However, cloud computing leaves businesses at the mercy of their Internet connection.
 
Unreliable cell phone and Internet service in large warehouses and off-the-grid locations shouldn’t hurt productivity. Don’t let dead spots impact production efficiency or inventory turnover; make sure your inventory management solution has an “offline” mode that allows offline changes and updates. Once a Wi-Fi or cellular network becomes available, the data should sync to your online/cloud database and update across all locations.

Cloud Based

 
 
Today, business systems that once existed only on “on-premesis” computers are now offered as cloud-based services.
 
“The cloud,” in case you’ve not been paying attention, refers to databases, servers and processes that are accessed over the Internet. Cloud servers can be located in data centers all over the world. This means businesses don’t have to manage physical servers or run software applications on their own machines.
 
If your apparel business includes multiple locations/business units, moving inventory management processes to the cloud may make sense. It will give you the power to access your data anywhere, track inventory levels in real-time, and let your team manage sales and orders from one online interface.
 
Cloud-based system backups and software updates involve fewer in-house IT resources. However, if proper security precautions aren’t undertaken, your business data could be at risk if a data breach occurs.

Order Management

 
Fashion inventory is constantly changing, as sellers replace last year’s hot items with this season’s “must have” items. Your inventory’s product mix is always changing, and it takes a modern order management system to keep up.
 
Deciding how much to reorder and deciding when to reorder are where things get tricky. Since new products make up much (or most) of the typical apparel company’s catalog, there’s no sales history. This makes accurate presales forecasts difficult. If there’s no way to generate a forecast using the SKU sales history, what do you do?
 
Apparel merchandise usually has short product life cycles. You don’t have much of a chance to correct for errors once you start accumulating a sales history.
 
You need real-time visibility into inventory as soon as the sales season starts. With anywhere, anytime access to critical information, you can have full insight into ordering . You can track orders from sales reps in the field. You can manually adjust orders before they are shipped.
 
Barcodes, RFID tags, and serial numbers are used to update information on a schedule that you determine.
 
Aligning order management across customer sales channels is vital to giving consumers the experience they want. Today’s order management solutions come with everything from basic barcode applications to complicated RFID implementation involving hundreds of fixed readers.

Sales Processing

 
A customer clicks “buy” on an ecommerce platform. Or he or she picks up the phone to place an order. Or they walk into your store, select a shirt, a coat or a pair of shoes, and they head for the register. 
 
What happens next?
 
The sequence of actions that a business follows to fulfill a customer purchase is critical. Errors, out-of-stock items and slow cash flow can all hurt your performance. Technology can keep everything from billing to production and logistics running properly, ensuring frictionless sales order processing and keeping your customers coming back again and again.

Customer and Supplier Data

Project Requirements
 
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system maintains your customer, service provider and supplier data, giving you a single view into each customer’s orders and history. CRM software can be used by marketing, sales, and customer service departments to personalize a customer’s experience and keep track of information about individual customers, including notes, correspondence, and transaction records.
 
Businesses are required to protect customer and supplier data from loss or theft to adhere to regulatory compliance requirements. Making sure documents are protected and only accessible by the proper people takes a secure CRM solution.

Forecasting

ApparelMagic - Backorder Status Interface
 
Everyone from retailers to wholesalers to manufacturers is faced with long lead times. This means you have to place production/purchasing orders weeks or months before the sales happen. In a sense, you have to be able to predict the future.
 
Stockouts mean lost sales and reduced customer satisfaction. When you don’t have what your customers are looking for, they feel let down. If you can avoid backorders for out of stock products, you’ll see increased customer satisfaction and more repeat business.
 
Overstocks, on the other hand, mean markdowns, and your “clearance bins” aren’t going to make you any money. Apparel and footwear retailers lose $300 billion annually thanks to markdowns.
 
Forecasting errors create serious headache, usually in the form of stockouts and overstocks.
 
Avoiding these headaches means accurately forecasting the product life-cycle. A balancing act between stockouts and overstocking requires technology. You need to find the optimal service levels. You need to target days of stock/purchasing frequency for each SKUs and estimate (in real-time) your stock needs.
 
Today’s best-in-class inventory management solutions include robust demand forecasting capabilities. Accurate forecasting increases allows you to better meet customer demand while lowering overall operational costs. It also allows businesses in the apparel industry to avoid stockouts and overstocking.
 
Demand planning in the apparel industry means predicting what consumers want. It means keeping ahead of the demand curve. This requires tracking sales histories and monitoring product movement during certain times of the year.
 
Today, artificial intelligence/machine learning leverages customer demographics, sale prices, seasonal promotions and more to predict customer actions and optimize sales orders with far more accuracy than elementary or manual methods.
 
Why manually input data to generate a forecast when an automated, algorithms-based approach can do the job? For example, you can estimate the demand for a new item by analyzing existing SKUs, collections, item attributes, product categories and other data.

Configurability

ApparelMagic - Backorder Status Interface
 
 
As we said, modern clothing inventory management solutions generally come with out-of-the-box functionality. Even the most comprehensive systems can often be successfully implemented without customization.
 
Still, customization/configurability is something you will probably want from your inventory management software. What good are inventory and asset tracking features if they don’t bring personalized value to your company? This includes flexibility for controlling different types of hardware or interfaces. It includes configuring user roles to allow for various levels of access to sensitive data and system changes.
 
Say, for example, your work involves finishing or decorating apparel products you receive from the manufacturer. Do you perform custom work in-house or do you send garments to a third party to have them embellished? Dedicated modules are available that allow you to track your work orders from start to finish and make sure your decoration work order has all the custom embellishments your end clients expect.
 
You should be able to select only the features necessary to achieve your business and operational goals and leave the rest “turned off.”

Barcoding & Scanning

Row of a variety of clothes on a hanger outside.
 
Barcodes help apparel companies track inventory in and out of the warehouse.
  
A handheld barcode scanner is simply a hardware input device that lets you do a stocktake (inventory count) and automatically adjust the quantity of the product scanned in your warehouse inventory. A quick scan tells you everything you need to know about an inventory item. Barcoding minimizes human error and eliminates excess stock.
 
Barcode scanning itself only goes so far; true operational efficiency improvement comes with warehouse management system (WMS) integration. Barcoding and scanning, along with WMS gives you better directed workflows for picking, putaway and much more.

Real-Time Metrics

Rather than manually updating inventory at regularly-scheduled inventory counts), today’s real-time inventory management systems record purchases and outbound orders and all associated costs in real-time. Up-to-date metrics mean fewer mis-pick errors and recording errors to throw your inventory levels out of balance.

Improved Warehousing

What is virtual warehousing
 
Accurate inventory tracking, from the time you receive it to the minute you deliver (or sell) it, means lower inventory costs. When employees aren’t manually counting items or keeping records of your inventory, things move more smoothly.
 
Once an article of clothing leaves the garment factory it will head to a distribution warehouse. Some companies use massive distribution warehouses outfitted with cutting-edge RF tracking technology to organize and move their products.
 
Electronically tracking inventory means knowing inventory levels in multiple bin locations for a single SKU. You can integrate an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software with a warehouse management system to separately process full case and piece picks and decide which items should be placed in a box.
 
Accounting for warehouse and logistics equipment (everything from forklift and conveyors to automated sorters and picking systems) means knowing who used it last, knowing when it was last repaired or calibrated, where it is stored and what condition it is in. Asset tracking systems help apparel companies save on labor costs and safeguard against. unnecessary equipment losses.
 
Asset tracking is also focused on computers and other IT assets and important documents.  Losing important business records could have serious legal or financial consequences. That’s why reliable asset tracking is as important as quality control in warehousing operations.

4. Inventory Management Integrations


An inventory management system alone can’t effectively optimize your inventory and warehousing. Let’s look at some of the software systems that should integrate with your inventory process. 

Warehouse Management System (WMS)

Sustainable Supply Chain
 
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application that helps control and manage the day-to-day operations in a warehouse.
 
Inventory tracking is labor-intensive. Based on the data your WMS provides, you’ll be able to tell which products are moving the fastest, which affects how you store products in your warehouse. Organizing your warehouse so that your best-sellers are in an easily accessed area provides additional money-saving benefits, reducing the time it takes for your employees to get what they need.
 
WMS software offers the following benefits:
 
  • Tracks items in real time as they are received, stored, picked, packed and shipped
  • Guides inventory receiving and put-away
  • Optimizes order picking and shipping of orders
  • Advises on inventory replenishment.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

A retail boutique with clothing, shoes, and decor items displayed.
 
An item you make or sell goes through a lot of changes from design to creation to the end of its life as a product. Product lifecycle management (PLM) software handles all the information about each product. It helps you automate data and integrate it with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other technology your company is using.
 
Managing complex product development efficiently and on-budget, fashion, apparel, footwear and accessories businesses are looking to improve lead time and reduce costs. Real-time information flow helps them thrive in an omnichannel market, and end-to-end product lifecycle software gives them that real-time advantage.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

customer service
 
CRM stands for “customer relationship management. ” These tools help apparel companies organize and access customer data. CRM software works to integrate a company’s workflow between different departments and can help companies interact with customers more collaboratively and efficiently.
 
It can be difficult to keep track of all of the information about individual customers, including notes, correspondence, and transaction records, among other information. CRM software can be used by marketing, sales, and customer service departments in order to personalize a customer’s experience and streamline the business process.
 
CRM software reduces errors due to inaccuracies or lack of information, allowing you to personalize the customer experience and to make informed, data-driven decisions when it comes to sales and marketing efforts.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

A warehouse with shelves filled with boxes floor to ceiling.
 
In the apparel industry, you may be dealing with a wide range of product sizes, colors and styles. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provides structure to your organizational management, helping to organize your business and allowing consistent access to accurate data at a moment’s notice.
 
ERP software works across departments, from sales and accounting to shipping and customer service.  It can automate your warehouse, tracking  your inventory, and monitoring sales and supplier trends. The software works with a WMS system to provide real-time status of every single item you have in your inventory.It  can generate purchase orders based on sales figures, reducing the risk that you’ll run out of a product when you need it the most.
 
If you integrate your ERP system with the systems your suppliers and third-party logistics partners use, you can multiply the possibilities. For example, you can help ensure you’re getting the right products at the right time, because your suppliers can see exactly what you need, in real time.
 
Using ERP software with an integrated WMS solution improves your demand planning, reduces the chance for human error and boosts production and efficiency by optimizing your workflows and business processes.
 
ERP solutions have become much more affordable. Today, fashion brands of all sizes can easily implement these solutions into their daily operations.

5. Wholesale Platforms

As the hub behind your brand, your clothing inventory management solution can integrate with the services you already depend on. For example, you can improve your direct-to-consumer ecommerce with inventory management integrations to wholesale platforms like JOOR and NuORDER.

JOOR

JOOR integration gives the apparel retailer full data visibility in a streamlined, intuitive experience. JOOR’s Showroom app has a catalog you can access straight from your iPad. You can showcase your products with unlimited images and files for every product. Orders taken through JOOR, whether online or offline, can be easily imported to your chosen inventory management app for speedy fulfillment.

NuORDER

Founded in 2011, NuORDER can manage orders, custom linesheets, product catalogs and inventory with fewer order mistakes. Integration with inventory management solutions like ApparelMagic Cloud gives brands the power to sync products, customers and inventory, maintaining accurate and up-to-date records on their B2B ecommerce platform. Its user-friendly interface allows for simple drag and drop and fast bulk uploading, eliminating redundant data entry for its users. With a few keystrokes, users can take orders and adjust inventory in one simple process.

BrandBoom

BrandBoom is a content management and sales automation system that lets you generate PDF line sheets and price lists. A line sheet is a sales tool used by apparel brands to present their products to wholesale buyers. Line sheets include product images and information such as product descriptions, color and size options, and wholesale prices, making it easier for buyers to find what they need.

PackageBee can connect your shopping cart and your inventory management system with Brandboom. It can be configured to automatically download orders and upload shipment tracking information back to any order management system or warehouse.

6. Ecommerce Platforms

You can combine your inventory management and your ecommerce sales channels to streamline operations to gain better visibility and control. Here are a few of the big ones.

Shopify

 
Image credit: Colorlib
 
ApparelMagic and other fashion inventory and ERP solutions integrate with Shopify ecommerce and POS tools, with easy integration setup, live training, and quality support to help your team.
 
Styles, images and inventory availability are automatically synced to Shopify, and orders are automatically retrieved. You can sync images from Shopify on command, sell directly to customers using Shopify’s POS integration and manage multiple Shopify stores independently with the ability to set separate integration configurations customized to each store.

Amazon

Shoppers are becoming increasingly comfortable with purchasing clothing online, and Amazon’s apparel category is where a lot of this sales growth is happening. Last year, about 90 percent of the clothing listed for sale was offered by third-party retailers.
 
Inventory management integration with Amazon lets you access reports and forecasts to help you keep track of your customers, products and suppliers to make better decisions. Sales orders automatically sync with your inventory management tools, allowing you to easily route orders and fulfill them.

WooCommerce

 

woocommerce

WooCommerce has become a favorite ecommerce and B2B platform. Integrations inventory management software can streamline and simplify your workflow, giving you Shipstation or Shippo shipping and logistics features.

PackageBee can quickly connect your shopping cart and marketplace accounts with almost any order management system or warehouse. PackageBee will automatically load new orders and send back tracking information.

It is pre-integrated with most popular shopping carts and marketplaces. It can be configured to automatically download orders and upload shipment tracking information back to your inventory management system.

 

7. Inventory Software (Related Segments)

Your clothing inventory management system offers the same benefits regardless of what kind of apparel you sell. Many leading apps and software solutions offer customized modules and features that appeal to companies selling related products.

Footwear

You have to maintain consistent levels of availability throughout the sales window. When it comes to inventory replenishment at online and in-store retail outlets, having the right shoe in the right size and the right color is often the difference between a sale and a disappointed customer. With merchandise spread between dozens or hundreds of stores, or with online inventory spread across multiple warehouses, managing online databases and controlling all units from headquarters is a challenge.
 
Footwear manufacturers purchase raw materials from multiple sources, often with multiple tax obligations. Multiple types of units need to be connected: Internal (head office, manufacturing, retailers and distributors) and external (vendors and customers). A tailor-made ERP solution will standardize and streamline this process and improve operational control.

Jewelry

Maybe you dabble in beads and birthstones. Maybe you sell the raw materials used by Etsy crafters. Or maybe you’re head of sales or operation for a well-known brand of high-end luxury watches, rings and necklaces. For all of these jewelry operations, tracking inventory lies at the heart of the business.
 
For jewelry retailers, every transaction could open the doorway to a lifelong relationship. That’s why encouraging loyalty through customer satisfaction means repeat business. Airtight accounting for your physical inventory will also save you time and money in the event of an insurance claim. It will even help prevent internal theft.
 
A variety of inventory apps are available that keep the jewelry industry running along. A best-in-class jewelry inventory management solution can manage jewelry-specific qualities like sizes, finishes, and materials. Sellers also need modules to help with production planning or help with memo sales, in which a supplier sends their goods to a merchant consignment for sale. These arrangements are specific to the jewelry industry.

Accessories

From handbags to scarves and hats to newer items such as wearable tech, underwear, T-shirts, socks and belts, “accessories” are more than just an afterthought.
 
Inventory management for accessories means dealing with the same challenges faced in the apparel industry as a whole. For example, you’ll want to ensure you are never out of stock by taking advantage of programmable reorder points. Make it easy to add items at the checkout and your average order value will skyrocket.

Conclusion

The development, production, transportation and consumption of clothing and apparel products is happening faster. Apparel manufacturing is a global enterprise, with constantly-changing variables that affect the speed and cost of order fulfillment. Rapid product cycles and ever-changing tastes mean fashion retailers have to respond quickly. 
Outdated inventory processes can slow your business down. If your competitors are using up-to-date features and cutting-edge functionality, hanging on to software that has reached the end of the road (and which is no longer getting IT support) will become a liability.
 
New systems are faster. They are optimized for mobile and omnichannel sales. They give you the stock allocation features that are now standard. You should be able to optimize inventory to what your customers want to wear. You should be able to integrate all your sales channels by connecting your ecommerce platform (Amazon, Joor and other marketplaces) to your updated inventory management system. You should go out and get the competitive edge you need.
 
That’s why updating legacy systems to the right inventory management software for your apparel business will boost productivity, beef up IT security and enhance customer satisfaction.

Grow your business to the next level