A new Infor survey tracking the mindset of decision-makers in fashion finds that product quality and regulatory compliance are the two top priorities.
Infor today announced the results of "Apparel Business Strategy: Global Study," which it commissioned EKN Research to conduct. EKN Research is a leading research and advisory firm focused on business-technology insights in the retail industry.
Three quarters of global respondents noted that in terms of time and resources spent, product quality is an extremely important priority, while 56 percent ranked regulatory compliance as an extremely important priority. However, nearly one third (31 percent) of respondents noted that cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are not under consideration in the near future for their organization.
As decision-makers in the fashion industry look ahead to 2015, the uncertainty of the global economy has forced many to modify their market strategies to better adhere to demand and quality standards. And, as organizations continue to grow and modernize operations, many don't realize the benefits that analytics, mobility and cloud-based technologies can provide in achieving short- and long-term goals.
"Legacy business solutions struggle to keep up with the pace of change in the fashion industry," said Bob McKee, Infor Fashion strategy director. "Demand volatility, cost challenges, and increasingly complex global supply chains require a more agile and modern ERP solution to ensure quality and compliance needs are met."
Big data was also brought to light in the study. While many organizations realize that access to better data can yield more actionable insights, which can directly affect product quality, only 10 percent of survey respondents said they are harnessing big data analytics on a regular basis, and more than half (55 percent) are still learning about these options or have no efforts currently in motion.
Advanced analytics can help reduce process flaws, save time, resources, and reduce complexities within the manufacturing process. In addition, having the capability to quickly analyze data is of utmost importance when trying to adhere to strict codes and regulations while simultaneously delivering top-notch products.
"The fashion industry lives at the bleeding edge of customer expectations, which means agility and adaptability are two critical skills that they need to grow," said Gaurav Pant, EKN Research principal analyst. "Even as retailers are investing in technology to improve these skills, they are woefully behind in perhaps the most important business capability they need today: analytics and insights. Analytics needs to be at the heart of the retailer because it has the power to deliver agility and adaptability to all parts of the business."
While a majority of organizations globally are using their own e-commerce sites or have plans to implement one in the next 24 months (85 percent), only 46 percent are considering developing a mobile application in that same timeframe.
"The right software and services exist in the marketplace today to help the fashion industry advance their operations and get end-to-end efficiency, from concept to consumer. Infor understands the changing requirements of these organizations and can help them tap into unused potential with specialized applications tailored to their business," McKee said.