Fast Fashion and Speed to Market

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Fashion trends used to change at a snail’s pace, influenced only by monthly magazines and annual fashion weeks. Today, however, Instagram influencers can spin the fashion industry on its head in a matter of hours, and apparel retailers and manufacturers often change their collections every two or three weeks. The fast-fashion phenomenon has created a culture that demands increased speed to market.

Remove Supply Chain Inefficiencies

Whether it’s in warehousing, shipping, quality control, or some other facet of the supply chain, inefficiencies can slow your time to market and leave you trailing behind the competition. A third-party logistics service, or 3PL, can help you eliminate those inefficiencies so your business remains competitive.

An apparel 3PL can offer distribution services that cut out unnecessary middlemen and cater to shorter sales cycles. As fast fashion continues to proliferate in the industry, you can’t afford warehousing hiccups or inventory control issues. Plus, since a 3PL can provide multiple supply chain services, you don’t have to juggle several different providers.

Improve Product Quality

Some companies respond to the need for speed with reduced attention to product quality. If you don’t have stable quality control measures in place, your speed to market won’t matter. You’ll experience more returns from consumers and reduced brand loyalty. Your reputation can also suffer as customers’ poor experiences are shared instantly via social media.

Using a 3PL to manage quality control might rescue you from these negative consequences. Look for a company that offers both pre- and post-sales quality control services so you don’t have to manage returns, refolding, and other issues in-house. The best providers also refurbish garments to meet quality control standards.

Manage Inventory Efficiently

When you feel your target audience nipping at your heels, you might feel tempted to increase your inventory to meet the anticipated demand. When you have too much inventory, though, you run the risk of underselling and reducing cash flow. Your storage costs increase and you don’t have room for new garment styles.

Look for a 3PL that helps you minimize your apparel inventory while still meeting consumer demand. The most effective providers will help you forecast sales so you don’t mistakenly order too much or too little product. While speed to market remains important, keep the reason behind this phenomenon in mind. Since fashion trends change quickly, your large inventory can become obsolete overnight.

Find the Best Shipping Solution

Whether you handle manufacturing overseas or onshore, you need fast transportation to improve your time to market. Additionally, if you’re handling global shipping, you need a partner that can handle customs issues and foreign trade zones. This way, you don’t have to hire professionals who specialize in these areas.

Finding ways to consolidate shipments and to maximize your return-on-investment for air or ocean shipping can dramatically impact your bottom line. Don’t let shipping issues get in the way of bringing your products to market.

As you can see, fashion companies rely heavily on the supply chain to meet consumer demand. A skilled 3PL provider helps mitigate these issues so you can keep up with the competition. Request a free consultation to learn how Apparel Logistics helps apparel companies flourish.

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