Customers are looking for a convenient shopping experience. Today’s footwear and clothing brands must evolve their business models in response to new trends; the supply chain has never been so critical in making the difference.

The need to improve and diversify service levels to end customers is driving the shift from multi-channel to omni-channel—and ultimately a channel-less—customer experience.

A change in the business models

Traditional fashion/apparel business models historically introduced specific features: “Value Fashion” focused on value for the money while “Fast Fashion” reinvented the concept of seasons by introducing 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 chains of fashion companies need to cope with new demands in terms of increased flexibility and service levels. What used to be multi-channel (each distribution channel operating on its own) now must become omni-channel - offering a unique seamless experience to customers. The result is a new classification of business model that serves all channels.

Drivers from new intralogistics solutions

How your supply chain works—whether it’s focused on a single channel or every channel—drives the choice of solutions for your logistics operation. At TGW, we have extensive expertise providing solutions to leading fashion and apparel companies. These relationships give us unique insight into the latest handling trends and challenges faced within this industry, such as: 

  • Late cut-off times that allow a higher service level, but require short lead times in an order fulfillment operation
  • Omni-channel drives more frequent deliveries to store, resulting in order fragmentation and reducing the ability to batch pick when fulfilling orders at the distribution center
  • Increased volume through e-commerce (either delivered to home addresses or to stores for pick-up) generates even higher numbers of returns
  • Retail, wholesale and direct-to-consumer operations must have distribution center solutions that can flexibly accommodate seasonal peaks, including back-to-school, Black Friday and more
  • Minimized inventory and the ability to efficiently handle an increasing number of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and churn

What solutions answer these demands?

At TGW, we are convinced that in future the requirement for solutions that can accommodate different lead times, cope with reduced or non-existent batch picking, and flexibility manage peak times in e-commerce or retail/wholesale will increase. That’s why every standard TGW solution is designed to be flexible enough to meet omni-channel challenges from the unknown future, thanks to our modular and scalable approach. 

Through a portfolio of modular and standardized solutions, TGW addresses the challenges faced by the fashion/apparel industry. These range from basic Person-to-Goods systems to the most advanced Goods-to-Person systems. For example, the TGW PickCenter family includes different station configurations and handles a variety of unit loads (includes cartons, totes, polybags and more).