In the dynamic, ever-changing world of fashion, staying ahead of the curve is essential for companies to stay competitive in the market, provide value to customers across the entire value chain, and remain a relevant force in the industry over time.

Enter SAP Apparel and Footwear Solution (SAP AFS) — a game-changing enterprise software solution designed specifically for the apparel and footwear industry.

With its comprehensive suite of tools and features, SAP AFS helps companies streamline, manage, and optimize every aspect of their supply chain, from product design to production, quality assurance, distribution, retail, and more.

This article will discuss the key capabilities and features of the SAP Apparel and Footwear Solution (AFS), as well as where our team of SAP consultants can come in to help.

Read on to learn more!

What is AFS in SAP?

The SAP Apparel and Footwear Solution (SAP AFS) is the SAP E-Business solution designed to help companies in the apparel and footwear industry address industry requirements more effectively, manage market volatility and seasonal fluctuation more efficiently, and promote collaboration across the entire supply chain.

Key Capabilities of the SAP Apparel and Footwear Solution

With SAP AFS capabilities, fashion companies and other businesses in the retail industry are enabled to leverage intelligent structures to map products by characteristics, including size, color, fabric, and more. This way, suppliers can facilitate efficient logistics processes across complex value chains to ensure customers have the products they need, when they need them.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the main capabilities included in the SAP AFS solution…

AFS Grid Functionality

Size-wise handling is an essential process in companies across the fashion industry, allowing them to leverage three-dimensional functionality in AFS grids to maintain product variables and handle product sizes in a more efficient manner.

With AFS grids, companies are enabled to label products based on separate sizing methods to provide a more accurate sizing information for customers and reduce data volume and complexity through the centralized management of grids and grid data.

For example, AFS customers could leverage grids to label a product by size (M), waist size (27), and inseam (29″) to offer better insight into the fit of the product for customers.

Seasonal Forecasting

Seasonality is one of the most important deciding factors across the apparel and footwear industry, prompting fashion businesses to change product characteristics and quantities as the seasons change throughout the year.

SAP AFS functionality allows companies to minimize the effect of seasonality on the entire supply chain by providing the tools needed to maintain product size and category characteristics through seasonal settings.

For example, as the Spring/Summer season approaches and color and style characteristics for specific products tend to change, AFS customers are enabled to manage this data more efficiently and keep up with seasonality trends and requirements over time.

Product Categorization

Categories in SAP AFS make it easier for companies to categorize products of the same type or those with similar characteristics, like Size, Color, or Quality.

Let’s say, for example, two different products are graded for quality, and one reaches top-tier quality standards, while the other misses the mark and falls into the “B-Quality” category. Because these products are of different quality, they will be sold at different price points and will have differing levels of customer demand.

In this case, SAP customers would be able to use AFS capabilities to manage product categories and allocate each category to keep up with product demand across the value chain.

Business Scenarios Using SAP AFS

Here are a few of the most common business scenarios in which customers leverage AFS…

1) Production Planning

With pre-built integrations across the SAP E-Business platform, companies are enabled to transfer the data from production forecasts or Sales and Operations Planning in SAP to their SAP AFS solution for use in production planning processes.

And, as the production process influences all areas of your supply chain, from inventory management to capacity planning and even down to the lowest material level, the AFS solution needs to provide the right planning and control functions to handle stock fluctuation and ensure product requirements are met, no matter what.

Customers can also leverage AFS integrations to manage specific characteristics of the AFS model and plan the production of relevant items through third-party system integration.

2) Material Management

Material Management functions in SAP AFS provide comprehensive mapping functions to help companies map logistical processes, including purchasing, goods receipts, invoice verification, inventory management, and more.

With integrated Material Management and AFS capabilities, apparel and footwear companies have the tools needed to facilitate more efficient procurement processes and manage material master data more effectively across ERP systems.

3) Cost Controlling

SAP AFS offers centralized management functions that help companies manage materials and their characteristic values more efficiently and map logistics business processes across the entire industry.

With advanced product cost controlling and valuation capabilities, companies are enabled to manage materials and products by characteristic values like Size and Color, or by categories like Product Quality to improve product controlling and cost management functionality.

4) SAP Retail Processes

While SAP Retail focuses more on product distribution, SAP AFS places a greater emphasis on the manufacturing of size-dependent products managed and controlled by fashion companies.

The interface between solutions considers the AFS solution a supplier to the SAP Retail system, and the SAP Retail system a customer of the AFS solution.

With the exchange of data between these solutions, SAP customers are enabled to gain a broader perspective on manufacturing and distribution processes across the industry, exchange business documents between wholesale distributors and other business partners, and optimize the connection between the two ERP systems.

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help reinventing your core commerce operations with connected business partners and devices, additional support maximizing industry-specific processes across your retail operations, or just an extra hand driving higher customer satisfaction across the board, Surety Systems is here to help.

Your technology. Your priorities. Our expertise. That’s the name of the game at Surety.

Our team of senior-level SAP consultants has the right knowledge, skills, and experience needed to help you manage global inventory and monitor production processes across the entire value chain for more productive and profitable apparel and footwear companies.

Partnering with the Best

Interested in learning where our expert SAP consultants can fit in your organization?

Ready to handle retail trade scenarios and manage wholesale business processes with ease, but don’t know who to turn to for help?

Contact us today for more information about our SAP consulting services!