No matter how the economy is doing, people will always find a way to shop for the things they want. They will go to the store or shop online to find the products they want and expect to have their deliveries arrive on the predicted date. If you have a brand within the fashion industry, this is both a challenge and an opportunity for you. If your organization doesn’t have optimized supply chain management, you won’t be able to meet your customers’ needs, especially during season changes and peak times of the year. To help you get optimized for success, here are the latest trends that are transforming the fashion supply chain process, and how you can get the services you need.
Automated Supply Chain
Data-driven software solutions and web-enabled technologies provide insight that allows business leaders to make better decisions about their daily operations. By automating your supply chain operations, you will be able to track and report, making your entire process more efficient. Today’s top apparel innovators have dropped manual spreadsheets and turned to automation and data integration to keep up with customer demand. Brands are expected to respond to changes in orders within 24 hours, as customers now presume that every retail operation has the systems in place to deal with last minute modifications and still provide quality and timely service.
Fashion companies today need solutions that align customer demand with product distribution. Apparel companies need to reduce profit-eroding markdowns while providing data on emerging trends in the industry that will propel them to success. Artificial intelligence (AI) has allowed many apparel companies to improve efficiency in warehouse operations and product design. AI uses deep learning to analyze extensive amounts of data derived from social media and the Internet and provides critical insights. It also analyzes sales to provide information such as which products are more popular and which products stay on the shelf.
Agile Supply Chain Methodology
Building flexibility and using interactivity can help you better respond to changes and disruptions. Having an agile supply chain methodology can help you achieve this goal. It can mean the difference between satisfying or disappointing your customer. In factory production, an agile supply chain ensures that your company will provide solutions quickly to avoid catastrophic delays in production. Some options that may work for you include adding new local distribution centers or growing physical resources to achieve greater agility to meet customer demand.
Wearables and Augmented Reality
Wearables and augmented reality (AR) have been used by consumers for a while now, but there are many benefits organizations have had from using it within the supply chain. AR can be used for order picking, equipment repair, and to enhance safety and quality. Smart glasses, for example, can be used to show the quickest route through a warehouse to get to a certain product, for increased speed and efficiency. It can also prevent employees from being tied to a computer, as information and instructions can be transmitted to them via wearables and AR technology. There are many applications of AR, and now is the time to take it upon yourself to learn how this technology can make your operations more efficient.
Digital Supply Chain
Having a digital supply chain means every process, communication, and connection is working the best it can. Digitizing the supply chain helps you make useful predictions, connect and relate sources of data, generate plans through visibility, improve collaboration, and more!
Collaboration and Communication in the Cloud
Cloud-based technology solutions allow employees to record and share valuable information amongst themselves. As a result, cloud systems improve collaboration with suppliers, condense administrative functions, reduce the cost of goods, and increase profitability. At a fraction of the cost, cloud systems provide smaller organizations with capabilities of larger enterprises to improve workflow and add value to operations.
Transparency across all aspects of the supply chain will work wonders in optimizing your operations. Not only does it work well for you, but real-time information also benefits customers. Today’s customers want to know where their order is, every step of the way, so making tracking visible is just one way you can meet demand and boost revenue. You should also make sure your inventory levels are accurately displayed online, so customers don’t end up waiting for back orders. In terms of deliveries, you would benefit from having better tracking on your trucks, such as onboard, real time, GPS-enabled tracking devices.
Right Procurement Tools
More than ever before, the choices companies make today around their procurement systems show just how efficient, quick, and profitable it is. The right procurement tools, or electronic data interchange solutions, can help managers enhance collaboration, streamline operations, efficiently manage cash flow with real-time view, and maintain profits by viewing historical trends and current data.
Outsource Your Order Fulfillment Process to a 3PL Provider Like Lean Supply Solutions
Implementing all these tools on your own can be costly and time-consuming. With spring in full swing, you may be too busy focusing on your sales and marketing efforts to start adjusting your background operations. This is where a 3PL provider can help. These companies will manage your operations, so you can focus on making your business and brand more accessible to your online shoppers. They can manage all the roles above, so you save time and money and speed up your success and revenue.
If you’re looking for the right company to partner with, Lean Supply Solutions is the answer. We rise to the challenge of meeting our clients’ needs through our services which include product fulfillment, warehousing and distribution, e-commerce fulfillment, warehouse pick and pack, and order fulfillment. Lean Supply Solutions can offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team, or to ask any questions, contact us today.