How has the fashion supply chain evolved?
The traditional supply chain model, as we all know it, has been built on relay events - involving hand-offs between discrete, siloed steps taken through planning, design, manufacturing, distribution and finally into the hands of the customer. Granted that the processes by themselves are interdependent, however, the fashion industry’s outsourcing process has led to limited real-time visibility, once the actual manufacturing starts. The process is depicted below.
How are brands reacting to this new model?
With the new model being consumer-centric, the immediate need for brands is to enable customer feedback early in the process. Hence the need to enable a collaborative Design process to ensure there is buy-in at the initial stages. Keep in mind, consumers will also demand transparency into what kind of materials are being used, where the product is manufactured and distributed from as well as omni-channel options to eventually buy the item. The focus of this article, however, is on the Design process.
How are brands collaborating to influence design?
Technology landscape to digitize design
In general, the industry seems to be focusing on 4 main areas to enable Product Design adopt a more digitized approach.
The below model describes the flow between these phases and their driving parameters
Benefits of the new landscape
As part of Product Development, the ideation of new product concepts is kicked off in the Design phase. Traditionally, most of the factors driving these designs have been a combination of historic seasonal data points and new trends. However, due to consumer demands playing a larger role growing in the overall product development process, the industry has been forced to shift to the next generation of supply chain process – a process that is built around customer interaction. Without upfront buy-in from consumers, the adoption on new and carryover products can be extremely risky. Hence, brands need to incorporate new consumer-oriented design strategies into the supply chain to ensure consumers embrace their styles. And the clear path forward would be to use state-of-the-art integrated technologies to provide consumers an enhanced experience.
Contact Wipro’s Global Consulting Group for a free evaluation of your brand’s Supply Chain process and potential optimization approaches.
Manoj has 25+ years of Product Strategy & Digital Innovation experience in the Retail, CPG & Fashion industry. Currently a Consulting Partner with Wipro’s I&ES division, he drives global transformation engagements in the areas of Product Planning, Development & Lifecycle Management. For more information, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.