Technology Boosts Value of Apparel SourcingSeptember 21, 2018
Apparel Magazine produced its 12th annual assessment of the global sourcing market, Sourcing as a Value Center: Winning with Technologies, last month in partnership with Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy. The report, which incorporates survey data and results from more than 160 companies, includes responses that “were analyzed to determine what it means to excel in global sourcing and identify key trends shaping the apparel sourcing landscape especially those in the applied analytics and technology space.” The survey points to technology investments by sourcing companies as a key trend shaping the industry – a finding that aligns with NGC’s offering of a digital supply chain that allows customers to realize many of the benefits that were outlined in the report.
Technology is an indicator of value
While cost remains an important factor in the sourcing process, innovations that can be achieved through emerging technologies are required to meet consumers’ needs for speed and efficiency. Rather than the traditional cost-focused approach, sourcing organizations are taking on the role of value center, meaning “sourcing is not only responsible for getting products to the shelf, but also for helping get products off the shelves by driving speed, consistent quality and by helping limit liabilities.”
According to the report, 69% of retailers and distributors surveyed said they are considering at least one new technology as part of their sourcing strategies for the coming years, compared to 64% last year. Part of what makes new technologies so attractive is their ability to provide a streamlined process, which retailers and customers alike increasingly expect. Forty-one percent of retailers surveyed have implemented or are in the process of implementing Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, while 87% of retailers are addressing or plan to address calendar lead-time reduction, emphasizing the significance of speed.
Digital supply chains support the value center approach
Digital supply chains are becoming a standard for retailers as they pursue speed and efficiency in order to keep up with the industry’s demands. The pressure to stay on-trend for both apparel retailers and shoppers is increasingly driving the “fast-fashion” concept in which industry leaders such as Zara and H&M frequently fill their stores with fresh-off-the-catwalk styles. As retailers rush to live up to the “fast-fashion” standard and accelerate speed to market capabilities, sourcing from safe environments and maintaining consistent quality are also essential.
NGC Andromeda boosts sourcing value
NGC’s Andromeda Cloud Platform, a leading solution for apparel, fashion and footwear brands and retailers, not only improves supply chain lead times for fast in-season flow, but also standardizes the quality process and eliminates the complexities of compliance management. NGC’s platform moves companies toward the digital supply chain, which is set up to support new technological advancements detailed in the report, ultimately providing the most value to customers.