Of course, this is not about football, yet about fashion and clothing. Why do we come up with the most popular sport in the world? It’s pretty simple: legendary coach Sepp Herberger taught us “after the game is before the game”, and slightly modified, the famous quote also applies to our business: “after the order is before the order” – the order is one of the most critical times, and benchmark for a successful but also an unsuccessful season.
After the order is before the order!
Sourcing, production, and replenishment have never been as demanding as they are today: what should I produce in what quantities for which branch or POS – forecast has never been a piece of cake, but the essential questions are miles away from being answered from a gut feeling, especially if we consider the ever-growing number of individual sales channels and locations.
Each additional selling space increases the complexity of forecasting the right stock at the right time. On top of that, a multitude of adding factors determine the decisions to be made: Demographic data, consumer preferences, local competitors, seasonality of products, delivery time, shipping time, shipping costs, the weather – they turn the scale when it comes to the replenishment of the different locations, offline and online, impossible yet reckless to calculate them manually.
As if it was not enough, new obstacles are making business even more unpredictable: the current world events, politics, and pandemics result in disrupted supply chains making logistics – and thus reliable product availability – extremely difficult. Adding to this is the restraint by anxious consumers. The increasing food prices and energy costs are having a noticeably negative impact on the consumer climate, as current figures from the Federal Office of Statistics show: Adjusted for inflation, sales in June 2022 were 8.8 percent below the previous year’s level – the most significant year-on-year decline since 1994, according to the authority. Even the online business, usually spoiled by success, was not spared, with a decrease of 15.1 percent compared to 2021. And the textile industry was hit particularly hard, with sales down by a total of 10.1 percent. And there is no improvement in sight, says HDE (German Retail Association).
And to the uncertainty adds a new awareness: according to a recent survey on “How will we buy in the future” by the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) and the fabric fair Première Vision, the top 3 answers are: 1. Less and better, 2. more sustainable products and 3. more used clothing aka second hand-fashion.
Bye-bye, black hole, hello customer!
Retail has to cope with the consequences: more profit for fewer products sold, in other words, minimizing dead stock, for overstocks and slow sellers to avoid unnecessary markdowns as far as possible and achieve the highest returns possible.
For retailers, the only way of earning money is: to sell their products. And this gets increasingly difficult – it has never been more critical for retailers and brands to adapt to the real-time dynamics of consumers – to meet them at eye level and, ultimately, to satisfy their needs and demands with the products they want.
This can be possible if you are willing to move away from static processes like 1-to-1 replenishment or rigid targets.
Let us support you in being as dynamic as your customers! Chainbalance enables you to make the right decisions every day, reliably, and data-based. With our help, you know exactly where and which product is needed, when, and in which quantity. We tell you where “top sellers” need to be restocked to unfold hidden growth potential and where “flops” can go. With our help, you will minimize your overstock before it needs to be removed or resold - to third parties at kilo prices affecting your margin - or, ends as waste to harm your carbon footprint And although the latest ordering season is just behind us, now is the perfect time to start planning the new season. The business of fashion has always been unpredictable, and when it comes to doubt, the weather was to blame. But hoping for the right weather is not enough in times like these - plan efficiently, dynamically, and at eye level with your customers, whom you will get to know better with our support.
Discover with us what’s on their mind to understand what they need and want. We are happy to explain how we do this at the IX Partner Day of INTEX on 10/29/2022 at 10:00 am.
Bye-bye, black hole, hello customer, it’s no rocket science, it’s just Chainbalance!