How to determine the best strategy for your Fashion Supply Chain

How to determine the best strategy for your Fashion Supply Chain

Fashion Supply Chain

Supply chains and value chains in the fashion industry are changing rapidly.

Like many other things, the supply and value chains of the fashion industry are subject to constant and currently rapid change. Whereas years ago the primary focus was on globalisation, today other aspects dominate the discussion in industry and trade: for example, we discuss integration, disintegration or virtual integration of a supply chain. Other strategic topics are aspects such as omnichannel supply chains, sustainable supply chains or supply chain transparency.

Many of these dimensions are highly relevant for the strategic positioning of a company. At the same time, these aspects have a massive impact on processes as well as on infrastructure and systems or applications.

Timing the realignment as early as possible

The timing of the realignment in the company plays a key role: a relatively early realignment of the internal and external flows of goods and values (supply chain and value chain) results in numerous opportunities. With effects on the internal organisation, a completely new view of processes and system architecture, the rethinking of integration and collaboration as well as adaptation of strategic action patterns of the "digital natives". A clear IT architecture, for example, enables targeted analyses and thus promotes decision-making processes in the specialist departments and in management.

We are therefore entering a phase of supply chain development in which the established players in industry and stationary-driven trade must learn from the online pure players how to optimise data-driven processes! Conversely, the online pure players need to learn how to gain increasing control over a globally fragmented supply chain and orchestrate it through an appropriate internal organisation.

In the context of a major transformation initiative of a well-known retail company, it became apparent to me early on that not only a systemic realignment was needed, but also an organisational one. The "traditional" purchasing organisation, which consisted of separate procurement units for stationary and distance selling, was transformed into an omnichannel organisation. Not without challenges for the employees, who now had to approach topics such as assortment, timing or replenishment with a significantly broader perspective. And what was remarkable for me was that the impetus for this courageous step even came from the employees themselves, who had a very clear view of future market requirements.

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