How supply chain visibility guarantees quality for world’s best brands
Improving supply chain visibility clearly means
different things to different retail organizations, but there are some common
features when it comes to using and deploying technology and systems that all
companies should be thinking about when addressing this area of their business.
Creating a company-wide vision, having an appropriate project roadmap, and focusing heavily on teamwork and communication are necessary fundamentals when undertaking an ERP implementation or supply chain reorganization that aims to bring end-to-end visibility of operations.
And by keeping these pointers in mind, there is every chance the project they are embarking on is going to be successful, and will provide a platform for future success.
When it comes to luxury fashion retail, specifically, which has built its reputation on quality, exclusivity and compelling storytelling, it is crucial close attention is given to back-end systems so it does not threaten performance of the brand’s crucial front-end services and messaging. We’ve picked out some tactics, techniques and examples surrounding supply chain visibility to give companies in this sector food for thought as they look to maintain the quality they’ve built their reputations on.
Go in with eyes wide open
Brands need to ensure there is company-wide
alignment when it comes to major supply chain projects that are aiming to
increase visibility of products, processes and operations.
As Gartner’s managing vice president for ERP strategy, Debbie Wilson, points out in a recent blog for the analyst group, brands are setting themselves up for disappointment if the vision is not shared interdepartmentally. “If part of the organization is viewing the goal as transforming how everything is done, how we operate as a business, our culture and purpose while the other part is viewing the program as merely installing some new software then the result is going to be disappointing,” she argues.
Therefore, luxury fashion brands should ensure that all departments of their business are clear on what the benefits of a more transparent supply chain infrastructure will be to them. If they are on board and they see the bigger picture, there’s a greater chance of progress.
Map it out
Luxury fashion brands should
be familiar with mapping out their product calendar, and their fashion
show/event schedule – it’s part of their DNA. If they can use these planning
skills for supply chain transformation projects, they’ll be setting themselves
up for the long term, and positioning themselves accordingly for whatever new
consumer trends and behaviours arise.
Like the process it takes to bring a fashion product to life – from concept to delivery – ERP is an incremental process that needs to be nurtured through the delivery of a series of measurable business outcomes over time. “The order of delivery is as important as a band’s setlist,” explains Wilson, using a music analogy. “The ERP team needs to agree on the roadmap and get the business to engage.”
Teamwork makes the dream work
When considering the
above advice, it’s clear that teamwork and partnerships are critical for
successful supply chain transformation to be implemented.
The route to better supply chain visibility is not sped up by disparate departments all with their own agendas; it comes from working together internally and with external suppliers. “When the professionalism goes out of the window then things fall apart quickly,” notes Wilson. “ERP program teams must work together well. You don’t have to be best friends but you do have to be professional.”
Dedagroup Stealth’s approach
Implementing Dedagroup Stealth’s
solutions gives luxury fashion brands the chance to gain visibility of their
entire supply chain. Yes, we encourage individual brands and retailers to
follow the advice the likes of Gartner provide, but we also say that using our
technology gives brands the control they need.
the fashion platform, enables organizations to gain control over every area of
business, and they will get a real-time, fully-integrated view of stock,
customer and order.
There are no limits to the number of brands, languages or companies linked to the system, enabling a consistent customer experience delivery through every channel and territory. For one of our market leading Italian fashion brand partners, we provide what can neatly be described as ERP as a service, which involves an external datacentre rather than local installation.
Dedagroup Stealth manages operations externally, provides technical support and an external application team, while access and data protection are guaranteed by an external provider. It’s a unique data model for the brand and all its third-party relationships – and it enables the business to continue to showcase its quality in product, customer service, and omnichannel excellence safe in the knowledge that everything works efficiently behind the scenes. That’s what the world’s best brands want when they start talking about supply chain visibility.