A supply chain management software application that is already popular with Milan's fashion firms has now been launched in the US by technology supplier CSC.

Stealth 3000 has been specifically designed for apparel, footwear and accessory companies where it can help manage and execute processes from line definition through customer shipment and returns.

Benefits are said to include integration of processes from customer order management to production and shipment, and management of future orders and goods allocation back to the warehouse.

It can also help reduce the gap between demand and supply to reduce lost product, increase customer loyalty and order fill rates, and lower product and administration costs.

"Many apparel/footwear companies think of their supply chain organisation as transactional, or subservient, or a necessary evil, as opposed to a strategic weapon that they can use," said David Aquino, research director at AMR Research.

"They need to think about a broader, integrated supply chain organisation that will require interdependent technology to help facilitate better practices."

In the current US consumer spending environment, the US fashion industry is placing a priority on inventory efficiency, reflected by their information-technology investment plans.

Achieving this, however, requires optimal planning and allocation of fashion merchandising lines.