ERP modernization for apparel business
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Legacy ERP System Modernization For Apparel Business

27 Sep 2023

In today’s competitive and fast-paced business environment, consumer product and software companies must quickly respond to shifting consumer preferences and marketplace demands. For apparel businesses, dedicated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software helps them streamline the process from start to finish.

Whether gradually expanding or experiencing rapid growth, they often lag in modernizing legacy outdated ERP solutions. And while staying with a legacy system may not be the right decision for a company, they need to update their legacy ERP to remain competitive. However, the process involves transitioning from traditional methods to the latest architectures and technologies. Picking the right approach is essential because legacy ERP modernization demands more than a few minor upgrades. For companies, it is vital to evaluate whether a significant overhaul is worth the business disruption and what aspect of their legacy ERP most needs improvement while considering the modernization costs.

In this blog, we’ll explore a real-life case of how we helped a forward-thinking apparel company successfully modernize its legacy ERP system to stay competitive and thrive in the digital age. So let’s get started!

Table of Content

Why Modernization of ERP Solution For Apparel Industry Is Need of The Hour?

It’s a tough spot for any modern-day retailer to struggle with an outdated, unscalable ERP solution with sluggish hardware. Legacy systems, like mainframes and servers, are inadequate for today’s online landscape, where cost-effective online hosting reigns supreme. Aging apps and obsolete tech setups are pushing businesses to overhaul their crucial applications and upgrade their tech stack for a much-needed efficiency boost. Even if your legacy systems seem okay, the clock is ticking. Tech is shifting, and your legacy apps will need an upgrade sooner than you think.

Holding onto old applications today comes at a hefty price! Despite throwing resources at fixes and tech updates, how long will those legacy systems genuinely last? As the challenges pile up, your crucial apps could start to sputter. Enter application modernization! Modernizing old, complex systems takes effort and money, but smart businesses view it as an investment strategy. Let’s find out why.

Tech Transformation Imperative: Shaping the Future of Apparel Industry

  • McKinsey’s report on tech transformation in retail[1] emphasizes that digital technology has become a foundational element for retail. It discusses the rise of e-commerce and omnichannel, changing customer behavior and hyper-personalization, and growing supply chain complexity. The report suggests that retailers must radically transform the architecture and operating model of their tech function[1].
  • A recent report from Markets And Markets predicts the global market for application modernization services to swell from $15.2 billion in 2022 to a staggering $32.8 billion by 2027[2].
  • As per insights from Top Business Tech, retailers and manufacturers who’ve embraced digital transformation are all set to reap rewards like customer loyalty and increased revenue. Conversely, those yet to modernize will face challenges in competing effectively and wowing their customers[3]

Legacy modernization is about reimagining your core operations for a smooth digital shift. With this upgrade, you’re not just replacing outdated software; you’re reshaping your operations to thrive in the digital realm. From ramping up IT infrastructure and digitalizing cross-channel operations to leveraging intelligent process automation and data-powered business models – legacy ERP system modernization prepares your business for the digital era.

The Challenge: Legacy ERP System Hindering Growth

Our customer is an established North America-based company that produces premium custom-decorated, vintage-inspired apparel, headwear, and home décor. They relied on a legacy ERP system to manage ordering, product design, production, shipping accounting, reporting, and analytics. In addition to poor UI, this system faced significant challenges with scaling up on the technology front.

While this system had served them well for over a decade, integrating applications across systems was becoming a bottleneck as part of the rapid expansion. Listed below are some of the challenges;

  • Limited Functionality: The legacy system was slow and unable to handle the growing volume of orders, resulting in delays in order processing and shipment. It lacked the capabilities to align the system with its evolving business requirements. The existing ERP could not tap into the power of collective insights and foster collaboration across the board. To enable real-time management, the client wanted to integrate the capabilities to view, edit, and generate reports in real-time.
  • Data Integration Challenges: Seamless data flow between different departments and stakeholders (fabric store, product designing, sampling, QA, packaging, shipping, accounting, reporting, and more). The ERP system operating on legacy technologies could not seamlessly integrate with standalone data components and modules, leading to manual data entry, errors, and discrepancies. Purchase orders, sales orders, cost of designing, industry-specific data sheets, accounting files, and reports were stored in silos on an old data storage that was not accessible in real time. This resulted in either overstocking or inventory stockouts.
  • Security Vulnerabilities: The current ERP system, cobbled together from various IT components, resulted in unknown vulnerabilities from security weak points that could be easily exploited due to an outdated security architecture.
  • Limited Mobility: The inability to access real-time data on mobile devices hindered the sales team’s decision-making while on the field.
  • Scalability Issues: The system couldn’t scale up to accommodate the company’s expansion plans, making it challenging to enter new markets.
  • Outdated Reporting: With the system’s reporting capabilities being outdated, it could not provide the comprehensive insights needed for strategic decision-making.

The Solution: A Modern ERP System Implementation

Modernization of ERP solution for the apparel industry

Our team undertook a phased approach to address customers’ challenges. The engagement commenced with a Requirements Assessment (RA) phase to build confidence and identify areas of improvement. We helped recognize the need for change while embarking on a journey to modernize their ERP system/application. Here’s how they tackled the challenge:

  • Needs Assessment: The first step was to conduct a thorough needs assessment. The customer engaged with consultants and conducted internal surveys to identify their requirements. This helped them define their goals for the modernization project.
  • Technology Stack Selection: Based on our extensive experience, we consulted the customer to utilize Microsoft Stack for its scalability integration capabilities since their existing system was developed using Microsoft Technologies with added mobile access features. We utilized the .NET Core framework with Angular as the front end to modernize the ERP solution.
  • Modernization & Customization: While the updated ERP system offered many out-of-the-box features, customers needed specific customizations to align the system with their unique processes. Customizations were carried out thoughtfully to minimize disruption.

Solutions Provided:

1. Migration Project

  • Modules: Order & Customer
  • Technologies Used: .NET Core, Angular, SQL
  • Outcome: Successful migration of customer’s legacy system from VB Access to modern .NET Core and Angular. The modules were successfully delivered and are now fully operational.

2. Internal Projects

  • Modules: SKU Approval
  • Technologies Used: VBA, .NET Core, MVC, SQL
  • Outcome: Maintenance and enhancement of legacy system, along with deployment of SKU Approval module

3. Integrations

The integration efforts were segmented into various projects. The migration of Order and Customer modules was successfully executed, followed by the Moses App (Sales Rep Module) implementation. The partnership facilitated the live launch of the Customer and Licensing Portal (SKU Approval).

4. Analytics and Reporting

The analytics work with Power BI involved integrating data from diverse sources, establishing robust data models, and developing customized dashboards. Key metrics were defined, and data migration was facilitated to empower different departments with data-driven decision-making capabilities.

Why Was Rishabh Software The Chosen ERP Modernization Partner?

  • Expertise in ERP Modernization: We possess a proven track record of successfully modernizing ERP systems for various clients across diverse industries. Our team’s proficiency in ERP modernization made us a natural choice. We have two decades of technical experience with Microsoft technologies for rapidly scaling up teams across varied skill sets.
  • Tailored Solutions: We offered tailored solutions for customers’ unique challenges and requirements. Our ability to customize ERP solutions ensures the system aligns seamlessly with their business processes.
  • Timely and Cost-effective Approach: We put into practice a well-structured project plan emphasizing timely delivery and cost-effectiveness. Our efficient project management and resource allocation assured customers that their investment would yield high returns.
  • Strong References: 9/10 customers who engaged us for ERP modernization projects have provided strong references. Our satisfied customers vouched for our commitment, technical prowess, and ability to deliver results.
  • Robust Support and Maintenance: Our ongoing post-implementation support and maintenance services ensure the long-term health and performance of developed systems that set us apart as a trusted partner.

As an experienced legacy application modernization company, we help modernize the technology stack and revitalize your business-critical applications with the right blend of tools, platforms, and strategies. Our skilled team meticulously analyses your existing legacy systems and aging apps to comprehend their technical constraints and operational hurdles. This understanding forms the basis for our solution models. We undertake a comprehensive overhaul of your operating model and business workflows, realigning them with the evolving demands of technology.

Key Benefits Delivered

  • 90% Accurate Insights into Business Processes
  • 54% Improved Collaboration among Departments
  • 32% Enhanced Inventory Control

Final Words

The above-discussed appereal ERP system modernization case demonstrates technology’s transformative power for the apparel industry. By recognizing the limitations of their legacy system and investing in a modern ERP solution, our customer was able to overcome operational challenges and gain a significant competitive advantage in the long run. With this success story, our objective is to highlight the importance of staying adaptable and embracing technology to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving business landscape. We understand that modernizing legacy systems can be complex, but the rewards for efficiency, scalability, and competitiveness are well worth the effort. Feel free to contact us if you have any doubts or need clarification.

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We can help you develop and implement an ERP modernization plan that leverages the latest tech advancements and functionalities.