CGS Fashion & Apparel Report Reveals Supply Chain Success Secrets

CGS Fashion & Apparel Report Reveals Supply Chain Success Secrets

Fashion companies are continuing to invest in online platforms and ecommerce even as brick-and-mortar outlets continue to decline. A survey of these companies found that their number 1 priority for business improvement was to improve their response to challenges/disruption.
While responding to challenges and disruption is all well and good, the report argues that business should be proactive in how they address complexity. Digital transformation is the key, a holistic strategy to create more value and enhance all business activities through an enhanced online presence.
Nike provides an important case study of digital transformation in action. Despite being an icon, Nike was looking sluggish and outdated a few years ago. 
They responded with digital transformation: membership opportunities for customers, stronger digital marketing, and powerful data analytics. Rather than partnering with middlemen vendors, Nike pushed direct sales through updated ecommerce. The strategy has been a success: stock prices rose from $52 at the beginning of 2017 to $100 recently. 
Being proactive and competitive also means watching out for supply chain risks. The report points to inventory/order fulfillment as the most significant of these, according to survey results, and it is trending upwards. 
IT investments are an important part of how leading fashion companies are seeking to become more competitive. One growing trend is product lifecycle management (PLM) software, which is best known for increasing design and product development efficiency. 
Now, however, PLM software is supplying the data to help fashion brands make the most of sourcing, production, quality assurance, fulfillment, and sales. 
PLM systems work best and provide the most value when they are used to make data available to team members with different roles and responsibilities throughout the organization. When an organization achieves PLM information continuity, they can gain benefits for reporting, quality control, chargebacks, cost control, etc. 
Another way to maximize the benefits of PLM is to invest in the same software platform as the one used for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in a business. The combination produces a native integration across processes managed within the system.
Consumer concerns about sustainability are also increasingly important as determinants of competitiveness. Leading fashion companies are having to respond more and more to consumer-led demand for change.
Historically, the fashion industry has been a major polluter. A survey conducted by CGS in 2019 found that 68% of respondents rate sustainability as important, and many are willing to pay more if they believe they are buying a sustainable product.
Given the extent and direction of consumer preferences with regard to sustainability, major companies cannot afford to ignore sustainability as they seek to become more competitive. The landscape is simply too competitive for anything other than a proactive approach to change that prioritizes sustainability.

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