ERP in Fashion: Implementation Issues and Business Benefits

Barbara Waters, Ives Waters

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been widely applied across a range of industries. An ERP system is a complete, enterprise-wide, business solution consisting of software modules for various business functions (finance, sales, operations, etc.) with an integrated centralised database. Previous research suggests that the fashion industry is characterised by very specific and complex issues which make implementation of generic ERP systems in fashion businesses problematic. For example, a fashion style is not a single product, there are many variations in size, colour and fabrics for each style, so any system must be able to manage the very wide range of products being designed, manufactured and sold. For this reason, ERP implementation in fashion businesses usually involves significant customisation or the use of a vertical solution. Vertical solutions are standardised pre-configured systems tailored to a specific sector, with “add-ons” to match the sector’s requirements.This paper uses a case study approach to examine the implementation of a specialist fashion ERP system. Americana International Ltd., the brand owner and manufacturer of Bench clothing, is selected as the target case company. Via published material and semi-structured interviews with management of the company, the paper examines the implementation of a vertical solution: Microsoft Dynamics NAV with Pebblestone Fashion. Problems and issues occurring during implementation are examined; and the business benefits achieved through the use of the ERP system are identified. Based on the case study results, the paper concludes that implementing an ERP system in a fashion company can significantly enhance operations management within the business.Finally, future challenges and research opportunities relating to implementing fashion ERP systems in conjunction with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems are explored.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2013
    Event1st International Conference on Digital Technologies for the Textile Industries - University of Manchester
    Duration: 5 Sep 20136 Sep 2013


    Conference1st International Conference on Digital Technologies for the Textile Industries
    CityUniversity of Manchester


    • enterprise resource planning (ERP)
    • product lifecycle management (PLM)
    • vertical solutions


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