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10.20.2017

Sourcing Journal: Your Supply Chains Are Out of Date and This is the Tech That’s Taken Over

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Sourcing Journal: Your Supply Chains Are Out of Date and This is the Tech That’s Taken Over

If your company hasn’t yet discovered how outmoded it is, wake up, because EBIT, brand value and shoppers who care at all about what you’re putting into the apparel space, are all at stake.

“We’ve always done it like this” is now an obsolete refrain, disruption has already happened and speed to market won’t solve all of sourcing’s problems. Massive wholesale change is what companies keen to stick around should be after.

“We think the supply chains of the current industry—no matter how efficient you make them—are effectively out of date, from a customer’s perspective,” Pano Anthos, founder and managing director of consumer goods and retail accelerator XRC Labs, said during a technology and innovations panel at the Sourcing Journal Summit in New York Tuesday. The first question millennials (who happen to represent today’s largest consumer market) always ask is ‘why?’ and that fact has contributed to, as Anthos explained, “a radical change in the way things are getting done.”

Small startups with new ideas are getting big backing from retailers and consulting firms because they see where the puck is going.

And one place it’s heading, is toward on-demand manufacturing.

[…]

For Pete Santora, chief commercial officer for SoftWear Automation, a “10-year-old startup” that’s using sewbots to automate manufacturing, the focus for on-demand manufacturing shouldn’t be on what the technology can’t make yet—although Vogelaar says Ziel will be able to make a suit on demand in three years’ time—but what it can make now.

“On demand, to me, really means on demand, made to measure. It means no inventory, it means a really local supply chain,” Santora said. “If we stop thinking about solving for the purple dinosaur [the complex garment that can’t yet be made] and we start thinking about goods that are possible, we can start creating local supply chains that have on-demand.”

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