But to ensure this, there are some major challenges that both manufacturers and retailers have to face. From keeping up with the latest fashion trends to catering to the demanding consumers, from maintaining the optimum inventory levels to building a sustainable business, there are so many bottlenecks.
If ignored, they can damage the business as well as the brand name. However, there are ways through which manufacturers and retailers can overcome these challenges. One such way is to partner with apparel sourcing agents who can help in dealing with some of these problems to a great extent.
The apparel manufacturing industry is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world. It is dynamic and under constant pressure as the competition is getting tougher in terms of costs, pricing, fashion trends and fulfilling the expectations of the demanding audience. Moreover, due to the presence of multiple players, manufacturers and retailers are struggling to attain a sustainable position in the market and facing some major challenges.
Let’s have a look at the top 4 bottlenecks:
1. Increased Competition and Fast-Changing Trends
Fashion changes over time. Influence from celebrity wardrobes and fashion runways are the reasons why trends evolve so fast. So, to keep up with the fast-changing fashion movement, it is essential to ensure that the collection launched is in sync with the latest trends and catalogs are updated on a regular basis.
2. Growing Demands of the Consumers
Consumers have the power and in the fast moving fashion world, brands and retailers are trying hard to cater to their needs and demands. Like introducing the latest trends, focusing on maintaining healthy relationships with the consumers and offering countless options in clothing styles, great packaging options, and competitive prices.
3. Negative Impact on a Brand’s Name due to a Delayed Supply
Apparel industry is time-sensitive and since fashion keeps evolving, it becomes difficult for the supply chain to always deliver the products as per the requirements. Any delay in supply can turn off the consumers especially if products are consistently out of stock. Another pressure that supply chains are facing is of quality. If they fail to maintain the quality of the merchandise, it is again a matter of concern for the brands.
4. Getting Inventory Levels Right
Maintaining the stock levels right has always been a big challenge of the apparel industry. And the reason behind this is the seasonal changes. The unforeseen weather conditions can impact inventory levels in a negative way, putting the manufacturers and retailers in a depressing situation.
If a winter season hasn’t been cold enough, brands will end up slashing prices and margins in order to reduce the stock and suddenly ramping up the inventory before the actual timeline. Hence, they need to be well prepared in advance to escape any discrepancies and focus on inventory intelligence to ensure:
- Higher profit margins
- Better customer experience
- Improved operational efficiency