Even successful suppliers, who have some of the world’s leading brands as clients, face challenges in having enough working capital to cover the cost of their operations. Unico Global Inc. is a major outdoor apparel producer that had to navigate the tricky business of accepting its buyers’ extended payment terms while also maintaining enough working capital to operate effectively.
It used to be there were just two seasons in the fashion calendar. Then it was four. And now, well, some brands seem to introduce a new collection each week.
Why? Because consumers are highly connected, draw inspiration from a world of influencers and media, and are hungry for new products, more variety, greater customization, and the ability to make purchases whenever and wherever they want. It’s placed the fashion industry under constant pressure to produce fresh, original, and distinctive products – quickly, and at often at the lowest possible price.
But the supply chain isn’t short, and planning, sourcing, and production take time. Yet many brands still rely on decades-old software to get the job done. These legacy systems were built for on premises installation, are often highly customized, and lack the connectivity or scalability brands need to quickly adapt to the latest trends and get their suppliers and factories up to speed along the way.
What are three things brands should look for in their core planning software?
With omni-channel sales expected to become a $7 trillion market by 2025, reports Forrester, creating and moving your inventory requires close value chain collaboration from raw material suppliers to third-party logistics, to your designers, marketing departments, and buyers.
Here are 5 ways to create a more collaborative fashion value chain:
- Inform your inventory with an omni-channel presence;
- Create a common inventory system accessible anywhere;
- Coordinate schedules in real-time with analytics tools;
- Shift inventory across channels based on omni-channel data;
- Make collaboration essential with shared stakes.
In today's constantly changing global market, you're under enormous pressure to create innovative fashion products at a moment's notice. Industry leaders can go from design to the sales floor in 15 days, reports Forbes, while the industry standard is 6 months. By bringing all of your teams together with real-time information, product lifecycle management (PLM) functionality can help you get your products to market faster.
Here are 5 ways you can use a PLM system to fast-track your business.
- Consolidate planning, design, and development;
- Fine-tune your collection as you go;
- Easily access libraries and templates;
- Collaborate in real-time across your value chain;
- Use analytics to turn your data into insights.
In a fast-paced fashion environment, the biggest asset fashion manufacturers have is the ability to get new ideas to consumers quickly.
While spreadsheets have served the industry well for many years, in today's data-driven world, their limited functionality results in time lags, data inaccuracies, linear sequential processes, and a lack of integration to data libraries. Unlike product lifecycle management (PLM) tools, spreadsheets simply don't have the functionality to handle the new demands of a modern fashion business.