There is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed, probably forever, the way people consume retail. There are two immediate factors that influence the fashion industry. The first relates to how we shop – we tend to shop less and care more about purchasing sustainable products. Second, we care more about the people behind our clothes – the low-income workers who make our clothes and were the first to get hit by the global crisis.

Moreover, as the fashion industry becomes more transparent, there is a need for a responsible, transparent, shorter, and automated supply-chain.

Shorten your supply chain

Recent global supply chain disruptions have emphasized the need for reshoring textile production.

From a consumer perspective, customers feel more comfortable purchasing products that are produced locally as they value eco-friendly initiatives and understand the environmental and welfare impact local supply chains deliver.

On the other hand, manufacturers are looking for ways to save on energy and shipping. Also, as automation is gaining popularity and rising productivity, companies are willing to invest in skilled workforce closer to home and pay more for it.

Faster delivery time, improved quality to comply with strict guidelines, and positive company image make reshoring more attractive.

Kornit’s digital printing solutions enable just that. Imagine a local factory with a single-step solution for almost all your printing needs that does not consume water, uses less energy and waste, and meets your business need.

It’s all about relationships: know your supplier

How well do you know your suppliers? Once the chain of supply is established, how many of us amend or review our suppliers on a regular basis? Don’t wait for another global pandemic to assess your supply chain.  

The buyer’s relationship with the supplier is a prerequisite for good business; however, any disruption in the supply chain has an ultimate cost. It’s therefore critical that due diligence and cost comparisons become a regular control function for any business, large or small.

Transparency is key. As commerce becomes virtual and increasingly automated, choose your suppliers wisely, keep in close contact (virtual or physical), and insist on transparency to build a strong supplier base and ensure your business mitigates risk.

Transparent supply chain is the new norm

In an era of increased transparency, certification and regulation must be documented and often electronically embedded into the supply chain. It provides clarity at each point of manufacturing or purchase for every unique product, regardless of end use.

Transparency is key to a responsible supply-chain. Simplifying your supply-chain controls your emissions, labour, waste and ensures you can track each step of the chain.

Moreover, transparent supply-chain is part of being socially responsible. Responsible that all suppliers execute fair labour, care about their community and implement best practises for the health and safety of their workplace. 

Nearshoring

Build your supply-chain to be strong and diverse to carry on through any turmoil and out-of-stocks. Automate it to ensure your business runs smoothly with no interruption to workflow and sales.

One way of doing so is to have an on-demand domestic production. Nearshoring your supply-chain will give you more flexibility and control at times of market interruption such as border closure. It will also reduce the environmental impact of long-distance product travel.

Investing the time during strong market conditions to source alternate suppliers will provide a valuable resource in times of adversity. Dual sourcing provides some assurance that should your favoured supply routes stall, your business can pivot and avoid production disruption.

Invest in workflow automation

Printing manufacturers are expected to speed up production and reduce manufacturing lead times for product to a matter of days.

A Mckinsey report from 2019 predicts that, within ten years fully automated factories will enable full nearshoring of production. According to the report, special disruptive technologies include Sewing Automation, Intra-Logistics Automation, Digital Printing, Gluing & Bonding and Knitting. Embrace these new technologies and re-equip your supply-chain.

Automate stock control to ensure guaranteed continuity of components, and release valuable cash held in surplus inventory purchases to build an efficient pipeline.

Take back control of your supply chain: Invest the time now and be prepared for the next opportunity or challenge.

There is an urgent need for on demand manufacturing in a sustainable world.

The need is two-fold. Brands are leveraging their new agenda of a sustainable, transparent supply-chain to regain customers’ trust and wallets. On the other hand, customers demand from their brands to be accountable for their suppliers and products.

15% of consumers in the US and Europe alone expect to buy more ecologically and socially sustainable clothingaccording to a McKinsey survey. ​


About the sponsor: Today, choosing the right technology for efficiency, transparency, and sustainability is critical as ever. With Kornit Digital textile decoration systems, your production model is optimized to eliminate inventory risk; sell first, and then create a nearly unlimited range of fashion, home décor, accessory, or DIY applications on demand, with a turnkey process simple enough to ship at the e-commerce speeds your customer demands. Kornit’s eco-friendly inks and fixations meet every available standard for sustainable production, using a pigment-based chemistry that ensures superior wash and UV fastness, with a hand feel to meet even the most vigorous industry demands. Visit Kornit.com to learn more about their complete range of digital direct-to-garment and roll-to-roll direct-to-fabric print systems, and how they can help your print operation position itself to meet new challenges, create new business opportunities, and immunize itself from sudden, unforeseen market disruptions like the ones we’ve seen this year.

Read more about Kornit’s solutions here.

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