Infor has announced a number of solutions designed to help omni-channel retailers and fashion brands optimise their inventories, improve demand and supply planning, boost factory efficiency and help take their fashion products to market faster.
The new, machine learning, ML-driven solutions are Generally Available and include Infor Retail Allocation, Infor Omni-Channel Planning for Brands, the latest version of Infor CloudSuite PLM for Fashion, and the Infor Nexus RFID Scan & Pack solution.
Infor Retail Allocation
Infor Retail Allocation leverages Infor Machine Learning to address the challenge of where to position inventory to maximise full-price sell-through and minimise markdowns and waste.
The solution supports multi-modal fulfilment for all demand types and nodes, including vendors, distribution centres and stores. It enables retailers to create a time-phased allocation plan, from launch to clearance, to optimise the lifecycle margin for each product.
Infor Retail Allocation is one of the industry’s first allocation solutions to be powered by machine learning and one of the first enabling retailers to replenish distribution centres and allocate to stores in one process. It also is unique in its ability to reduce the labor required in allocation.
Infor Omni-Channel Planning for Brands
Infor Omni-Channel Planning for Brands applies machine learning to demand and supply planning to help fashion brands manage their direct-to-consumer channels, alongside their existing wholesale businesses in a solution designed for both types of demand.
With Infor Omni-Channel Planning, fashion and lifestyle brands no longer have to choose two disparate tools or force one channel to use a tool that is more fit for another channel. The solution supports demand planning, unique to wholesale accounts vs. retail channels; supply planning that consolidates demand; allocation by channel, account and store; bill-of-materials-driven component planning and minimal-order-quantities management. It also is integrated with the Infor Nexus supply chain network to enable collaboration with component suppliers, factories and downstream wholesale accounts.
Infor Omni-Channel Planning is one of the first omni-channel demand and supply planning solutions to leverage machine learning. It enables retailers to create plans that address both wholesale and retail channels seamlessly, and it helps them reduce waste, markdowns and the labor associated with planning.
Infor CloudSuite PLM for Fashion
Infor CloudSuite PLM for Fashion Version 16 helps fashion designers take their products and collections to market faster and in a more structured, controlled way. The solution provides a trusted, single source of data, so fashion brands can efficiently re-use data from collection to collection.
The solution’s modern user interface, with drag-and-drop features, helps users more easily manage the information they need. And Infor CloudSuite PLM for Fashion offers tight collaboration with partners. It allows them restricted access to the system to view information such as technology packs and feedback on samples, thus reducing unstructured e-mail communications.
Because Infor CloudSuite PLM for Fashion is integrated with Infor CloudSuite Fashion M3 on the same Infor Operating Service Platform, data can be shared across the platform seamlessly. Workflow tasks are defined for end-to-end processes, regardless of where data comes from. Documents created in Infor CloudSuite PLM are stored in the Document Management application within Infor OS. As such, data is aligned, integrated and updated when new versions are released.
Infor Nexus RFID Scan & Pack solution
The Infor Nexus Scan & Pack solution enables retailers and fashion brands to leverage RFID tags in the factory packing process to validate packing accuracy and improve factory compliance and efficiency. Electronic Product Code data is captured and verified, duplicate and dead tags detected, and an item-level proof of delivery generated, without the need to physically handle each garment.
The solution is embedded into Infor Nexus’ Factory Management product suite, which enables communication and enforcement of carton packing and labelling requirements, and automatic generation of compliant carton labels and Advanced Shipping Notices. RFID scanning helps brands enforce a true item-level scan at the factory while also streamlining factory packing operations. EPC data can be utilised along with the Infor Nexus Supply Chain Traceability product to drive brand-protection initiatives.
Jordan K Speer, Research Manager, Global Supply Chain, at IDC, said, “Retailers that cannot minimise costs by optimising for product planning, creation and movement through the end-to-end supply chain will not be able to compete. Optimisation requires the ability to design, sample and produce as close to market as possible and to move inventory as quickly and efficiently as possible for both store and e-commerce operations.
“This requires, first, one view of inventory and, second, the ability to fulfil orders from whatever location is optimal, taking into account a wide array of constantly changing factors in real-time,” she noted. “Without unified software systems and analytics that provide visibility into one version of data, insight into that data and the ability to make smart decisions based on it, retailers will not be able to thrive in today’s market.”
Cormac Watters, General Manager and Head of International, Infor, said, “Infor’s ongoing investments in machine learning and advanced planning will give retailers and fashion and lifestyle brands very powerful new capabilities. First, they will have an incredibly precise view of their component and finished goods demand and, second, they will have an execution platform that supports even shorter product lifecycles. This combination will reduce waste, labor and markdowns throughout their supply chains, from zippers to finished goods.”