Think Big and Outside the Box with the Help of Apparel Supply Chain Services

outside-the-box-apparel-supply-chain.jpgWhen’s the last time you had all the day-to-day details in order — all the pieces working together smoothly — enough to stop, take a deep breath, climb to the top of "the box" and gaze outside at an unexplored future?

According to Supply Chain Management Review, it’s not happening enough for many companies:

One of the most overworked and misused phrases is "Think Out of the Box." Yes many people say it but do they mean it? If your answer is "yes I do" then the next question that needs to be asked is "Really?" If so many people are thinking out of the box then where should we look for evidence of this creativity?

There have been various noteworthy and imaginative changes made in the Supply Management world in the past few decades – automation; risk assessment and management; negotiations management; etc. [But…] if anything, upon closer observation of current Supply Management practices, one could reasonably conclude that we are going in reverse – returning to a price focus - much more tactical, rather than strategic. There’s too much confusion and clutter caused by trying to apply tools and methods independently rather than using them as the springboard to the next level.

He makes some good points. Two somewhat divergent thoughts here:

1. This highlights the need for end-to-end, strategic apparel supply chain management. In other words, all the parts need to fit together flawlessly, lest your supply chain just become a jumble of technologies and services that don’t serve the big picture. Every aspect of our apparel 3PL services — from garment production to garment warehousing to garment processing — is designed to empower larger fashion logistics strategies.

2. The whole point of thorough, detail-oriented apparel third party logistics is to master the details in order to free up resources — whether money, talent, time or even mental bandwidth — to truly innovate and grow into the kind of company you know yours can be. This could involve fashion supply chain management innovation. But more likely for apparel companies, it involves innovation in the areas where they’d long excelled: branding, marketing, merchandising, and so forth.

Think about a day spent scrambling from one task to the next — putting out fires here and there, solving small but urgent problems, coaxing each little piece of the puzzle into its right place and the right fit with the piece next to it. Is there really time to think big and outside of the box? Comparatively, think about a day spent, say, leisurely talking with customers and clients, or wandering around a retail outlet getting a feel for how your product jumps out from the competition’s, or even, say, staring at a tree.

This isn’t to say you can just ignore the details. Of course you can’t. But you can’t lose sight of big picture strategies either — whether concerning your supply chain or the products it delivers. In other words, you have to be able to see both the forest and the trees — or you have to work with a fashion 3PL company who lives among the roots allowing you to spend more time in the canopy.

Here at The Apparel Logistics Group, our clothing supply chain services exist to give your company the peace of mind and energy to do what it does best. Think big. We’ll make sure the machine keeps humming.

Posted: 8/10/2012 12:07:11 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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