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Why fashion businesses should migrate from AFS to FMS

Published on 16 July 2020
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Rapidly changing trends, increasingly demanding customers and the need for constant product innovations are some of the challenges faced by fashion businesses. The fashion industry is always in a state of flux and enterprises need flexible yet stable solutions to help them stay ahead of the competition. This includes updating to the latest technology. With SAP bringing out FMS (Fashion Management Solution) we need to look at why fashion businesses should migrate from AFS to FMS.

What AFS offered

SAP’s AFS (Apparel and Footwear Solution) was formulated with the aim of helping apparel and footwear companies manage the numerous challenges specific to logistical needs. This made it an ideal solution for the fashion wholesale industry. AFS provides a unique set of services and solutions that empower business partners, employees, and customers, allowing them to work in successful partnerships. AFS can be used from any location and across many platforms.

Why AFS wasn’t enough

AFS worked fine as long as wholesale distributors weren’t concerned with retail operations. But with wholesale distributors opening retail outlets to enhance brand visibility and profit margins, AFS wasn’t enough to handle retail trade scenarios. On the other hand, retailers with strong brand presence moved into wholesale business. The SAP IS-Retail solution used by retailers to manage their operations wasn’t enough to handle wholesale operations. Running two ERP systems to run a business created new business challenges, which lead to the development of FMS (Fashion Management Solution) that would harmonize both the AFS and Retail functionalities into a single ERP system.

What FMS offers

FMS offers

SAP FMS brings together wholesale, retail and fashion specific processes in one back-end system. FMS was released to the market in June 2014. Later versions of the FMS integrated the manufacturing process too. FMS can be used to manage -

  • Master Data: Provides a unified view of Articles, Customers, Vendors, Seasons, Collections, and Sites
  • Merchandizing: Offers centralized management of listings, pricing, promotions, and inventory
  • Sales: Integrates Direct-channel orders, deliveries, and point-of-sale systems
  • Planning: Helps in seasonal forecasting, multi-channel allocation, and store replenishment
  • Manufacturing: Manages manufacturing planning, production, and supply chain

Why FMS is better

FMS enables multichannel and vertical integration. Multichannel integration helps in the management of multiple sales channels such as brick-and-mortar, online stores and catalogs to name a few. Vertical integration allows fashion companies to manage wholesale, manufacturing and retail processes in a single environment.FMS retained many functionalities of AFS and included new ones that support the global omnichannel enterprise. FMS is built on the SAP for Retail platform and comes with inbuilt SAP HANA – the powerful in-memory database that can analyze data from multiple sources to provide real-time insights. Fashion companies can turn these insights into proactive measures that result in more efficiency, speedier time-to-market, and superior inventory control.

Some of the key advantages of migrating to FMS are

  • Omni-channel visibility
  • Unified transparent global inventory
  • Single product master data
  • Store and e-commerce connectivity
  • Real-time analytics
  • Stock protection
  • Consistent customer experience
  • Continued support from SAP

Applexus specializes in Retail, Fashion, Consumer Products, Wholesale Distribution and has deep expertise and industry experience to successfully migrate data from AFS to FMS. We have successfully handled data migration projects for some of the major global multi-channel businesses in the fashion industry. Our extensive expertise in AFS, FMS, IS-Retail and DTMT (SAP's data transport and migration tool), will ensure that the migration process is hassle-free, cost-effective and results in profitable ROI.

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