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Today if we analyze the Apparel & Footwear industry, It is higly fragmented across various fronts. Let me elaborate this statement further in two contexts.

First, Fragmented industry means only few selected player are controlling the substantial market share. Second, Across all fronts means be it retailing, branding, manufacturing or even till sourcing. So in a nut shell, there are very few leaders in their respective areas in the value chain and driving the industry as per their strengths & weaknesses.

We all know that technology is redifing the businesses across industries and same is applicable to this industry also, where product life cycle is decreasing at rapid pace and length of the supply chain is increasing at the same pace. I am trying to explore the efficiencies of a supply chain in the apparel inudstry, where all the business partners such as retailer, Branding company, manufacturer, sourcing company etc. are spread across the globe and one of the link is equally important but highly backward on technological front. I am referring to the vendors or manufacturers who are primarily situated at Asia -pacific but lacks technological advancement as compare to other partners in the link.

The prime purpose of this write up is to explore various tools and techniques which  are either exists in the market or in the transition stage, and can help the manufacturers to collaborate well with the AFS (Apparel & Footwear comapnies) or Branding companies and retailer / buyer. One of the these tools & techniques could be a vendor portal where Branding companies can communicate with their vendors in an effective way and improvise their business processes. Apart from portal, there must be many more techniques, which are either in the transition stage or in the well accepetd phase, where vendor collaboration is done in well defined way.

The inability of the vendors to provide real time data to AFS companies is raising many questions in the supply chain optimization excercise. Using a portal can provide not only almost real time data but also create transparency in the system across various functions such as Inventory tracking, Sample management, Quality tracking etc.

 

Let us explore this further.

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