Lessons from the Apparel Industry to the Supply Chain Author: T Nguyen
June 29, 2012

Innovation is a constant topic of debate within logistics and supply chains as businesses continue to try and find more efficient and innovative ways to ease the workflow and create a tighter, more cooperative environment.  Linked with this challenge is the impact of the way business has changed, going from the physical space of an actual store to the unlimited space of the digital realm.  From Border’s to Blockbuster’s and so forth, it seems as if businesses need to recalibrate their mindset.  However, the apparel industry is seeing a much different trend that utilizes a mixture of both the older supply chain system, as well as the new.  Understanding the way this industry works can provide insights that can affect various businesses and create interesting concepts to consider.

The apparel industry is continuing to see a growth in both their brick-and-mortar business as well as e-commerce.  In terms of actual retail spaces, nine out of the top twenty physical retail stores in the US are apparel companies and increases to eleven stores when counting those that heavily sell apparel products along with other items.  Of course, the lesson here comes in the necessity of the physical space, as there still is not a great way to try on clothing and other products without actually going into a store.  At the same time, e-commerce is concurrently growing as new ways are created to ‘fit’ clothing onto an individual or sizes are easily found out.  This type of retail environment forces the apparel industry to be flexible in their supply chain while still holding an open-minded attitude.  Advancements with technologies such as AR advertising and cloud-based information are being heavily tested while still being in the physical environment, while the actual supply is constantly being checked and checked again with the stores and e-commerce sites.

Source Consulting continues to stay abreast of all the new developments and innovations occurring within all different types of supply chains to help businesses best figure out ways to reduce their shipping costs.  Make sure to continue to follow our updates on our social media channels as we continue to observe and comment on important changes.

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