The textile and apparel supply chain—from fibre to retail—is experiencing deflationary price trends, making cost reduction the key to survival. This has forced players to rethink the role they play within the supply chain.
With operating efficiencies already quite high, members of the supply chain need to look at strategies other than reducing labour costs to improve margins. Two key areas on which to focus are collaboration with supply chain partners and innovation.
Collaboration offers an opportunity to reduce costs in the areas of product development, inventory holding, and manufacturing through better capacity utilisation, lower reject rates and fewer charge-backs.
Investment in the innovation of products, services and business processes can result in quantum jumps in profitability for a company. Significant growth in revenue will only come by bringing exciting new products and services to customers. Customers will always make room for something new, useful and value-packed, and will be willing to pay higher prices for it.