There is no doubt that China is a leader in fashion manufacturing, but as developing countries vie for their slice of the pie and Western brands begin to bring manufacturing back to their shores, the industry is at a crossroads.
However in this evolving landscape, we think that companies with the right tools and processes can adapt to this evolution with stunning results.
As outlined in the Business of Fashion article New Era for Chinese Fashion Manufacturers, here are three ways some Chinese manufacturers are stepping up their game:
Innovation, Specializations and Upgrades
“Lean” is no longer just a buzzword. Today, manufacturers need to work differently. With investment in R&D and high-tech upgrades, the shift has been made to producing fewer products but at higher profit margins. While quantity is still a major advantage, quality, specialization and in-depth expertise are becoming equally important to fashion brands.
Offshoring and Outsourcing
Tapping into emerging markets like South East Asia and Africa has made Chinese involvement essential to the supply chains and factories in these regions. Offshoring and outsourcing have produced a two-fold effect.
With lower labor costs introducing big fashion players to new frontiers, local economies are revived and the Chinese influence in the manufacturing world continues to grow beyond its own shores.
Therefore China’s footprint continues to increase as prices stay competitive and profit margins remain high.
Enhanced Productivity and Improved Quality
While China’s supply chain infrastructure is well-known and admired, they are not resting on their laurels. Technology updates, the introduction of automation and advanced robotics are now the norm and main contributors in China’s continued ability to deliver quality products better and faster.
It is safe to say that China is not on the way to losing its position as a leader in fashion manufacturing but are these steps enough to stay on top?
We believe that introducing a lean cutting room can help manufacturers in China, and beyond, optimize their entire fashion and apparel development process to facilitate transformation, sustain change and meet strategic and operational goals.
More details and analysis from Business Of Fashion here.