Key elements of a collaborative network in the fashion industry

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October 20, 2020By Greg Davis

An established digital ecosystem lets brands reduce design-plan-manufacture cycles, improve supply chain planning accuracy, enable end-to-end inventory visibility, and help manage financial orchestration and liquidity. This helps ensure that the right products get to the right place, at the right time—on budget, and aligned with sustainability efforts that appeal to customers socially and environmentally. Additionally, a connected supply chain can improve visibility of key production metrics such as water usage and chemical content, all of which can be shared with consumers.

Collaborative networks connect complex systems of enterprises, applications, service providers, data sources, and devices involved in a fashion brand’s value chain and host them on a cloud-based platform for optimal performance and accessibility. Cloud-based systems facilitate the communication, performance, scale, security, and computing power needed to leverage technology solutions across the entire design to the manufacturing cycle.

A collaborative network focused on frictionless partnering can address the key elements needed to capture and execute on today’s quickly changing customer insights:

  1. Precise demand prediction: Enhanced visibility means a more sophisticated understanding of customer behaviors that can be communicated to designers, suppliers, and manufacturers in real time, making it easier than ever to adapt to sudden market changes.
  1. Risk mitigation: More valuable insight into source manufacturing gives brands better control over sourcing, transportation, and planning—even in times of uncertainty, such as a pandemic. 
  1. Better visibility through shared communication: Collaborative networks help brands stimulate their communications by engaging all links of the supply chain. This eliminates silos and gives brands better control of who sees important messages exactly when they need to see them. 
  1. Optimized supply chain: The supply chain should boost productivity, not hinder it. Collaborative fashion networks enhance supply chain governance with full transparency and can be used to increase efficiency and productivity—especially with the introduction of other advanced tools such as artificial intelligence. 
  1. An evolved workforce: People are the power behind any brand. Better equip your workforce with the tools and knowledge needed to perform optimally, every time. Blend talent science-based technology and clearly defined roles to make your workforce more connected and resilient than ever before. 

The case for leveraging available technology solutions to create a robust collaborative network is especially powerful in the fashion industry. A digital ecosystem can turn a fashion brand into a nimble, agile, and resilient operation that creates fulfilling customer experiences while nurturing a strong growth and operational strategy. 

To learn more about this topic and gain some practical information about how your organization can create a connected and collaborative digitized network, check out this best practice guide.

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