As the world gets smaller, does it get bigger?
Been an operational head that works cross-functionally with global brand teams and various regional Asia-based sourcing, development, production and quality facilities, it is fascinating the challenges that are faced daily.
Processes can be pragmatic, they can be detailed, and they can be lean, but still challenges occur.
The world has become smaller, from 20 years ago the world is now tiny, communication is so much simpler with a substantially faster Internet, email, intelligent mobile voice and text communication making instant answers possible.
So why do we still have a disconnect between design and product development in New York, London or Sydney and the sourcing office in Asia Hong Kong, Shanghai or Dhaka?
Do glitches only lie with culture and language differences, yes somewhat they contribute, or do they come from somewhere else?
Experience and knowledge transfer is a big part, quite often a junior designer may have never seen a fabric mill or apparel manufacturer as there are very few left where the designer resides. Likewise, the counterpart developing the product in the sourcing office in Asia will have a limited understanding of the brand market they are sending goods to every week.
So as the world gets smaller, it gets bigger again as it becomes more segmented.
The experiences that use to be at your door step are no longer there, google search yes but not physically. Junior team members don’t get to travel as much, if at all, as senior people so they can’t get the experience. Knowledge does get shared over regular video conferences, information exchanges in meeting and colleague and supplier interactions. But the hands on experience is lost.
So challenges happen due to lack of experience more so than processes and system.
Companies need to put more into training and development of their junior employees to get the hands-on experience, so they physically know, not just think they know. Importantly, the senior staff that have had hands-on experience, it is essential they and the knowledge are retained and shared as a valued resource.
If this doesn’t happen, all manufacturing knowledge will be lost to Asia; brand culture is ubiquitous as all countries have brands, but not all countries have fabric and apparel manufacturing.
ID Global Concepts has been involved in managing global cross functional apparel and soft goods teams for international brands through its owner Phillip Bailey for many years. IDGC can add value and experience to your organisation either through consultancy or management contract to ensure your business has the best quality teams in place that are the right fit for your business and meet your value expectations.
Below are the retailer’s ID Global Concepts have delivered apparel and accessories to over the last ten years;
Macy’s, Urban, Sears, Marks & Spencer, Myer, Kmart US & Kmart Australia, Dunnes Stores, Debenhams Monsoon Accessorize, Asos, Witchery, Brown Sugar, RM Williams, Coles, Chloe, John Lewis, Disney, Next, Firetrap, Lonsdale, Postie, ASDA, Harris Scarf, River Island, Tesco, Woolworths, Walmart, Glassons, Babies’R’Us, New Look, Target US & Australia, Primark, David Jones, Best & Less, Sophie, Yakka, Top Shop, BHS, Burlington, BigW, Oasis, JayJays, Blue Illusion, Driza-Bone, Just Jeans, Volcom, House of Fraser, Pumpkin Patch, Suzanne Grae, Pelaco, Laura Ashley, Sportsgirl, Ted Baker, Truetex, TableEight, French Connection
If you would like to learn more or wish to discuss other supply chain opportunities, please email us at email@example.com.