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Lean Supply Chain Management in the Fashion Industry

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Fashion is the bellwether of change. In keeping with its reputation for the highest level of customer responsiveness, the fashion industry is poised to respond strategically to major changes occurring in today’s global supply chains. A Lean Supply Chain Management strategy can address the necessary elements of change that will ultimately enable a simpler, more efficient and responsive operations model.

The seminal issue today is “the China question.” How will global supply chains adapt to the end of the quota system and the consequent impact on sourcing? Attendant issues are ramp-up to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and the shipping delays imposed by growing shortages in transportation and port capacity as well as Homeland Security checks. Shipping delays necessitate compensating efficiencies at other points. RFID will ultimately transform the central issues of supply chain management -- how information is gathered, shared, and synchronized among trading partners – but it is not yet mature enough to provide the necessary efficiencies. Lean Supply Chain Management, however, can enable cost savings and more efficient operations by realigning process according to a demand-driven model, as it also lays the groundwork for the next level of hands-free, wireless RFID-enabled processes.

Lean Supply Chain Management is a supply chain operational and strategic philosophy that uses Web-based technologies to continuously reconfigure dynamic supplier networks. Such networks are able to execute superlative customer value at the lowest cost. They enable real-time collaborative synchronization of demand priorities, manufacturing and logistics/delivery, intelligence, and lifecycle management.
As the first in a series of thought leadership pieces from Lawson called “Lean is Fashionable,” we explore the impact of Lean in the fashion and apparel industry during a period of momentous change.

 

The next two parts of the series will focus on:
• How Lean Manufacturing relates to Lean Supply Chain Management and where it differs and sometimes conflicts
• The action steps for moving to a Lean Supply Chain.
In the same way that we discuss Lean Manufacturing, AMR Research uses the terminology Demand-Driven Supply Networks (DDSNs). We both urge that 2005 is the foundation year for companies to create roles and responsibilities for lean, demand-driven networks.
Involving all partners – customers and suppliers – in this supply chain planning process is critical. We believe that this is a survival issue for all. Stable, long-term partnerships evolve into a supply chain ecosystem that supports ongoing benefits for all members. Lean Supply Chain Management not only enables trading partners to use a synchronized platform and tools but also instills cultural and organizational changes in all participants up and down the supply chain.

Download below the free white paper.

Last modified on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 09:04

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