Industry Strategy Director Fashion
Bob McKee has spent more than 35 years working with textile, apparel, footwear, home textiles and accessories companies. He has held a variety of positions including VP of Operations, VP of Manufacturing, VP of Sourcing, VP of Materials Management, Materials Manager, Production Control Manager, Production Planner, DC Manager and DC Supervisor as well as being an independent consultant to the industry.
In 1998, Bob joined Intentia International, which joined forces with Lawson Software in 2006. Bob has implemented 7 different enterprise management solutions in 7 different companies.
Download the white paper: The Next Normal: How the Economic Downturn Has Changed the Fashion Business Forever
|Page number: 1 of 1 (1 records)|
Lawson for Fashion - only the begining
18th February 2010
Don't you just hate it when 'the media' tells us that "The World will never be the same... as a result of blah, blah, blah .. " after any event that occurs to us? Certainly there have been some significant events that we can point to in the past few decades where you can say that's true. But, seriously - it's a phrase that's used all too often - and - all too frivolously. Not everything that happens is 'game changing'. And - as you know - I've been involved with the apparel and footwear industry for the past 40 years - both in the industry and in support of the industry.
So now I'm going to say it - the events of the past year have changed this industry in a way that will never allow it to 'be the same'. This has been a 'game changer' - when you have a major retail organization like Macy's - and their Chairman makes the statement (paraphrase) 'we'd rather lose sales than carry any risky inventory' ... you've changed the nature of retail forever. And - if you've changed the mechanism that is the primary delivery channel to consumers - needless to say - if you change the delivery to the consumer - everything that supports that mechanism changes in support.
So, where do we go from here? Well - in order to answer that - let's take a look at the organizations that faired the best during the past year. Hey, since I'm from the U.S. - - how else would we measure success - who made the money? Those who did the best in this troubled economy are those who have embraced the principles of 'Fast Fashion', 'Lean Retail', 'Lean Supply Chain', and 'Lean Manufacturing'. In the U.S. - retail had about a 3% year over year increase at the end of '09. But, some (those embracers) did infinitely better - pulling in year over year increases of more than 20%.
So how do you go from where you are - to where you need (or want) to be? Well, the first thing is to shake off your fear - and decide you're going to change the game before the game gets changed on you - and a key to it all is the proper use of proper technology. Sure - you can do anything manually - you can control everything you need to in your supply chain manually - - problem is - you can't do enough of it - fast enough to make a difference - without the use of technology.
Let's start with the development process - you have to have PLM and PDM systems that are truly web enabled - sharing designs and development criteria over the internet - - development advise and consent at the speed of business. That product data and development progression has to be integrated into the ERP (or core business systems) - things can't be left to manual re-entry. Collaboration is a must. Anything to enhance collaboration - anything and everything - both internal and external. Share information with all your supply chain partners.
Okay - now we have to get it made. We have to get it made in lean discrete assortments of product. Assortments that sell - and are needed to retail moving at the proper rate with enhanced package management.
Advanced Bulk Order functionality deals with much of the vague demand planning that leads organizations to take on unnecessary inventory risks.
You'll also have to have it all wrapped by a very friendly user interface.
And more and more to discuss - all designed to help to take your company from a fear of a down economy to turning in numbers 6 times the industry average.
Lawson for Fashion : Generally Available February 18, 2010.