Summary: Operations and supply chain management may be deemed as crucial tools that can calculate the effectiveness of the flow of events from procurement of raw materials to the supply of the same to the end customer. Brands would do well to pay attention to this workflow to stay ahead in today's competitive market and establish themselves as front runners who don't shy away from evolution or innovation.
To break things down, consider your business to be an automobile. An automobile needs fuel to run. Operations and supply chain management may be thus considered to be the fuel behind any business.
Skip forward to the importance of operation and supply chain management in the fashion industry, and one may realize the dynamic nature of the system in place—fast and ever-changing.
Fashion and retail are businesses in the fast lane that need to mold themselves in accordance to change in trends and customer preferences. A keen idea of the logistics, right from procurement of raw materials to manufacturing, to storage in warehouses and their subsequent supply or delivery to consumers can make or break a business. That's where operations and supply chain management enter the scene.
Operations govern the manufacturing process while supply chain management entails the flow or supply of manufactured goods or products.
Hence, the procurement of raw materials, their manufacture, quality assurance, and internal management of processes would fall under the purview of operations. While supply chain management would deal with various internal and external factors to streamline the logistics of inventory management, delivery on time, transport of products and more. It would also entail identifying lapses or gaps to boost cost efficiency and cut down on waste production.
The fashion retail industry is a competitive arena, where brands and businesses are constantly reinventing their internal and external processes to keep customers loyal.
So the foremost step towards analyzing and implementing would be to be open to the idea of flexibility. In today's age, what brands need to understand is that one solution does not apply to all and that flexibility is the need of the hour to meet the changing demands of customers.
Omni-channel retail seems to be the perfect ingredient that works. The amalgamation of online and brick-and-mortar stores has opened up the scope of sales. But this also entails ensuring the factory-to-store/home cycle is seamless.
The use of automated technology and AI for streamlining warehouse and factory processes can cut time to a great extent and thus ensure cost-cutting by doing away with manpower. Analytics and software can also churn the numbers that work for your business and don't and cut down on unnecessary expenditures and finetune time management.
This also ensures faster manufacturing and delivery.
Quality is what sells. Period.
Quality is not only about production but about being privy to all of the nuances of operations and the supply chain.
Customers like knowing how their products are made or prefer to have some idea as to the flow of events before a product reaches them. Transparency serves a two-pronged purpose - it makes the customer invested, and it also increases the self-accountability of brands.
Brands conscious of their impact on the environment resonate more with businesses and end-consumers. Sustainability, while it makes the product lucrative, it also allows brands to save money and build on a long-term brand strategy.
Sustainability enhances quality as per customer preference and also cuts down on the use of fossil fuels while embracing renewable energy. Quality assurance thus happens at the source when brands pay attention to operations and supply chain management.
Risk assessment is also very crucial to operations and supply chain management. Foreseeing impediments and hurdles, taking proactive measures to minimalize incumbent problem scenarios, monitoring logistics, and developing measures to mitigate the impact are crucial aspects of risk assessment.
Now, to do the above requires a robust communication system to be in place with every stakeholder involved in the collaborative process. Innovation should rank fairly high on the list of constant requisites.
Addressing market opportunities while identifying your own value chain, selecting the right supplier for capacity expansion, and using on-ground real-time data to improve systems and response time can better customer service. In association with these, close attention to customer relationships and trading partners can bolster customer service to a great extent.
Distribution transparency also helps in boosting business legitimacy and network control.
All of the above-discussed points are crucial to fashion retail operations and supply chain management. One cannot survive without the other and when they come together, a brand can sing the laurel of success.
It's all in the minute details, finer tweaks and the flow of the processes.
Allow Fashinza to take you on a guided tour through the walkways of operations and supply chain management in the modern world as a B2B fashion technology company that focuses on providing manufacturing support to fashion and apparel companies.
Choose Fashinza to be your operations and supply guide.