Fashion industry: Ready to face the future
The fashion industry is very complicated. There are no standard fashion companies. They come from a broad spectrum of companies working in the clothing, footwear, home textiles, and accessories markets.
The industry is made up of various types of companies such as retailers, design and sales companies, companies with their own manufacturing facilities and other companies that outsource production but retain control over parts of the production process.
In addition, companies operating in the haute couture segment often face a different type of pressure than those operating with basic fashion products.
All these aspects combine to make the fashion industry one of the most complicated. However, several issues can be recognized as common throughout the industry.
. Consumers have the power
. Supply chains are complicated
. Product launch and delivery takes time
. Companies must be able to manage a combination of products
. Maintaining inventory control is important
. Impact of the latest technology on the fashion industry
. Copyright Issues for Fashion Designs
Consumers have more power
Today’s buyers have more purchasing power than ever before and are less tolerant due to increased time pressure on today’s lifestyles.
They are more aware of environmental and human rights issues and have higher quality demands. They demand greater variety and more frequent changes in the choices available to them. In addition, they also expect the immediate availability of a perfect set of garments and accessories in their preferred color combinations and sizes in the same store.
In terms of meeting consumer needs, retailers are first in line, but all companies in the supply chain are driven by the prerequisite of anticipating their customers’ expectations and requirements. From design to production to final sale, all members of the supply chain must check that stores are supplied with the right requirements when the consumer needs to buy.
Companies that respond quickly to consumer needs are those that will remain profitable in an environment of rapid global competition and rising material and operating costs.
Supply chains are complicated
The fashion industry is distinguished by its global supply chains and complicated logistics. Labor and transportation costs often determine where production takes place and outsourcing all or part of the production is common. Companies across the industry have to deal with global sourcing problems and need to regularly evaluate their sourcing strategies.
Production work is often carried out in multiple locations, which may also be located in different countries. The establishment of cutting, sewing, subcontracting and transportation, and synchronization with the supply of raw materials, is a very tedious process.
Product launch and delivery takes time
While working through the different steps of pre-production, including yarn or fabric selection, garment development, specification, and sampling, the industry takes a long time to introduce a new product to the market.
Both the complex nature of the supply chain and the global nature of production add up to the industry’s long lead times. This provision of long lead times and delivery times do not correlate with the need to react immediately to changes in customer requirements.
The seasonal and ever-changing nature of the industry shows that product life cycles are too short. Even for cyclical demands where the life cycle can continue, there are often small changes in design, and combinations of color or size can change. The logistics of managing a large number of styles and maintaining stock holding units is a difficult practice.
Companies must manage a combination of products
In addition to long lead times, fashion producers are forced to constantly design and develop new product lines to maintain retailer interest and increase consumer sales. Producers have observed that in order to maintain this speed, increase flexibility and speed to meet changing customer demand, which is faster than ever, it is a great challenge for them to judge or present this type of products. Gone are the days when perfect fashion direction decided what consumers were wearing. Today, there are many styles available, and with increasing globalization, consumers can approach fashion news through the latest media tools.
Fashion products change frequently, from socks and basic underwear to mid- and high-priced street brands, to exclusive haute couture brands. Managing brand awareness and loyalty is an important task in maintaining market position. Margins for repetitive commodities are low, so neither a retailer nor a manufacturer can afford to run out of stock.
Moving into the high-end fashion sector, margins increase and sales volumes are lower, but consumers demand an ever-changing range of options, forcing companies to produce multiple collections per year.
Many companies are struggling to overcome the added challenge of having a combination of repetitive lines and collection-oriented products, as well as the need to segment their product range and organize different segments appropriately. From design to demand planning, sourcing, production, distribution, and sales, the demand for different product segments must be addressed separately if companies are to perform well.
Companies need clarity about the sector of the market they are targeting, and they have to run their business that way.
Managing inventory control is important
Companies try to keep inventory levels to a minimum in all industries. In the fashion industry, the requirement to keep inventory levels under control is worse due to the shorter product life cycle. In this industry, there is only one solution for selling merchandise.
In the case of collectible brands, all floor sets must be in retail stores when these products are introduced, otherwise, the opportunity to sell the products is lost and exposure to obsolescence is a high risk.
In the case of products that are often in demand, it is essential that retailers and suppliers do not run out of stock. This part of the market does not have the same level of brand loyalty, and customers may be attracted to switch brands if the color and size they need are not immediately available in stores when they need to buy.
For all companies, balancing inventory maintenance to the level needed to meet demand, while ensuring that they are not excluded from obsolete inventory, is a major problem.
Latest Technology Impact on the Fashion Industry
Recently, the Burton Amp jacket was introduced, which is described as “the world’s first and only electronic jacket that can be worn with an integrated Apple iPod.
According to some fashion experts, clothing will soon become accessories for your gadgets. Today’s new technologies are heavily involved with clothing and garments that you can’t judge if you’re using the technology or if the technology is wearing you down?
In addition, the electronics will continue to shrink in size to such an extent that we will no longer need the objects to hold them. Therefore, today’s fashion industry is experiencing new challenges: “smart textiles”, “smart clothes”, “i-wear” and “fashion engineering” are just some of the trends that will transform the entire fashion industry in the next decade.
Today, many new materials and technologies are applied in textiles and accessories when they are still too expensive or primitive for other applications.