In the first chapter of our SAP Solutions & Fashion Industries article, we covered the basic overview of SAP AFS (Apparel and Footwear) and some of the challenges presented by the Apparel and Footwear industry. In the second chapter of our SAP AFS article, we turned your attention to some specific advantages that are made available by SAP AFS, as well as a second fashion industry-specific module- SAP IS-Retail. Today we’d like to conclude this 3 part AFS article series by introducing SAP Fashion Management into the mix.

AFS was primarily designed for those companies dealing in the manufacturing industry. For companies with business in various areas of retail, it was difficult for them to manage and maintain the entire supply chain from goods manufacturing to product placement and sales. Both SAP solutions, AFS and IS-Retail, have lots of great features but each solution addresses problems differently.

When a company requires both solution flavors, problems often occur, such as requiring a solution optimized for production transactions as well as another focused on distribution and retailing. When this occurs, does a company choose one solution that works best, or do they implement both, using them together side-by-side? To help create a more holistic picture of the entire data flow process, SAP invented a new solution- SAP Fashion Management.

SAP Fashion Management (SAP FMS) is an integrated SAP solution that combines SAP AFS with SAP IS-Retail. Developed in HANA’s Big by Business Suite, Fashion Management blends manufacturing business processes with retailing, and cultivates them into one single vertical solution. First released in June 2014, when SAP joined forces with Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and Luxotica, this new solution enables companies to manage their business processes across one single larger system landscape. FMS is very similar to SAP ERP IS-Retail with AFS Functionality ported via an Add-on.

SAP Fashion Management was created as an Add-on for SAP IS-Retail within SAP ERP, and is based on various components of Materials Management (Inventory Management and Purchasing), Logistics, and Sales and Distribution (Sales). SAP FMS contains many of the functionalities of AFS, but also includes completely new functionalities that were created to help support multi-channel business around the globe. Through SAP FMS sharing key processes over a global inventory, new key benefits for businesses are those such as higher customer satisfaction, fewer chargebacks from customers, and lower inventory.

A few examples of the exciting new features now available through SAP FMS are:

  • Customer Centric Marketing and Merchandising
    • Marketing and Merchandising Insight
    • Omni-channel Marketing
    • Merchandise Planning & Assortment Management
    • Pricing & Promotions
  • Sourcing, Buying, and Private Label
    • Sourcing, Vendor Management, Insight
    • Buying
    • Private Label
    • Collaborative Retail
  • Supply Chain
    • Supply Chain Insights
    • Demand and Replenishment Planning
    • Omni-channel Inventory & Order Management
    • Logistics and Fulfillment
  • Omni-commerce Customer Experience
    • Customer Insight
    • Omni-commerce Orchestration
    • Customer Engagement & Personalization
    • Store and Digital Commerce
  • Human Resources
    • Solutions for HR
  • Finance
    • Solutions for Finance
  • Platform and Technology
    • Solutions for Platform and Technology

It’s important to note that SAP FMS is only available through SAP HANA. This is due to the fact that the amount of data to be processed in production and retail is huge and must be delivered through a unified platform. A second reason is that the additional developments for SAP FMS must be built to leverage the new database reality. By using SAP HANA, it is possible to build new applications that were not available previously.

The Future of AFS and FMS

FMS is an obvious go-to solution for new customers in the fashion industry and is set to have AFS fully integrated by late 2015. With AFS only being supported by SAP through the year 2020, the move to FMS is evident for those in the apparel and footwear industry. However, for already existing AFS customers, the transition must be adopted at a slower gradual pace as they evaluate their current needs and make the required changes over to FMS. To help already existing AFS customers, SAP has released several tools available to help them transition smoothly from AFS to FMS.

If you would like to obtain further information regarding the migration from SAP AFS to FMS, IS-Retail, or SAP HANA please contact us at 1 (484) 401-7218 or via email at info@blackvard.com to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert consultants.