Innovation is rarely the path of least resistance. It invariably involves a certain amount of risk that comes with leaving behind the comfortable, established routines and trying new things. In some cases, very untested things. Of course, the rewards that come with successfully innovating cannot be overstated, and that is precisely why so many companies are willing to take those risks.
In the clothing industry, the most fertile ground for innovation lies in the supply chain. As ubiquitous connectivity and free trade have opened the world up in ways never seen before, clothing has become a truly global business. It is not uncommon to have raw materials suppliers, manufacturers, logistics partners, and retailers in entirely different parts of the world. And with that increased complexity comes more opportunity for things to go wrong.
Supply Chain Management: Shifting Goals
At its core, a supply chain is little more than acquiring and transporting inventory, but it is the finer details that make it such a complicated animal. With the advent of the internet, however, the finer details have been getting finer. The focus of clothing companies has been shifting from pure-profit driven to customer experience-driven.
It is no longer the case that a supply chain is merely responsible for getting inventory from a manufacturer to a retailer—customers expect more. From delivery tracking to traceability, customers are increasingly concerned with where and how products were made, not just the cost. They want to know that their new shirt was not made in inhumane working conditions and that the materials were not obtained in a way that is damaging to the environment. Entire brands rise and fall around these values, so the systems you use to connect with business partners should support accountability and ensure every link in your supply chain is equally committed to these goals.
SCM Software Integration
The increasing interconnectivity of our devices and services has opened up a new world of possibilities and innovations regarding customer care. Backend applications no longer need to be isolated islands but can form part of the forward-facing customer experience. Coming up with innovative new ways to incorporate your SCM into the retail experience will invariably please your customers, who increasingly want as much information as possible regarding their purchases.
The Suuchi GRID supports transparency throughout your entire supply chain. With advanced monitoring and reporting tools, your brand can access reliable data from every relevant aspect of your operation. Data that would formerly only interest stockholders and executives can be proudly proclaimed to customers to earn trust and foster relationships.
Customer Service as the Goal
It is well established that customer satisfaction is one of the top metrics to strive for when looking to succeed in the modern clothing industry. The wealth of information that is not only collected by a competent SCM system but also made readily available throughout the supply chain opens up a new world of possibilities. Whether it’s detailed delivery tracking or sourcing materials from a global network of suppliers, this innovates the customer experience.
One thing is clear: a whole new frontier has opened up, driven by connectivity and smart computing. And, if there’s one thing history has taught us, it’s that history remembers those who innovate.