In today’s world of rapidly changing technology, the apparel manufacturing industry has been faced with increased global competition, customer demands for new and innovative products, the need to create new revenue streams, and pressure to reduce new development costs.
To keep up with demands and remain competitive, the apparel industry is constantly seeking to differentiate themselves by—and have done so in—3 main ways:
- Aligning and coordinating design, procurement and suppliers early in the design process to accelerate time-consuming product sample review iterations and placement decisions
- Establishing an information infrastructure that can automate business processes and develop workflows across the product lifecycle
- Improving the ability to capture and align industry trends, product features, and customer requirements
Key to succeeding in each of these three areas is the implementation of systemic processes. Major apparel companies such as Under Armor, Tommy Hilfiger, American Eagle, and Levi Strauss & Co. have seen their brands succeed internationally with the help of systematic management strategies, which no doubt include the efficient management of document and workflows. In this article we will discuss the importance of document management systems in the apparel industry and how our very own eFileCabinet can assist the apparel and manufacturing industry in managing their documents and workflow processes for maximum profitability.
Document Management in the Apparel Manufacturing Industry
The capacity to manage your product development, design marketing campaigns, and track your workflow all in a single solution means faster time-to-market, increased process visibility, improved collaboration, and enhanced traceability.
Document management software (DMS) can easily be integrated with Adobe tools providing ready access to all designs, images, and important documents relating to marketing, packaging, import and export, and compliance.
Feature-rich and intuitive DMS like eFileCabinet can meet the specific needs of the apparel industry with its purchase-order generation, capacity for testing and quality assurance, enhancement of vendor collaboration and event track, and its ability to establish concept-to-production workflow. Developing a workflow management system to automate document preparation and processing reduces order and shipping processing times, accelerates collections, provides visibility, and traceability of the sales process, and reduces charge-backs.
As with any other industry, the apparel industry is required to meet the requirements of various regulatory and government standards. In accordance with the ISO 9001, all documents should be legible and should facilitate identification of document revision. It is also important to exercise control over external documents. This can be easily accomplished by using DMS. Documents in this case may mean:
- Material requisition reports
- Inspection and audit reports
- Purchase and sales orders
- Pre-production meeting reports
- Shrinkage and fabric test reports
- In-house and third-party test reports
- Cut plans
- Calibration records
- Preventive and corrective action plans implemented against audit reports/customer complaints
Benefits to successfully implementing DMS are numerous and include improved operations through reduced cycle times, improved cash flow, better cost management, and significant savings from automated and collaborative processes.
How eFileCabinet Can Improve Efficiency in the Apparel Industry
eFileCabinet comes with a host of functions and features that can greatly benefit the apparel manufacturing industry by increasing automation, transparency, traceability, efficiency, and security.
Automation, Transparency, & Traceability
eFileCabinet’s workflow module provides a way to automate processes from beginning to end with total transparency, making it convenient for companies to easily trace apparel defects, and our audit trail function allows companies to successfully meet the requirements of various regulatory bodies. This feature tracks and monitors documents in the system so users can identify the various attributes of a file including the upload date, number of edits, and persons performing the edits.
Efficiency & Profitability
Efficiency and profitability also see significant gains with the move to DMS. The apparel industry generates hundreds of documents daily. The man-power required to handle all these documents ultimately results in losses in profitability. Making the move to a paperless environment by having eFileCabinet store all your documents electronically can yield a multitude of benefits. Best of all, eFileCabinet offers a variety of different methods to help transfer all the associated paperwork to the DMS.
Security & Peace of Mind
All information stored with eFileCabinet is secured with cutting-edge redundant safety measures. These include encryption, SSL-certified websites for eFileCabinet online, and SAS 70 type II data servers with daily backups to prevent data loss. With these security measures in place, company information is always safe and secure and data may be shared with client and business partners without the fear of data falling into the wrong hands.
There are many other ways eFileCabinet can be advantageous to the apparel manufacturing industry. To discover other ways you can benefit from eFileCabinet’s many powerful features, fill out the form provided for a free 15-minute demo.