Kissel + Wolf discusses the importance of business adaptation in today's climate.
Never has the saying, ‘change or die’ been more relevant than at this particular juncture.
Or as Jon Field, Kissel + Wolf’s sales and business development director - digital prefers to say, "adapt or die."
Field continues, "I’m sure many of you in the fashion trade may have thought, as if it wasn’t hard enough to prosper in the textile industry without having to battle COVID-19 and the myriad of challenges it has bought with it.
"Ultimately though, none of us had a choice in the whole COVID-19 matter.
"So we either accept it and deal with it, equip our own personnel to deal with the changes, change and adapt our own businesses and business models to prosper in the prevailing conditions, or we may well die.
"Generally speaking, a crisis exposes your underlying weaknesses that pre-exist, whether its weaknesses with a countries government, within your industry, within your business or even how you run your home and your personal finances.
"This itself provides a great pointer on what to prioritise and where to focus," he said.
From a fashion and textile industry perspective, we all knew that there were weaknesses that needed addressing.
Weaknesses (opportunities) when it came to stream lining supply chains, ‘near shoring’ production, sustainability and waste reduction challenges, demand and supply, (rather than supply and demand) leveraging digital technology, embracing ‘just in time’ agile production, eCommerce, DIY design, pay and receive and of course, fulfilment.
Embracing these things is vitally important to your business because it reduces waste which saves money and increases profitability, addresses sustainable manufacturing, increases productivity and scale, and most importantly, addresses what the majority of customers want today and that is, to not have to worry about socially distancing through online browsing, designing their own products and having those products delivered to your home.
SMART MANUFACTURING FOR BRAND OWNERS
To cater to this type of business model, brand owners need to partner with manufacturers who own less but control more.
Those who are moving away from mass production by leveraging things such as AI and predictive analytics within their production and manufacturing cycles which in turn delivers a more personal-ised customer experience, resulting in increased customer loyalty.
Brand owners should also be having open and transparent discussions with their manufacturers and suppliers about what their ethics and sustainability policies are.
It is a well-known, that customers prefer to pur-chase from brands and manufacturers that hold these things extremely close to their hearts and prioritise them within their businesses.
Finally brand owners should spend time researching manufacturers who are embracing the 'micro-factory' concept with the main components of the supply chain in a central location, preferably as close as possible to the consumer.
This style of manufacturing reduces carbon emissions with products and components that go into manufacturing the end product held in one hub.
Then using AI and predictive analytics, prod-ucts are only manufactured when the demand arises.
When combined with close customer proximity, lead times are slashed along with the carbon footprint associated with the demand and supply of products.
Naturally enough, this type of business model slashes waste and increases profits.
Without production excess, it removes the need to discount products while maintaining the brand’s own brand value and brand equity.
What’s that worth to brand custodians?
FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER
I recently spoke about the need to innovate, understand and cater for consumers expectations during and post COVID-19 and that it has never been more critical than it is now.
Brands marketing departments must find a way to be top of the consumers mind when they are ready to purchase, because more than 65% of consumers are expecting to decrease their spend on fashion and ap-parel.
For major brands, bespoke shopping experiences should become the ‘norm’ through brands offering con-sumers the ability to ‘virtually’ try and buy their products prior to purchasing.
I would also recommend developing your own brands app, or for those brands with one, adding this option to your existing app’s offering.
Why? Because consumers have said they will pay a premium for these types of services.
Field concluded by saying, "I have seen many buoyant markets and declines throughout my business life but the one thing that has stood the test of time are those businesses who are highly efficient at their core competencies, invest in technology and leverage it and are completely customer driven with everything that they do."
Kissel + Wolf sells market leading, high volume Kornit DTG/DTF digital printers.
For further information or enquiries on how you can successfully enter the lucrative direct to garment and direct to fabric (DTG/DTF) digital printing market, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call + 61 3 8318 5555