Moving at the Speed of Culture…The Rise of a Digital Supply Chain
By Don Whaley, VP, Kornit Digital Americas
Customers demand immediacy, capturing the moment as it’s experienced. They don’t want to wait weeks or even months to share what they feel, and this cultural shift is driving change across almost all creative industries – from music to art. Consumers get what they want, when they want it. Unfortunately, the fashion and apparel industry has yet to catch up. That’s due to an analog supply chain built for the old way of production.
Digital on-demand production from companies like Kornit Digital – empowering producers to channel digital creator and consumer data encompassing buying behaviors, social media listening, and more into a fulfillment strategy – enables a digital supply chain with greater agility and efficacy than the traditional 18-month forecast cycle. Furthermore, it answers the sustainability imperative by aligning supply with demand, thus minimizing the waste that inevitably comes from forecast-based production. The approach also makes it possible to unleash customization and personalization for micro-communities and even the individual.
For example, European-based retailer C&A is investing heavily in digitization to drive “rightshoring” for tailoring fulfillment strategies based on the most effective means of serving different customers and brands. Directly addressing the needs of a creator economy – and the challenges of overproduction, sustainability, and inefficient supply chains – on-demand, digital production makes it possible to digitize key pieces of their supply chains to adopt nearshoring more rapidly. This not only helps eliminate supply chain disruptions, but finally capitalize on the demand for a more sustainable and efficient industry – sidestepping “greenwashing” concerns by making the more sustainable alternative one that also ensures more robust profit margins, as well.
The growing ecosystem of available digital technologies provides brands, retailers, designers, and entrepreneurs with the capabilities to join and profit from the creator economy; deliver brilliant, uncompromising, high-quality physical goods; and eliminate overproduction waste. They can make the products people want, getting it into their hands faster, and minimizing the risks associated with today’s globalized marketplace.
And it’s all happening now…moving fashion at the speed of digital culture.