Big Data and Your Apparel Supply Chain

Big Data has always had the potential to offer powerful insights for business management, but it was only recently that analytics tools caught up to the point where small businesses and everyday IT professionals could interact meaningfully with this information. If you have access to a wealth of Big Data relating to your apparel business, you can use this information to improve your supply chain in several ways.

Apparel Supply Chain and Big Data

Improving Your Forecasting

Forecasting is one of the most important things you can do to streamline your supply chain. There is a plethora of factors that can impact your forecast, particularly in the apparel industry. A company's forecast should consider consumer demographics such as age, sex, and clothing size. It must also account for seasonal factors, including the weather and special events like prom, spring break, and holidays.

Clothing retailers need to analyze buying cycles associated with everything from upcoming occasions, such as popular wedding seasons, to financial factors like the tax or holiday season, when shoppers may spend more. Big Data can help with all these areas, offering information on several years' worth of buying cycles so sellers can see the finer points of these trends.

Building Better Customer Profiles

Every customer is different, yet many companies use standardized business practices that treat all customers equally. This leaves many potential business opportunities untapped. Big Data can help you compile thousands of orders and months' or years' worth of customer interactions into charts and graphs that offer usable information. You can identify which customers are most loyal, which are shouldering the highest expenses, and which could benefit from more personalized attention.

Tightening Coordination With Suppliers

Those in the apparel industry typically need to coordinate their activities with several suppliers. You need to source materials ranging from fabrics to embellishments, work with a time-conscious manufacturer, and package products safely. Then, a third-party logistics company like The Apparel Logistics Group can transport them to a storage facility and ship them out to retail locations or customers in the appropriate season. This requires months' worth of advance planning to make sure your warm jackets are stuffed, sewn, and ready to go long before the chill of winter sets in.

Implementing data from every supplier in your chain and every step of the production line can help you simplify your efforts and create a tighter supply chain from start to finish. Speeding up the entire process makes it easier to respond to those lightning-fast peaks in demand that can result from a hot trend going viral.

Cleaning Up the Information

Big Data is a powerful tool for supply chain management, but it's often difficult to utilize. It's important to manage your data wisely so you can identify useful information that's under-utilized as well as masses of low-value data that you can afford to dump. Focus on creating clean visuals that make your data valuable so you get results that are intuitive and actionable for your supply chain.

For more insights into how your Big Data can improve your apparel supply chain activities, contact The Apparel Logistics Group to schedule a professional consultation.

Posted: 2/8/2017 4:40:56 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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