Three Supply Chain Trends You Can’t Ignore

Three Supply Chain Trends You Can’t Ignore

February 12, 2018

These days, it’s difficult to know what the future holds for the global fashion industry, especially when the new norm is marked with unpredictability. However, one thing we know for sure is that change and innovation will always be constant, making it necessary to improve what’s within your control.

As Steve Dennis, president of SageBerry Consulting, wrote, “The future of retail will not be evenly distributed.” He said, “The harsh reality is that few retailers will escape unscathed from the seismic changes affecting the industry. Without radical change and heretofore unseen levels of innovation, many major players are in for a world of hurt.”

To prepare for these changes, retailers and brands need to equip themselves to handle adjustments and move fast in a changing landscape. They must be ready to innovate and find ways to keep up with customer demand. Below are supply chain trends that apparel brands and retailers can’t ignore if they want to thrive in retail’s brave new world.

Globalization Shifts
Despite shifts in global trade alliances over the past year, globalization is here to stay and the landscape is changing.  As more companies implement ways to drive collaboration, supporting the flow of data through digital connectivity, it’s evident that global relations will grow even stronger.  Improved connectivity, coupled with exponential growth of cross-border bandwidth, will change the game and give those who embrace technologies to improve collaboration a competitive advantage.

Speed, Agility, Collaboration
We’ve been harping on speed, agility and collaboration for years, stressing the importance of prioritizing these three to remain competitive. Today, experts are referring to these as qualities of a startup, saying that traditional fashion companies need to embrace them in order to survive.  Between fast fashion, social media and e-commerce, consumers have been trained to expect products faster, turning today’s shoppers into the “now” generation. As McKinsey puts it, “So consumers expect it all: convenience, quality, values orientation, newness, and price. To keep up, leading fashion players are accelerating their speed from design to shelf. This ‘need for speed’ is driven partly by social media accelerating the movement of fashion trends to the masses, and by industry leaders using analytics and customer insights to meet customer needs better and increase responsiveness.” Therefore, industry frontrunners must build agile supply chains to keep up with this accelerated trend.

Taking Sustainability to the Next Level
Over the past year, consumers have become more socially conscious than ever before, driving brands and retailers to look internally and improve their corporate social responsibility agendas. This trend is here to stay as more and more companies jump on the bandwagon.  However, some are now looking to take their sustainability efforts to the next level, examining every point in their supply chains, all the way back to the fiber stage.  Companies will need to take their internal processes to the next level, implementing technology innovations such as a Vendor Compliance solution to gain the levels of transparency and efficiency they seek.

Get Ready for the Future
As the supply chain landscape continues to shift, apparel retailers and brands must stay ahead by reacting faster to trends and getting ready for uncertainty. By doing so, they can optimize supply chain lead times and utilize real-time data to reduce markdowns and out-of-stocks.

At NGC, our supply chain management solutions enable the speed and responsiveness for today’s demand-driven supply chain. To learn how NGC Andromeda can prepare you for the future of retail, request a demo today.