An integrated solution to help apparel retailers and brands automate their supply chain, warehousing and distribution processes is now available following joint development work between two software firms.

The solution combines the FashionManager Enterprise Solution (ERP) from RLM Apparel Software Systems and the Warehouse Management System (WMS) from Bergen Logistics.

"With so many fashion companies embracing the benefits of 3PL (third-party logistics) services, we saw an opportunity to create a more powerful link between their core business systems and outsourced warehouse services," explains RLM vice president Andy Lynn.

The collaboration means companies can streamline the flow of information and significantly improve their visibility into the shipping, inventory, and delivery status of their goods.

For instance, FashionManager can automatically provide real-time updates based on Advance Shipping Notices (ASN) provided by product suppliers.

And product management within a warehouse is improved when the ERP system automatically shares pick tickets, warehouse location, UPS account, billing type, and other key information with the Bergen software.

After goods are shipped, the information flows back to ERP and invoices and ASNs are automatically generated and sent to the retailer. The integration also provides automated tools to improve management and restocking of product returns.