You Need to Achieve Faster Speed to Market and your SCM Platform Can Help

You Need to Achieve Faster Speed to Market and your SCM Platform Can Help

October 5, 2015

Part 1 of 2:

The 2015 Global Sourcing Survey and Report from Apparel and Kurt Salmon, Speed Trumps, but Quality Programs Remain Central, found that “the vast majority of respondents are looking to make sizeable improvements in speed to market within the next year, targeting greater sales growth and a reduction in calendar cycle times, even as the number of styles offered is set to grow for many.”

It is clear that speed to market is today’s #1 priority for fashion brands, retailers and consumer goods companies, and these players cannot afford to sacrifice quality on the road to greater speed.

The push towards faster cycle times is driven by the “we want it now” mindset of today’s consumers. Fast fashion, social media and e-commerce have trained consumers to expect products faster, turning today’s shoppers into the “now” generation.

Achieving faster speed to market allows companies to connect with consumers and meet their heightened expectations. With shorter production cycles, companies can be relevant and responsive, even anticipating consumers’ needs and preferences. At the same time, however, companies can’t afford to sacrifice product quality or take shortcuts in product safety and compliance.

In order to achieve faster speed to market – and shave four, six, eight weeks or more off of cycle time – companies must improve processes occuring both before and after the purchase order (PO) is issued. The PO is the line that traditionally separates the design and production phases of the product lifecycle. Achieving greater speed to market must include both pre-PO and post-PO processes, with a Supply Chain Management (SCM) platform that can help drive improvements not only throughout the supply chain, but in product development as well.

SCM systems can do much more than manage supply chain activities. Today’s SCM systems can serve as enterprise platforms that bring together all design and manufacturing activities, both pre-PO and post-PO – orchestrating all the information, processes, systems, departments and geographies within the enterprise.

SCM can serve as the hub of the enterprise platform that integrates all these systems. By centralizing and orchestrating information from other essential systems, the enterprise platform has the ability to unify information and break down the silos that exist in product design and manufacturing.

In our recent NGC white paper, 8 Steps for Faster Speed to Market: Improving Supply Chain Speed and Agility, we recommend eight ways to achieve these goals using your SCM system as an enterprise platform, including: better compliance with calendars and deadlines, improved WIP tracking, more efficient line planning, strategic positioning of raw materials, improved sourcing relationships, better vendor management, streamlined testing and compliance, improved quality management, and omnichannel inventory visibility and fulfillment.

Stay tuned for our next blog, where we will detail the eight steps to help you achieve faster speed to market and deliver quality goods and services with your SCM system.