The challenges of textile sourcing.

The challenges of textile sourcing.

Fashion supply, its present and future.

Although we can claim that the main global trend in textile sourcing during the last few years has been the search for a substitute for China, we know today that this unique and perfect replacement does not exist.

Certainly, there are a series of countries, including India and Bangladesh and regions like South East Asia, that are able as a whole, to a greater or lesser extent, to remedy the situation, but none of them will individually solve the problem that has been caused by the increasing costs in the Asian Giant.

If we add the fact that textile industry is one of the most vertical and intensive sectors in the use of labor, we can deduce that we won’t produce our designs again for a lower price than we have already paid under current provisions. Indeed, we have reached the limits of “Low cost”.

The future cost reduction will come from robotic technology applied to production and logistics.

Given this situation, we presently face a double challenge. On the one hand, we must control and manage costs efficiently. On the other, we must meet the demands of an increasingly demanding consumer in terms of transparency of production processes, rational and proper use of resources, environmental protection and the strict compliance with corporate social responsibility policies.

The challenges of textile sourcing.

 Location of production.

As textile sourcing is now more global than ever, a topic that gains great relevance is the sourcing strategy with regard to optimum location of each model for its production.

A professional or a team of professionals with updated knowledge in terms of production costs in each country, the specialization of each productive region, the cost of materials and production times in each area are essential for the company to create value in its supply chain and to stand out from the competition. This is where competitive advantages are born.

Omnichannel model and sourcing.

Old Sewing Machine

Lastly, another very interesting challenge that we face as textile sourcing professionals is to provide support to the omnichannel model.

We must understand that the first and last links of the chain are getting closer –production and sales—and we must offer from origin solutions to make the commercial multichannel efficient and successful.

That means to manage the information we receive from consumers and after analyzing this enormous amount of data, we must generate answers in order to meet their purchasing needs through different sales channels. More specifically, it means, for instance, to focus on improving the speed of our supply chain and to add suppliers who can manage the largest possible amount of processes so that the product shipped from origin arrives to destination ready in all its variations. Our design will reach the hand of the end-consumer entirely regardless of the purchase channel that was chosen. This is to supply for the omnichannel model.

Bottom line.

This is partly the current reality of textile sourcing. While these may seem as too many challenges, I strongly believe that with training, good attitude and hard work we will come out stronger and successful from each of them.

Article originally published in Peru Retail

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