As states begin to reopen and move to a new normal, businesses are taking the first steps to return to their standard operations. In the fashion sector, particularly, companies are now forecasting for the late-summer and holiday seasons. However, fashion companies face a new set of challenges due to the lack of digitization across the entire supply chain. Let’s take a deeper dive.
It’s no surprise that dozens of fashion companies canceled orders at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. While the cancellations had significant impacts on the industry, companies are now restarting the conversations with their vendors to reignite these orders for new seasons. In theory, this should be a relatively simple plan to execute. However, the harsh reality some businesses are facing is that these products never went into production. Even if the pandemic had not occurred, these new problems show that the products would’ve never shipped in time. How could millions of units of product be unaccounted for when lockdowns only took effect two months ago?
Many of these companies have yet to implement a software that connects their supply chain to provide real-time updates. Despite 47% of retailers stating that supply chain digitization was their top priority, the current state of the value chain highlights that these companies remain digitally-hesitant. Had there been software in place, fashion businesses would’ve had the insight two months ago that their vendors wouldn’t be able to hit critical deadlines. Supply chain leaders would’ve been able to mobilize the supply chain and secure capacity with partners who could turn the product around to meet the initial target dates for the product launches.
In addition to a lack of finished goods, many companies are unclear about what happened to their raw materials before factories experienced shutdowns. Were the materials delivered? Were they cut and ready for production? Are they still available now that material shortages are plaguing the industry?
All of these questions are answerable if there is a continuous stream of communication with vendors through one channel. If a company relies on emails, phone calls, and texts to communicate with their partners, the pandemic is a great scapegoat for the lack of responsiveness. By implementing one communication channel that is easily accessible by all supply chain participants, both vendors and companies hold each other accountable for their responsibilities across the entire process.
While some of these issues are avoidable through reliable partners in your network, a robust tech stack can mitigate a majority of these problems. For example, our Suuchi GRID is engineered to minimize the high execution risk that comes with any go-to-market strategy. That’s why the GRID is over-engineered for all users to collaborate in real-time and see stage updates as changes occur throughout every phase of the process. Over time, the GRID collects data on every product that runs through the system to run reports for decision-makers to make the right choices for sustainable business growth.
There is still time to implement the right technology to simplify processes for businesses that are now discovering these deep-rooted supply chain difficulties. Truly intuitive software allows companies to be up and running in as little as a day to see immediate ROI. Businesses who utilize this time to break the historical digital-hesitance will come out as more successful companies than their competitors.
The question remains: will you let your company pay the price of digital-hesitance, or will you make the investment to be an industry titan?