As brands are scaling to the next level there are growing pains that they will experience as they find ways to sustain growth. While these growing pains are often unavoidable, some measures can be taken to help alleviate the process. Companies that are in the process of establishing their next chapter for success can rely on technology and data to find the secrets to continued success in their supply chain. For apparel brands and retailers in particular data is the gold that these companies need for longevity.
Here are the top three reasons why established brands need to start implementing technology and data into their supply chain:
As we have seen with the likes of Forever21 and Barney’s, major companies did not take the initiative to implement technology into their supply chain early on to catch the mistakes that would eventually be their downfall. As brands are expanding their supply chain and need to track where their strengths and weaknesses are, they need to start digitizing their product life cycle. With this insight, they are then able to strengthen their supply chain early on and have a digital footprint to track what decisions will have the highest return on investment.
One of the biggest struggles that brands have is to be able to keep up with consumer demands that change overnight. As the internet and social media continue to drive the need for instant gratification, brands need to be able to pivot quickly to cater to their customer needs. If apparel companies begin to implement technology early on, they will have the data to point them to the most lucrative trends, what categories resonate with their consumers, and make smarter forecasts for upcoming seasons. With shorter lead times in between product drops than what was once the industry norm, this type of insight is imperative to long term success.
Transparency and traceability have become top buzzwords in the apparel industry as we have seen a huge shift towards a more conscious consumer. Companies can begin selling the story behind their products from the launch of their brand by implementing technology from the start. This creates a deeper company story and allows the brand to charge a premium for a more transparent product. Brands can show their consumers where their product was made, where the materials were sourced, and every point of contact throughout the entire supply chain if they have the digital transcription.
As the apparel and the retail landscape continues to reshape itself, implementing technology that will allow brands to have data direct from their supply chain is the only way brands will continue to survive and grow. If companies want to keep up with evolving consumers and stand out from the competition in the heavily crowded industry, brands need to rely on analytics as their secret sauce to longevity and scalability.