Why Fashion Retailers and Brands Must Digitize Supply Chain ManagementNovember 29, 2018
The fast-paced nature of today’s retail and fashion industry is impossible to manage without digitization. Without digital supply chain management systems in place, fashion retailers run the risk of out-of-stocks, markdowns, defects in product quality, and ultimately losing the trust and confidence of their customers.
Having a digital supply chain is no longer a way of getting ahead of the curve, but is essential to staying competitive. According to a McKinsey report, nearly 90% of apparel chief procurement officers said they expect significantly higher investments in technology by 2030. When a retailer implements a digital supply chain, the benefits are evident, and expand across all parts of the process.
Speed is key in the face of fluctuating demands
With every new fashion trend and seasonal style that emerges, the items shoppers have their sights set on constantly change. To avoid missing the mark on the latest fashion trends, digital supply chains dramatically reduce production lead times for materials and finished goods manufacturing, giving companies an ability to respond with agility to shifting demand signals. Through tracking raw material commitments and drawdowns, utilizing just-in-time support and receiving sales performance alerts, retailers can keep up with evolving trends, make changes on the fly, and deliver at appropriate times. A compressed timeline, in turn, maximizes company revenue and profit.
Another benefit digital supply chain users reap is reduced product defects. Retailers can more easily manage quality control, stopping a defected item in its tracks before it ever leaves the factory floor. A digital platform provides the opportunities to request quality audits at any stage whether it be inline, final or packing accuracy. If failures arise, corrective action plans are auto-generated, saving time and speeding up the process.
A platform for bringing a global business together
Digital supply chains help ease the complexities that come with collaborating internationally. Providing a hub for managing global vendors creates an environment where quality is easily controlled, comprehensive, searchable profiles are readily available and corporate and social responsibility can be achieved. The pathway to gaining consumer trust starts with seamless vendor management. Between profile and onboarding support, document expiration notifications, geolocation tools for inspection scheduling and performance analysis to support sourcing decisions, retailers can jumpstart their success.
Logistically, an online system streamlines the shipping process. From creating shipments and labels electronically to tracking progress until arrival at a final destination, the digital window into these processes is crucial. Ensuring on time delivery from global production factories also helps cut costs such as unanticipated airfreight expenses. A centralized portal also breaks down barriers by allowing collaboration on any object within the system, typically equipped with a dashboard to view active or historical discussions.
Improve speed to market and responsiveness with NGC Andromeda SCM
NGC’s Andromeda Cloud Supply Chain Management (SCM), designed specifically for apparel, fashion and footwear brands, is a solution to the immediate needs retailers face. This digitized system enables a demand-driven supply chain, optimizes lead times and improves cash flow and cost management. In the midst of increased options of where to shop, accuracy and efficiency have never been so important. A supply chain that enables flexibility, adaptability and transparency is now an indicator of how successful your business will be, and digital is the path retailers must continue to embrace.