ERP system in a footwear enterprise



The effectiveness of an ERP system depends on how well it covers business processes and whether it reflects the specific features of production. To manage a footwear enterprise successfully, the system must solve multiple specific tasks that distinguish the elements of footwear production:

  • Production of new shoe models;
  • Quick configuration a new shoe model based on the existing one;
  • Managеment of the technological preparation of footwear production;
  • Management of cost rationing of basic and auxiliary materials by operations;
  • Determination of planned material costs accounting for waste, yield, quality control and equipment set-up costs;
  • Maintaining the set of shoe sizes in relevant quantity in orders;
  • Maintaining the set of shoe sizes in relevant quantity in manufacturing process;
  • Production planning based on enterprise capacity;
  • Production planning based on workshop capacity;
  • Production dispatching considering conveyors’ parameters;
  • Managing individual items (components) of product BOM by sizes;
  • Management of semi-finished products by size;
  • Real-time production report with terminals;
  • Warehouse management with terminals.


At the beginning of the production process in a footwear enterprise are these specialists: designers, engineers, technologists. Therefore, the production management process must start from the technological preparation of production.

The first task is to create a product structure (BOM) for the new product. The ERP system must ensure an interface for integration with the design CAD system. In order to speed up the process of creating product structures of similar shoe models, the ERP system should provide specific system tooling for reproduction of shoe models.

The design of process routing for shoe production is the next stage of production preparation. The technology also specifies auxiliary materials and cost rates for each technology operation.


Volume planning is performed by orders at the level of finished products. The activity is manual, but tools are used to allow orders to be placed within the capacity of the enterprise.


Based on input structures, technologies and orders, the system plans the production according to MRPII standard and generates a calendar plan for production considering the set of shoe sizes in relevant quantity in orders.

In addition to MRPII planning, the ERP system should also provide an alternative material flow planning taking into account the available production resource of the workshops and order priority. Based on the information entered at order registration (product, quantity, priority, desired production lead time), the system calculates the estimated production lead time.

After an order is registered, the system plans its production with the lowest priority, taking into account the remaining production and material resources at that time. When a re-planning procedure is started, the system deletes all planned orders and places them in time according to priority of the orders and production capacity of workshops.

The delivery of materials is planned considering the arrangement of orders for true shape nesting over time. The ERP system makes a balance of estimated availability of materials at the start date of the order. In addition, it takes into account the lead time of the requested deliveries. Time-shifting of order for true shape nesting changes the terms of all subsequent orders, so the system must be able to notify the responsible salesperson of the expected order delay.


After verifying the availability of all necessary production resources, workshop orders are issued based on planned orders.

The system must enable the management of workshop orders and organization of production by batches taking into account the set of shoe sizes in relevant quantity.

Material pick lists are issued based on workshop orders and material and warehouse costs for materials and semi-finished products shall be manage.


Production dispatching is performed with Gantt diagrams considering the capacity utilization. The main tasks of real-time dispatching are:

  • Work distribution to machines and workers in workshop;
  • Control of the production process, including execution of operation and orders, batch volume, equipment utilization, workload of specialists;
  • Determination of plan execution degree;
  • Making necessary changes in workshop production plan as a result of deviation in production processes from the planned ones;
  • Synchronization of the report of given and used materials;
  • Reporting execution of operations.

The ERP system used in a footwear enterprise should provide both manual reporting capability and use of various technical tools for automatic reporting of operations. One of the most common methods is the use of barcode scanners that report the production by route sheets. However, as technology evolves and trends move towards ‘paperless’ management, the ERP system must provide alternative methods for automated reporting.


Such an alternative method is the use of terminals and RFID readers and cards in the workshop for sewing uppers. For this purpose, in the system, each production line represents a separate workplace, and each physical workplace on the line represents a machine for the corresponding operation. Every worker registers at the corresponding workplace by scanning his/her card.

An RFID reader is attached to each machine in the line, at the position where the box with sewing materials is placed.

From each workshop order, for every serie the system generates an electronic route sheet. In front of each line, there is a stationary terminal connected to an RFID reader and card. Each box (containing a package of parts for a certain quantity of products) is placed on the reader. A dispatcher scans the barcode of the route sheet. The terminal displays the box number and the content of the route sheet. The operator is able to make changes to the route. The box with parts is ready to go on its route.

The dispatcher directs the box to appropriate operator on the line. When the box arrives at the appropriate machine, RFID reader reads the box card, and the system automatically registers which route sheet is on the workplace, which operation is being performed, the machine and the operator. Removing the box from the reader records the completion of operation. The time of box arrival and removal is recorded. The accumulated time data is compared with the normative data.


The effect is:

  • Real-time production reporting;
  • Real-time information about the work done by workers;
  • Real-time information about work-in-progress;
  • Real-time order fulfillment information;
  • Elimination of paper in production report;
  • Automatic generation of information when a worker moves form one workplace to another;
  • Shift scheduling and reporting of worker attendance;
  • Evaluating the performance of each workplace and every worker;
  • Accumulating machine hours and output in equipment register.

The implementation of an automatic report in a footwear enterprise contributes to a significant increase in the efficiency of production process. Errors in entering the reports on the route sheets are avoided. Inaccuracies in setting norms for technological operations are eliminated.

The final effect is an increase in productivity up to 8% in comparison with the organization of production under manual reporting and an increase in production efficiency up to 10%.