Over the last year or so, “fast fashion” companies have gained tremendous market share from consumers in search of the hottest trending item at the best price. These companies have executives from every industry – not just fashion – talking about the need for speed.
In surveys across various industries, speed-to-market has become the top market pressure for retailers. Fast fashion leaders work in weeks, with a clockspeed in step with the quickening pulse of fashion itself. More than just lightning lead times, their entire business models are oriented around agility; they look for new trends and create shortened design-to-build cycles that can respond rapidly.
However, when it comes to being agile, normal efficiency practices don’t cut it. There’s a limit to how quickly even the most organized supply chain can prototype, manufacture and ship. This level of coordination requires visibility and digitized, connected systems able to orchestrate and manage inventory and get it to customers quickly. Combining these requirements with business insight generated from structured and unstructured data and predictive analytics enables the manufacturer to know where the product is at any given point in the lifecycle – and deliver through whichever channel where consumer demand is greatest. This is “supply chain digitization” – the ability to transform the way we do business by moving data over the web instead of on paper.