Supply Chain Speed for the Apparel Industry by Apparel Search - Terms of Interest to the Fashion Industry
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How fast is your supply chain? As a fashion company, I certainly hope that it is fast...
The speed of supply chain activities plays a key role in the fashion industry. Moving from concept to product, is meant to be done at a relatively high speed.
Supply chain speed can deliver significant operational savings. As they say, time is money. If you can pull excess time out of the product development and garment production cycle, you can save both time as well as money. Many apparel manufacturers and clothing stores seek to implement product lifecycle management solutions and Supply Chain Management solutions to help better manage the cycle. In addition to PLM and SCM, their are many other fashion technology solutions to assist the fashion industry. Speed to market is far, far from being out of vogue. It is important to research available fashion industry technology. You may be surprised at the breadth of time saving fashion software in the market.
Without question, fashion designers, private brand clothing retailers and other suppliers of soft goods (apparel, footwear, textiles) are heavily focused on improving their ability to deliver new products to the market as quickly as possible. As you know, fashion moves very fast. Suppliers and retailers must move even faster to stay ahead of the trends. It is hard enough to keep an eye on fashion, let alone try to stay ahead of fashion trends. It is certainly challenging to develop concepts, produce garments, ship clothing around the world, and still get your fashion on the store racks in time. Cutting time out of the supply chain is one of the best ways to become more efficient so that you can "quickly" move product to market.
Changing consumer dynamics and a very competitive retail landscape place added pressure on clothing suppliers to reduce lead times for new products. Introducing trendy fashion, and maintaining on time deliveries is one of the leading challenges facing the fashion industry.
Making delivery schedules even more challenging, some of the manufacturing operations required by buyer have become more complex. For one example, suppliers are often required to use more time consuming folding techniques or packaging for the garments. Depending on the stores presentation, some retailers floor ready product that may require special folding techniques. For example, folding garments with chipboard, jet clips, security devices, packing in gift boxers, etc., may take more time then simply placing a garment on a hanger as often done in the past.
Anyway, the point is that supply chain speed is important to the apparel industry. The shorter the cycle the better. The trick for members of the fashion industry is to figure out ways to improve efficiency. Investigate fashion industry software and also investigate ways to improve the efficiency of labor (things that are not based solely on technology). For example, when was the last time you evaluated the layout of your factory or warehouse. Most likely, you are not running at 100% efficiency. Some times a very minor adjustment can improve efficiency. In the long run, efficiency will speed the supply chain. Speeding the supply chain will save money.