Summary: As fashion brands move out of their locations to source materials and suppliers and sell their products, supply chain integration has become essential to make such a vast network of resources productive and effective. But it is not an easy task given the many hurdles. Here are the different barriers and the levels in supply chain integration.
Supply Chain Integration is a complex amalgamation of business processes with automated communication channels. For large-scale clothing manufacturers, especially for those with a large number of partners and sourcing locations, supply chain integration is inevitable. Setting it up effectively requires a lot of effort on the part of different parties spread over a vast and diverse geographical spread. This integration, therefore, runs into barriers that need to be removed and tackled.
To avoid unnecessary time and effort, different levels of supply chain integration streamline the internal processes and help in their alignment with those of the stakeholders in the supply chain. Before we take a look at the different levels and barriers in implementation, let us find out what supply chain integration is.
Supply chain management is a multi-layered process. To be effective, you need to have multiple departments from various departments working in close cooperation like cogs synced in a perfect alignment. Supply chain management makes sure that all departments in a business are working together in perfect harmony.
Supply chain integration is about making an organization's supply chain more effective and efficient with cross-functional communication and monitoring channels. It is about making sure that the supply chain aligns with the business strategy and can allow modification in procurement and shipping in real-time to optimize business operations for better ROI.
Primarily, supply chain integration has three different levels. These three levels subsume the other phases critical to integration.
Supply chain integration can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive task for companies. But lack of such integration will result in highly isolated companies that are unable to take advantage of economies of scale or better business practices that are being employed by competitors. Here are a few of the most commonly faced barriers to the integration process.
Technology plays a major role in supply chain integration. Global fashion brands are using AI and fully-automated communication and tracking systems. Smaller businesses may not have access to such technologies. They can hire resourceful aggregator platforms that can deliver on the integration at optimized costs.
Supply chain integration is cost-intensive. It requires capital investment and recurring managerial costs. Affordability has to be pictured before committing to an integration process.
Supply chain integration requires the cooperation of both the supply-side businesses along with internal departments. But suppliers can be wary of being monitored or sharing information that can be crucial to their business staying competitive.
A bullwhip effect sets in when the procurement is based on inaccurate data that is inconsistent with consumer demands. This results in distorted information sharing which can negate the whole process of supply chain integration.
Most businesses including clothing labels make the mistake of focusing on their internal growth and end up sidelining the customers and suppliers. This results in an information gap and mistrust which can be addressed by making the supply chain transparent and inclusive.
Earlier, there used to be logistics, but now there is supply chain integration, which is logistics 2.0: an evolved form of inventorying, warehousing, and shipping, which now clubs the whole procurement and last-mile delivery processes into one automated communication and monitoring platform. Connecting supply chains is not an easy task. From picking reliable suppliers to mitigating the impact of disruptions and making last-mile deliveries, supply chain integration makes it possible through a robust communication network.
Fashinza can help new clothing companies grow and large-scale businesses consolidate their operations by offering integrated solutions for supply chain management.
Feel free to reach out to us for 24x7 automated tracking and monitoring of shipments and open communication channels with all suppliers.