DHL fashion

Fashion Unleashed! sounds like something Derek Zoolander might utter, but it’s a new report from DHL tying in with its role as logistics partner to the recent London Fashion Week.

The report, actually written by consultant Lisa Harrington, explores the changes that are happening to retailers’ supply chains due to the impact of the Internet and mobile communications.

The headline findings? Well, fragmented sales channels, increased service demands, shortened product life cycles, and cost pressures are just some of the challenges the industry faces.

To better meet today's consumer demands, the following best practice characteristics of fashion and retail supply chains are emerging:

  • Segmented supply chains mean businesses can tailor the supply pipe by customer segment, and deliver products with different characteristics at different rates.
  • Tailored sourcing is used to help retailers and manufacturers weigh up demand, product category and product life cycle to decide on the best sourcing strategy. For example new products with uncertain demand, are often sourced from flexible but higher cost locations.
  • Postponement is proving helpful in minimizing the potential risk associated with fast fashion items. By delaying final product differentiation until close to the point of sale, postponement helps  businesses respond to new trends.
  • Shared networks and consolidation are helping reduce overheads by sharing delivery vehicles, warehousing space and even resource.
  • Accelerated inventories are helping businesses meet cost pressures and remove the time spent storing stock through bypassing the traditional warehouse model. DC bypass means products flow directly from the manufacturer to a consolidation point and into the shop.


Want more? The full Fashion Unleashed report can be downloaded here.