Winning by working smarter in today’s competitive fashion industry
Thanks to the rise of e-commerce and fast fashion, fashion production cycles are much shorter nowadays. But it’s not just about working faster, it’s about working smarter. Working smart means meeting deadlines, and deadlines aren’t moving targets. They are fixed measures at each point of the value chain – from design and collection planning, to production, distribution and planograms, to the sales floor and finally to the screen. Today’s merchandisers have to work smarter to ensure that they don’t slow down the production process, and deliver collections that constantly appeal to their target consumers. To achieve this, they need to make better-informed decisions regarding their upcoming collections, collaborate better with other teams and communicate more effectively with their suppliers.
Working smart means meeting deadlines, and deadlines aren’t moving targets. They are fixed measures at each point of the value chain – from design and collection planning, to production, distribution and planograms, to the sales floor and finally to the screen. What this means for you is an ever-increasing demand to get more collections to market within a tighter timeframe, all the while maintaining quality and brand integrity. Merchandising teams need more efficient ways to manage their collections so they can capitalize on opportunities to get demanding consumers the latest collections quicker than ever before. To this end, we’ve identified the top three challenges that have to be beat to keep up with everyone in the race to market. We’re willing to bet that these may seem all too familiar in your current experience.
Time to deploy your own platform to collaborate
Smart manufacturing, a single-source for data collection and an ethos of collaboration can make incredible improvements on your seasonto-season profitability. Merchandising leaders can bridge the gap from the manufacturer to the store, playing an integral role in ensuring successful, timely outcomes. Moving to a solution-oriented, collaborative platform where all of your team members can easily access and share insights keeps everyone organized and able to make quick decisions. Fashion-forward leaders know they need change. It’s time to deploy your own collection of technology tools to increase collaboration, capture consumer insights and optimize the way you bring products to market.
Collaborate is the key for collection management
Merchandising leaders rely heavily on both historical and forecasting data to make decisions for the upcoming season. The right data helps you create a balanced collection plan – developing both brand-new collections and knowing which to carry over – and align products with seasonal merchandising strategies. All too often, critical data can be disorganized, inaccurate or not available to the right people at the right time. This less-than-streamlined approach complicates matters and leads to wasted time, when time to market is more important than ever.
Seasonal planning meetings include stakeholders from key departments, and as the discussion moves around the table, each person shares their vision on annual targets and buying seasons. The outcome of these meetings is to get everyone on the same page and working toward a unified goal. But how often do key decision makers leave feeling unheard or on different pages with seemingly different objectives? When your departments aren’t in sync, you are effectively at a standstill. Unlike competitors that are meeting to-market deadlines, you have to manage several frustrated department heads, which makes your job (and life) even more difficult.
Inefficient communication with suppliers throughout the supply chain can lead to costly production mistakes, delays and wasted dollars. Outdated files, complex spreadsheets, late decision-making, and the onslaught of lengthy email chains can lead to major setbacks in working with suppliers.