Textile and Apparel


Shorter fashion trend cycles, increasing competition, and globalization have brought both challenges and opportunities to the textile and apparel industry. More than ever before, to be successful, companies in this industry have to be able to work with the global extended enterprise environment harmoniously and promptly, in areas such as product development, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. Challenges that textile and apparel companies are facing include the following.
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  • Globalized manufacturing brings direct competition to domestic production in high-labor-cost countries. In these countries, although onshore textile and apparel manufacturers manage to survive due to a few remaining advantages (e.g., prestige image associated with certain countries such as Italy; better control over processes; shorter lead times), they are under pressure to cut production and product costs.
  • Although companies relying on offshore production benefit from low labor costs, an elongated value chain imposes drawbacks on efforts such as on-time delivery, quality control, and collaboration between product development and production.
  • The growing “private label” business model from the retail sector is putting apparel manufacturers in a more delicate situation, in which they have to maintain an intricate relationship with retailers that are both customers and competitors at the same time.
  • To remain competitive, textile and apparel companies are becoming more diversified. Diversification brings new opportunities, but also creates challenges in management wherever a company adds new brands, new product categories, or new distribution channels into its portfolios.
  • Fashionable apparel goods now move faster than ever before. Many apparel companies must narrow the gap between their long product cycle time and the constantly changing (and accelerating) demands of consumers.
There are a number of business software solutions (some with textile and apparel industry-specific functionality) available for this industry to adopt. Some of the solutions include enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and product lifecycle management (PLM) systems specialized for the textile and apparel industry; merchandising systems (MS); and point of sale (POS) systems.

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