We are evolving towards the complete digital ecosystem and the pandemic has fast forwarded the transformation for good. This ecosystem will indulge on multiple digital technologies – which includes predictive analytics, AI, robots, smart logistics, manufacturing and warehousing platforms. Before we jump into the crux of digital supply chain. I would briefly like to touch why supply chain exists? While the answers may differ, from individual to individual but the fundamental objective is streamlining the processes involved in moving goods from point A to point B and as a way of increasing efficiencies business wide.
The pandemic has crippled the supply chain process around the work due to the outdated systems. Many processes still run manually, and paper based. Whilst social distancing measures are in place, this can be difficult, causing further distractions to supply chains. Using a digital approach to these typical systems can eliminate the need for face-to-face interactions, improving business both during and after the pandemic.
In fashion and apparel sector, the SCM is currently undergoing a digital transformation. Thanks to the rise of new technologies. Across sectors and businesses, digitalization is challenging old operating models and unleashing new potential. The traditional apparel supply chain consists of four different stages that often operate in silos. But to maximize the benefits of digitalization, the different phases must be well connected and well-coordinated, so that any increased efficiency gained at one stage can be reflected in smoother operations in the following stage. Digitalization itself can improve coordination by facilitating communication between different stakeholders along the supply chain. I will be talking in depth on how the apparel supply chain can be transformed digitally and the advantages that digitalization brings to the value chain.
Ways to digitize the apparel supply chain.
3D technology used in the Product Design and Development Stage: Saving time is crucial for apparel manufacturers and retailers. The design stage can move from a paper-based process to a fully digital process through the use of 3D fashion design technology. Such a shift would minimize the need for designers to ship physical samples to producers and reduce the length of time needed to move an item from design to manufacturing. Currently, 3- D printers can work only with a few materials, such as plastics, resins, powders, metals and ceramics. The machines lay down continuous layers of the material, each building on the last, until the object is created.
Smart Distribution with the help of IoT & RFID technology: Robots, autonomous vehicles, blockchain technology, radio-frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication (NFC) all technologies can be used to transform the distribution. Services such as click-and-collect rely on having a clear view of inventory, which RFID can provide.
In-store Technology to increase topline: Optimizing the supply chain process is vital in the sales stage digitization can take place in the form of e-commerce, m-commerce, social media analyzer, localization techniques, 3D mirrors.
Author Name: Aparna Tarafdar