When it comes to inventory management and order fulfillment, the apparel business faces numerous difficult issues. From complicated SKU assortments to seasonal inventory spikes, increased large box retailer needs, and same-day direct-to-consumer fulfillment expectations, apparel manufacturers need a cost-effective, precise, and trustworthy supply chain now more than ever.
Apparel distribution has evolved dramatically over time, and it will continue to do so in order to satisfy evolving customer expectations. Apparel has always required different distribution strategies than other consumer items due to the specific physical qualities of each product.
Ecommerce and Omnichannel Retailing in the Apparel Industry
Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers used to have distinct divisions in the sector, but those lines are beginning to blur. Large shops are now creating, sourcing, and distributing their own merchandise outside of the United States.
With the development of eCommerce and Omnichannel retailing, a variety of apparel businesses have sprung up. Fast Fashion, the most recent trend, necessitates lightning-fast distribution procedures in order for cutting-edge designs to get from the runway to the buyer as rapidly as possible.
The Expanding Apparel Market in USA
Anything that may boost speed and lower costs in a market with growing competition and demanding demands is extremely useful. In the United States, the apparel market is predicted to expand from $225 billion to $285 billion by 2025. Clothing companies will be expected to move more inventory, faster and more accurately, at lower costs, as a result of this significant increase in demand. Within the warehouse, one major invention has the potential to make this difficult task possible: mobile technology.
Best apparel industry solutions include:
- Order fulfillment that shares inventory and personnel to serve numerous channels
- Flexibility for seasonal and promotional peaks and changing order profiles
- Advanced software to improve order fulfillment and provide insights into the operation
- Efficient processing of smaller and more complicated orders
- Automation that decreases warehouse manpower dependency
- Alignments for a dedicated retail store or eCommerce fulfillment
- From simple options (such as voice or RF) to fully automated solutions, software and hardware that meet contemporary needs are available.
Inventory Management for Apparel Fulfillment?
Poor inventory management can be fatal to an apparel brand with a large number of SKUs. When you factor in how quickly fashion and tastes change, firms might end up with outdated, unsold merchandise that loses value and costs money to keep season after season.
To keep inventory levels as low as possible, brands must balance fill rate with a rigorous SKU selection approach. A contemporary warehouse management system’s item activity level reporting can assist apparel businesses to discover slow-moving inventory and free up space for new seasonal products. This proactive inventory management will assist your fulfillment provider in maintaining an up-to-date slotting plan and allowing for more efficient picking.
Shipping and Warehousing with Material Handling Automation
Traditional fashion merchants may sell a small number of things in enormous volumes. Fast fashion businesses, in many situations, offer a large catalog with a lot of things that change frequently. There is a narrow line between minute details and the broad picture when it comes to warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution of fast fashion. For multi-channel businesses, warehousing and distribution can make a significant difference in the business process.
Your supply chain is what drives your fast-fashion business, regardless of whether it is focused on a single channel or many. Many WMS solution providers handle the warehousing and shipping needs of garment manufacturers before. These special connections and knowledge provide insight into the most recent logistics and supply chain trends. They should have the experience to address a variety of issues in the fast fashion business, including:
- Order fulfillment with late cut-off deadlines and short lead times
- Increasing volume via e-commerce, resulting in a higher number of returns
- Frequent deliveries to brick-and-mortar locations due to multi-channel distribution, which can limit the capacity to batch pick orders at distribution and fulfillment centers.
- Inventory reduction and increased capacity to handle an increasing number of SKUs and turnover
- Fashion retailers, wholesalers, and direct-to-consumer sellers require flexible distribution and fulfillment solutions that can handle seasonal peaks like Black Friday and back-to-school.
The issues that fast fashion merchants confront can be solved by MWI Solutions. The company is prepared to deal with fluctuating lead times, non-existent or decreased batch picking, and the flexibility required to manage high sales periods. They are prepared to be adaptable and tackle the problems faced in the increasing garment sector by giving solutions. Approaches are scalable and modular, and they can assist firms in planning for expansion.
Dematic customizes apparel industry solutions to address your most difficult challenges, including multichannel or dedicated eCommerce fulfillment, slow-moving inventory, seasonal/promotional peaks, same-day (sometimes one-hour) delivery, multichannel or dedicated retail store fulfillment and returns processing.
Streamlining Your Distribution Center
According to recent research, adopting mobility carts in the warehouse increased receiving volume by 63 percent while lowering overtime expenses by 75 percent. Streamlining your distribution center has never been more crucial in a time when cutting costs is critical and customers demand purchases to be delivered through more channels and in shorter periods. MWI Solutions develops bespoke supply chain solutions and material handling solutions for clothes manufacturers and retailers based on their textile fulfillment experience and technological expertise.