In recent months, the textile industry in particular has had to cope with earthquake-like fluctuations in demand.
During the Corona Lockdown, the branches and clothing stores were or are closed from one day to the next. The entire seasonal business was tilted. Parts of the demand volume were shifted to the online channel, albeit with a different focus: The business suits were left behind and the comfortable home sweaters and jogging suits were the order of the day. Likewise, sales of wedding dresses fell by more than 60 percent, while ladies' dresses in general and outdoor clothing for men were hardly sold at all. Sports labels, on the other hand, continued to have top sales opportunities, especially online of course. The interest in lounge wear and sports outfits was almost unbroken.
Looking at all business models, 4 categories crystallized that separate the market: The losers, the winners, the changers and the keepers.
What does this mean for the supply chain?
The disruptive changes of recent months are new territory for us. In the past decades we have been able to plan our supply chain in a nicely optimised way and assume a predictable deviation of 5% - 10%. That has now completely changed. Changes in demand of 80 - 90% of the volume have to be handled and the strengthening of the online business results in completely different processes in the warehouse locations and the transport chain. No hanging garments and size sets are picked - but individual packages. There is no longer a "bus timetable" of pre-ordered trucks, but parcel dispatch via CEP service providers.
This means fundamental changes in the organisation's procedures, which are the mirror of the processes in the IT systems.
A health check of the company's supply chain management helps to get a first rough analysis in the shortest possible time and thus an idea of which tools from the toolbox should be used in a sensible way. Here we determine the current strengths and weaknesses of the supply chain by comparing best practice databases and develop appropriate proposals for action - such as: