October 2015 Entries

How to Achieve Faster Speed to Market with your SCM Platform

Part 2 of 2:

Last week, in part one of this blog series, we established that, due to overwhelming customer demand, fashion brands, retailers and consumer goods companies are looking for ways to improve speed to market.

In the NGC white paper, 8 Steps for Faster Speed to Market: Improving Supply Chain Speed and Agility, we detailed how to use your SCM enterprise platform during the pre-PO and post-PO stages to achieve these goals and continue to deliver excellent goods and services to your customers:

Better compliance with calendars and deadlines. Calendar and deadline compliance can be improved with the Workflow Calendars and Exception Reporting found in today’s enterprise systems for SCM. Calendars are role-based and instantly accessible via the web; users can see the status of milestone dates for calendars and make sure product groups, collections and approvals are all on schedule, with alerts and color-coded dashboard to when deadlines aren’t met.

Improved WIP tracking. Manufacturers can easily update Work-In-Process (WIP) so users can track the production status of each order and instantly check progress. Alerts and color-coded dashboards can be customized to show the current status and can even predict if the item will run late due to unexpected delays. Collaboration and WIP tracking can also help companies speed up the replenishment of best-selling products and cut their losses on others.

More efficient line planning. Modern enterprise systems such as PLM include interactive planning tools that allow retailers, brands, and manufacturers to view and manage the line development processes with a number of automated features that improve line planning efficiency. With real-time visibility through an enterprise platform, merchandising, design and sourcing teams can be synchronized to ensure an on-time product launch.

Strategic positioning of raw materials. Using enterprise systems, companies can forecast raw material requirements, place commitments with multiple suppliers and draw down the commitments as POs are issued and the materials are consumed. This reduces the risk of holding too much or too little inventory to meet downstream demand or holding unused inventory for unacceptable lengths of time – and it plays a huge role in improving cycle time. Read on »

You Need to Achieve Faster Speed to Market and your SCM Platform Can Help

Part 1 of 2:

The 2015 Global Sourcing Survey and Report from Apparel and Kurt Salmon, Speed Trumps, but Quality Programs Remain Central, found that “the vast majority of respondents are looking to make sizeable improvements in speed to market within the next year, targeting greater sales growth and a reduction in calendar cycle times, even as the number of styles offered is set to grow for many.”

It is clear that speed to market is today’s #1 priority for fashion brands, retailers and consumer goods companies, and these players cannot afford to sacrifice quality on the road to greater speed.

The push towards faster cycle times is driven by the “we want it now” mindset of today’s consumers. Fast fashion, social media and e-commerce have trained consumers to expect products faster, turning today’s shoppers into the “now” generation.

Achieving faster speed to market allows companies to connect with consumers and meet their heightened expectations. With shorter production cycles, companies can be relevant and responsive, even anticipating consumers’ needs and preferences. At the same time, however, companies can’t afford to sacrifice product quality or take shortcuts in product safety and compliance.

In order to achieve faster speed to market – and shave four, six, eight weeks or more off of cycle time – companies must improve processes occuring both before and after the purchase order (PO) is issued. The PO is the line that traditionally separates the design and production phases of the product lifecycle. Achieving greater speed to market must include both pre-PO and post-PO processes, with a Supply Chain Management (SCM) platform that can help drive improvements not only throughout the supply chain, but in product development as well.

SCM systems can do much more than manage supply chain activities. Today’s SCM systems can serve as enterprise platforms that bring together all design and manufacturing activities, both pre-PO and post-PO – orchestrating all the information, processes, systems, departments and geographies within the enterprise. Read on »

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