The Changing Face of Fashion Supply Chain Management

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With the demand for sustainable fashion supply chains, transparency & visibility across the whole supply chain has become incredibly valuable. Everyone, from vendors, factories, to auditors, and end consumers, is beginning to look beyond the outfits on a mannequin. The focus on transparency is becoming the cornerstone of the real commitment towards strategic collaborations. Although establishing visibility across the supply chain in the fashion industry will not be without difficulty, it has become essential to form strategic partnerships with the vendors already investing in digitized solutions.

What prompts the Fashion Industry’s shifting dynamics?

Given the post-pandemic disruptions, retail, apparel, and fashion businesses faced many operational challenges and a significant shift in consumer demands. According to a study, “The State of Fashion”, conducted by the Business of Fashion (BoF) and McKinsey in December 2021, supply chain, inventory management, and logistics were the most pressing challenges, as stated by 30% of the participants, with 14% mentioning sustainability and 10% referring to COVID-19 recovery as their major concern. This analysis of the industry’s vulnerabilities and fashion supply chains clears the notion that digitization is the key to business success.

Digitization: Smartening up the Fashion Supply Chain

Sustainable fashion supply chains are a source of concern for businesses and consumers. Many fashion companies are revamping their supply chain management, making difficult ROI decisions, and experimenting with omnichannel offerings. This is where digital technology comes into play.

Not only is digitization becoming an important component of distribution channels, but it also has the potential to help firms adapt cost structures while making the fashion industry's value chains more transparent, speedier, and traceable.

By 2025, 68% of respondents plan to grow their suppliers using digitized solutions.

Source: McKinsey Apparel CPO Survey 2021

The digital bridge to transparency: Empowering the entire clothing industry value chain

At a time when customers' interest in transparency (from production to retail floor) is at an all-time high, digital solutions help boost process transparency at every step of the fast-fashion supply chain. Designers leverage the advanced AI /ML technologies to remotely strategize and share ideas, making cooperation easier and more efficient.

Suppliers and manufacturers benefit from real-time data integration to make flexible and intelligent inventory decisions. It helps them decrease bottlenecks, minimize waste, and free up time for other critical sourcing tasks. Furthermore, retailers can utilize the latest data and experience fewer returns, which in turn helps them provide customers with faster and more precise delivery.

By 2025, 55% of respondents will invest in supply chain transparency and traceability solutions as key investment areas for digitizing their sourcing process and order management.

By identifying process inefficiencies, fashion companies can proactively improve supply chain processes and boost productivity. Transparency in fashion supply chain management also helps businesses win the trust of the customers who are keen to know how their clothes are being made and if sustainable measures are taken while making them. Joseph Phi, Group Chief Executive of Li & Fung, in a report by BoF and McKinsey, adds more to this, stating,

“It’s going to be game-changing because inventory [waste] is the biggest cost to the brand owners and retailers as well as [one of the] biggest negative impacts on the environment.”

Fashion Revolution: What Needs to be Done?

Businesses must search for solutions that employ intelligent EDI processing and revolutionary field-mapping technology to solve the rising difficulties, enabling smooth communication across all key channels. This will necessitate a comprehensive overhaul of their technological and operational infrastructure and exploring a vertical solution, meticulously designed for fashion supply chain management. To meet all these disruptive sourcing requirements, HauteLogic developed an end-to-end cloud solution that will help fashion companies reconstruct the new paradigm of fashion supply chains by leveraging the following four essential dimensions:

Connected Commerce for Integrated Communication:

HauteLogic empowers your fashion brand with complete transparency over your supply chain through:

  • Digital selling integration for DTC and B2B — using Dynamic Commerce or third-party solutions.
  • API support for online commerce channels — including Shopify, UPS, Amazon, Magento Jet, DHL, BigCommerce, etc.
  • AS2 solution — to facilitate speedier, efficient, and secure commerce communication.
  • Integrated workflows across all corporate communication channels.

Resilient Supply Chain for Intelligent Inventory Management:

Our resilient digital sourcing solution acts as a fundamental enabler of transparency, control, and integrity across your fashion supply chain by leveraging the following features:

  • Robust business rule manager — for smooth partner onboarding process.
  • User-friendly and compatible with a number of standards — such as EDI, XML, API
  • Withstands extreme seasonable spikes via scalable and server-class architecture — on the Azure platform
  • Prompt notifications in crucial cases for a quick solution without requiring hardcoding
  • Small package shipping and tracking assistance
  • Deliver beyond contemporary point-to-point EDI communications with process-centric configurations.

Finance and Operations Optimization for Process and Quality integration:

We enable seamless digital growth for fashion companies and allow them to unify operations, channels, customers, and partner ecosystems by leveraging the following features:

  • Built-in Dynamic 365 and D365 F60 integration
  • EDI-ready Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Pre-engineered EDI transactions and partner mapping allow faster onboarding
  • Interactive vendor management
  • Rule-based order assignment and categorization
  • Inventory visibility across all channels

Operations Analytics and Customer Insights for Fashion Supply Chain Optimization and Consumer Engagement:

Our omnichannel solution optimizes your fashion supply chain management with real-time data analytics via the following capabilities:

  • AI-enabled integration for in-depth consumer insights and customer engagement
  • Azure’s serverless extensible event processing engine provides sophisticated analytics reporting functionalities.
  • Native reporting capabilities allow browser-based access

Strengthen your Fashion Supply Chain with HauteLogic:

Investment in resilient supply chain solutions, consumer insights, and a sustainable environment is incomplete without investments in strategic cross-tier relationships. HauteLogic understands this challenging notion. With our end-to-end cloud and ML technology, we commit to ensuring greater transparency throughout the supply chain management clothing industry and help build trust across all channels. Get in touch with one of our experts to learn how to achieve digitization and transparency across your supply chain.

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