The Capabilities and Benefits of a Digital Supply Chain PlatformSeptember 5, 2019
Fast fashion, social media, one-day shipping and e-commerce have trained consumers to expect products when, where and how they want. On top of increasing expectations, younger consumers are driving overall trends towards “newness,” with one in seven considering it a fashion faux-pas to be photographed in the same outfit twice, according to McKinsey’s “The State of Fashion 2019.” The report additionally found that shoppers today buy 60% more clothing than they did 15 years ago, but consumers keep that clothing for only half as long as they used to.
Meeting consumer expectations is essential to surviving in today’s retail environment. A digital supply chain platform can help retailers meet these expectations, allowing them to quickly react to consumers’ needs and preferences, while ensuring they do not sacrifice product quality or take shortcuts that put product safety and compliance at risk. Digital supply chains do this by bringing together all design and manufacturing activities, both pre-purchase order and post-purchase order, into a single enterprise platform.
Eight Benefits of a Digital Supply Chain Platform
- More Efficient Line Planning: More efficient line planning and product development are essential for ensuring products are available when, where and how consumers want, because they ensure designers are focused on the most desirable products.
- Improved WIP Tracking: Workflow calendars and exception reporting can improve Work in Process (WIP) tracking by allowing users to view the current status and instantly receive alerts when deadlines aren’t met. Modern WIP tracking can shave several weeks off production by replacing emails and faxes for PO’s and production updates.
- Strategic Positioning of Raw Materials: With a digital supply chain platform, retailers can forecast raw material requirements, place commitments with multiple suppliers and draw down commitments as purchase orders are issued and materials are consumed. This reduces the risk of holding too much or too little inventory to meet downstream demand.
- Better Vendor Management: Improving vendor management means improving turn-around time on production. A digital supply chain platform can help streamline vendor onboarding and management, allowing companies to monitor vendor performance and thus strengthen relationships with their most strategic partners.
- Streamlined Testing and Product Compliance: Testing and compliance processes are complicated and difficult to manage without digital solutions. A digital supply chain platform can streamline the entire testing process, including requesting, tracking, submitting and approving product tests, then creating compliance documents such as the General Certificate of Conformity (GCC).
- Improved Quality Management: Retailers can’t afford to lose consumer trust due to poor product quality. Integrating quality management into a digital supply chain platform will help companies identify quality problems before the goods leave the factory, reducing cancellations, chargebacks and returns.
- Better Compliance With Calendars and Deadlines: Fashion design and manufacturing involves hundreds of interrelated steps, and one slipped deadline echoes through the supply chain. Calendar and deadline compliance can be improved with the workflow calendars and exception reporting found in digital supply chain platforms.
- Omnichannel Inventory Visibility and Fulfillment: Retailers must share information throughout the enterprise to ensure they meet consumer desires. Digital supply chains can provide unified visibility to the available inventory in each channel, providing the ability to easily move products to the channel generating the greatest demand.
By bringing together all these functions -- and more -- into a single enterprise platform, retailers can use a digital supply chain platform to meet consumer demand for products when, where and how they want. For more information on the capabilities and benefits of a digital supply chain platform, or to learn how the Andromeda Cloud Platform can enable the digital supply chain, please get in touch.