In previous posts on this blog, we've explored some of the biggest challenges currently facing retailers in the apparel industry. We've discussed the changing expectations of consumers and the growing emphasis on ethical sourcing. We've examined the Rana Plaza disaster and other events in Bangladesh in the context of these wider issues, and shown how greater supply chain transparency is good for business.
What we haven't done is claim that garment manufacturers need to embrace technology in order to manage their supply chains successfully. We believe that goes without saying. Today's supply chain relationships are interdependent, diverse, highly complex, socially sensitive and business-critical - companies simply need the latest systems to keep operating and remain competitive. Those that fail to bring their supply chain management into the 21st century risk exposing themselves to more than just misplaced deliveries and a few lost sales - their reputation will be on the line.
Apparel businesses already have a range of supply chain solutions at their disposal, and this segment of the technology sector is growing rapidly. It's understandable that companies sometimes find it difficult to decide which particular product is right for their needs. However, production tracking systems offers an integrated solution to many of the issues currently faced by retailers with complex supply chains and global sourcing operations.
Ultimately, a production tracking system like Segura can transform the relationships an apparel retailer has with its suppliers. It enables clothing businesses to develop a truly diverse, transparent supply chain that drives down operating costs. Furthermore, it helps to make ethical sourcing a reality rather than an abstract concept, as well as calculating rebates, improving production quality and cutting out common problems such as late deliveries.
Controlling the Secondary Supply Chain
Segura's web-based production planning software is designed for fashion brands and apparel retailers who want to take control of their secondary supply chain. This means all the labels, swing tickets, hangers, packaging and other trim items that go into the making of a garment.
Each of these trims can be managed in one place through the Segura production tracking system. Users can monitor the status of every item they need, making sure they'll be ready for assembly at the required time.
The system helps retailers to control costs because once they are using it, no single supplier can take control of their asset library. This way, users avoid getting locked into uncompetitive relationships with suppliers that aren't giving them the best price. Instead, they can choose from a diverse pool of approved suppliers and do business with multiple suppliers when necessary.
Operating costs are pushed down because greater transparency makes it easier for retailers to negotiate with suppliers. If a non-preferred supplier puts in a lower quote, a user can ask their preferred supplier/s to match it.
Ethical Sourcing Made Simple
Of course, the additional transparency provided by the system also makes it easier for clothing brands to operate their secondary supply chains ethically. Orders for labels or trims are placed via the Segura system and passed directly on to an approved supplier. If the supplier decides to subcontract part of that order to another company themselves, they too can only choose another company on the database.
There are no grey areas, no risk of your items being produced in a factory you do not know, by a company you have no relationship with.
If an order is placed and then fulfilled without using the system, it is impossible to delete the original order request. Therefore, retailers will always know immediately if an order has not been handled via Segura, and can take action to ensure items were not unethically sourced.
In previous posts on this blog, we've discussed how clothing firms must achieve complete visibility across their supply chain before they can provide the level of transparency that many of their consumers now demand. With production tracking software, retailers can order and source their trim items with confidence, monitoring them every step of the way and doing business only with suppliers that share their values.