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SAP sets up Apparel and Footwear team

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: October 5 1999

Event Summary

SAP is trying to stabilize its Apparel and Footwear R/3 Solution (AFS) after early users had problems with the software, leading several to stop work on their projects. Until now, SAP was pulling consultants from its wider consumer products group to deal with AFS installations. The new AFS team now has 35 consultants on board, and expects to increase that count to 50 by year's end, stated Annegret Sonnenberg, vice president of SAP's retail and consumer products unit. Their job is to work directly with users to help expedite software fixes being done at SAP's German development labs. The 60-plus apparel and footwear companies that have bought the AFS software are typically smaller than most manufacturers with R/3, "And they need someone who speaks their language'', she added. By early next year, SAP hopes to ease sales restrictions that have limited new purchases of AFS since the stabilization work began last spring.

Market Impact

Those who can deliver solutions that satisfy the exacting, stringent requirements of some vertical markets are in the driving seat to capture that market segment. This is especially true in the Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SME) market segment, where there is much less leeway for time and cash consuming implementations that require massive software patchwork. We believe that SAP will resolve AFS glitches eventually, but expect that other vendors with strong products in this market niche, like Intentia International, JBA International, and J.D. Edwards, will take advantage of SAP's tarnished image in this particular situation.

User Recommendations

The importance of a thorough, well-structured ERP software selection process can not be over emphasized. Neglecting any of TEC's six parent ERP market evaluation criteria (Product Functionality, Product Technology, Product Cost, Corporate Service and Support, Corporate Viability, Corporate Strategy) can result in an inappropriate selection. Fashion organizations currently initiating an ERP software selection are advised to research the major ERP players in this niche, seek assistance in the selection process from unbiased service providers, and base their decisions only on existing functionality that the vendors are able to demonstrate during scripted scenario sessions.

 
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