What are end customers looking for? A convenient shopping experience. Footwear and clothing brands need to evolve their business models in response to new trends and the supply chain has never been so critical in making the difference.
Improved and diversified service levels to end customers are driving the shift from multi-channel to omni-channel.
A change in the business models
Traditional fashion/apparel business models historically introduced specific features: "Value Fashion" focused on value for the money, "Fast Fashion" reinvented the concept of seasons and introduced multiple collections per year. E-commerce was just a separate distribution channel, often run as a distinct business within the same company.
Today the supply chain of fashion companies needs to cope with these new demands in terms of increased flexibility and service level.
What used to be multi-channel (each distribution channel operating on its own) now needs to become omni-channel - offering a unique seamless experience to customers.
The result is a new classification of business model that needs to serve all the channels that the company is active in. “Brands Multi-channel”, “Fast Fashion Brands Omni-channel”, “Value Fashion Brands Omni-channel”, “Value & Fast Fashion Brands Retail” are a few examples of the way TGW classifies prospects.
Drivers from new intralogistics solutions
The way the supply chain works, focussing on the whole or just a combination of retail, wholesale, direct, multi-channel or omni-channel, drives the choice of the appropriate solutions for the intralogistics operation.
At TGW, while developing our expertise in providing solutions to the key global players of the fashion/apparel industry, we receive a constant feedback on the latest trends, such as:
- Very late cut-off times allow for a higher service level, but require short lead times in an order fulfilment operation
- Omni-channel drives more frequent deliveries to store, with a consequent fragmentation of orders and reduced batch effect when fulfilling orders at the distribution centre
- Increased volume through e-commerce (either delivered to home addresses or to stores for pick-up) generates even greater amounts of returns
- Retail, wholesale and direct operations require that the solutions implemented in the distribution centre are designed to cope with the different peaks, happening at different times of the year (e. g. Black Friday, Back to School etc.)
- Minimised inventory and the ability to efficiently handle an increasing number of SKUs and SKU churn
What solutions can answer these demands?
TGW has a portfolio of modular and standardised solutions to address the challenges faced by the fashion/apparel industry. These range from basic “Person-to-Goods” systems to the most advanced “Goods-to-Person” systems.
The TGW PickCenter family includes different station configurations and can handle a variety of unit loads (cartons, totes, poly bags etc). At TGW, we are convinced that in future the requirement for solutions with different lead times, the ability to cope with reduced or inexistent batch effect and flexibility to manage peak times in e-commerce or retail/wholesale will increase.
Every TGW standard solution is designed to be flexible enough to meet future omni-channel challenges from the unknown future, thanks to our modular and scalable approach.