Fashion designer Michael Kors recently told Wall Street Journal: “The only constant in fashion is that you must keep moving forward, otherwise you'll be left behind." Kors goes on to predict that technology will continue to have a major impact on fashion. Just as consumers are being empowered by technology, retailers and manufacturers are also finding new ways of improving their businesses. As supply chain transparency becomes ever more important in the fashion industry, production tracking solutions help to make it a reality.
Orchestrating supply chain efficiency
Esther Lutz recently stated that growing consumer demands and industry competition was driving the importance of collaboration in the garment industry, with the success of a complex, globalised supply chain relying on the “orchestration of all moving parts” to “manage the flow of data, goods and capital”.
We already know that supply chain transparency is the Holy Grail of the garment industry, helping retailers to both guarantee ethical compliance and maintain financial control. However, this level of visibility isn’t easy to achieve, and production tracking platforms represent an important technological innovation for modern supply chain management. Here are three ways in which production tracking solutions can benefit the garment supply chain…
Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton’s menswear head, recently stated “time is luxury”. A retailer’s ability to offer new fashion trends to customers before their competitors do dictates their industry success, and online shopping is increasing the speed at which customers expect products to arrive. Versace, Burberry and Louis Vuitton all recently offered shoppers instant gratification by making new collections available for online purchase immediately after launch. Speed is important for designer brands and budget stores alike, and the recent fast fashion trend has also fuelled demand for exclusivity in the high-street garment industry.
It’s possible to speed up the supply chain by using a production tracking platform to improve transparency. A standardised online system is automatically pre-populated with a garment retailer’s requirements, enabling garment manufacturers to order all garment tags, trims and packaging and prepare orders ready to send to stores without them needing to liaise with the garment retailer or packaging supplier.
One recent article notes a rising trend of emerging markets investing in supply chain software in an attempt to streamline and strengthen their supply chain processes, in order for them to compete with European industry players. China is using technology to manage increased outsourcing demands as the country’s domestic garment market matures, while Bangladesh aims to maintain its presence in the global industry by improving efficiency – it’s predicted that five years’ time, 80% of large Bangladeshi garment producers will have an ERP system in place.
Production tracking solutions help to simplify expanding supply chain operations by providing real-time updates on all processes. Manufacturers and retailers can be automatically alerted to any problems within their supply chain in real-time, allowing issues to be addressed immediately. This level of supply chain transparency minimises delays and preserves profit margins for garment manufacturers and retailers, and enables business growth without the loss of supply chain control.
The global garment industry is extremely competitive, and efficiency can give a retailer the financial edge over competitors. Supply chain transparency reduced the need for staff members, or even whole departments, to keep track of order details, balance accounts and chase up suppliers.
Garment retailers can use production tracking solutions to that ensure goods are produced at the correct calculated cost, sold at full margin, and follow proper procedures for rebate. Orders can only be placed with pre-approved suppliers, and retailers are notified if any goods are produced by unauthorised parties. This allows retailers to address supply chain issues as they happen and avoid paying full price for substandard quality goods. Rather than employees struggling to keep track of orders, a complete paper trail of an entire supply chain is available at a click!
Cloud - a perfect fit
Any one item of high street clothing can require the input of dozens of different. Zips, care labels, tags and hangers may each be sourced from different factories in different countries, perhaps in different time zones, and communication is key to achieving supply chain transparency.
Cloud-based production tracking solutions are tailored to suit the garment industry, providing a real-time collaborative model of communication across complex supply chains. Retailers can communicate with multiple manufacturers and suppliers across various sites in different countries simply through the click of a button.
Segura Systems is an innovative cloud-based production tracking platform which can transform garment supply chains dramatically. Contact us today to find out more about how we could help you achieve the three big benefits of supply chain transparency.