A Manufacturer's Perspective
No longer is a manufacturer limited to markets it traditionally catered to. Because of advances in technology the globalization of technology of economies has allowed the manufacturer to be able to choose from a wide variety of sources to choose from.
"The designer now has technological advances in programming to be to create their design with much more versatility than ever before"
On any one style we are able to combine technologies and resources to deliver fabrics, garments or any fashion items, to be manufactured in many ways, and in many different countries. Starting with the design, the designer now has technological advances in programming to be to create their design with much more versatility than ever before. Working with the customer the design and fabrications can be approved much quicker with much more accuracy. This then translate into improved specification and patter making methods by using very advanced system which allow the pre- production of merchandise to be sent next door or around the world to fabric mills, fabric suppliers and factories with a click. Files can now be sent by computer, by smart phones and other devices, sending large amount of data instantaneously.
The knitting of fabric and the weaving of fabric can also sample at the same time, give a very quick response to the designer and the buyer to choose from many options, and make changes in the fiber, and weight of fabrics at incredible speed. New fibers in technology have created new fabrication especially in high performance wear markets, which is very exciting! The techniques implemented here offer the consumer much more variety in fashion forward looks.
The increased automation of sewing factories using very advanced system of marking, grading and cutting, can be done in record time, thus the preproduction lead time is almost cut into half. This is the great news for the manufacturer because this now means the styles style can be sewn and delivers much faster to the retailers, along with much less chance of errors in production. Of course we still need to see actual physical samples, however now because of being able to send photos images of just about everything, the entire supply chain works faster and more efficiently this way, this is the new norm that was a trend. The normal lead time is now 90 days, as before it was 180 days. Of course we all know that 30-45 days is being requested more and more.
We see the new trend in marketing. Because of the internet for example: a company in los angels has a customer in England, with the garments being made in China; but the fabric was sourced in Los Angeles from Korean trade mill. The fabric is being drop shipped directly to the factory in China! So global logistics have contributed the most in the emerging trends within the entire supply chain. Doing trade with so many countries allows for many new opportunities in importing and exporting new items.
For a garment industry as a whole it appears there is a newest trend, which will result in a fundamental shift taking place in the global marketplace. These new trends are going to be taking advantage of emerging economies of raw materials, combined with a wider selection of suppliers, vendors and customers and even retailers. This really is world trade at its best in our industry. With the added incentives of many regional trade agreements, it’s going to be a continued challenge to ourselves and our industry in determining what to buy from where and for those particular items where the best place is to have them sewn or manufactured. By producing the newest designs, making the best quality garments, at the target price for a particular customer or retailer has just gotten even more challenging. This challenge if looked at the right way means there is no room for creativity in logistics. It is my opinion that this creativity in global logistics is going to affect the bottom line of the net in profits in a very good way.