Thinking About Apparel Replenishment

Replenishing stock is a key concern for online retailers, including apparel firms, keen to meet their customers' expectations. However, continuous replenishment comes with its own challenges. Understand more about these challenges, why they should be overcome, and how an experienced third-party logistics (3PL) provider can help.

Challenges of Continuous Apparel Replenishment

Continuous replenishment, where stock is continuously replenished to ensure it doesn't run out, is not without its challenges.

It's a system where all players in the logistics chain communicate openly with one another. Your apparel company must communicate with your suppliers to let them know when you'll need new stock or the components to create new garments. You'll need to communicate with customers to know when they'll want to buy and what they'll want to buy, so you can anticipate the demand. If you're working with a 3PL, there's another link in the logistics chain that needs consulting. When communication is effective, so is continuous replenishment, but it has the potential to break down.

When communication breaks down, stock levels may be replenished beyond your needs. This can leave you with surplus stock you'll need to discount heavily to offload.

Benefits of Continuous Apparel Replenishment

Continuous replenishment can improve supply chain efficiency through a "pulled" system where retailers and their suppliers freely share information. Under this system, suppliers monitor the retailer's inventory levels and replace any materials as they're depleted. Suppliers typically find they can plan production more effectively under this system. They also don't need to waste time creating purchase orders. Both these factors result in lower logistics and warehousing costs.

The American Productivity & Quality Center's Open Standards Benchmarking in logistics found businesses with continuous replenishment systems save $19.95 on average for every $1,000 of revenue. These savings can be significant for companies with large annual turnovers.

Companies with continuous replenishment systems also tended to deliver slightly more packages on time, with accurate goods and invoices and no breakages. This is a natural tendency without any additional effort on the part of retailers. However, if businesses were to take advantage of having their stock continuously replenished and focus on faster order fulfillment, they could build greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer patience on delivery time is dwindling, with customers willing to wait 5.9 days for a delivery according to the 2016 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper survey, compared to 7.4 days in 2012.

Advantages of Partnering With a 3PL Provider

Continuous replenishment can be challenging, but you needn't shoulder the burden alone. A quality apparel 3PL provider like The Apparel Logistics Group can help coordinate a continuous replenishment program by monitoring warehouse stock and coordinating delivery with suppliers throughout the year. As with all the best continuous replenishment programs, it's important we communicate openly about your production schedules and other logistical concerns. We can also provide feedback on your customers' purchase behavior and how quickly the stock will need replenishing.

Continuous replenishment is one of the greatest challenges fashion firms face, but The Apparel Logistics Group can ease some of the pressure from your company. Complete our online consultation form to learn more about the advantages of partnering with us.

Posted: 11/29/2017 4:31:55 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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