This is the third and final part of a recently done interview by the Apparel Magazine where we answered several questions by sharing our view point on some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities that Fashion-Lifestyle Brands and Retailers face presently. In this article we discuss the obstacles that are currently being faced by existing systems and how fashion retailers can overcome this by turning data from multiple touch points into actionable insights.
Q: What do you see as the greatest stumbling blocks internally with respect to un-siloing information and giving departments and/or divisions a view into a much greater amount of data? Relatedly, once the data is consolidated, what possibilities open up to the users?
A: While technology opens up exciting new opportunities, ultimately it is the people within the organizations that are responsible for execution. Existing structures and processes create inertia that keeps businesses from moving forward. And the biggest challenge as we see it is the presumed safety net to maintain the prevalent culture, processes and the reluctance of the people responsible to embrace change.
On the flip side, in order for companies to move to a consolidated, true omnichannel model, the people within the organization need to have confidence in the system. This is ultimately determined by the robustness of the solution and its ability to optimize for overall business success as opposed to channel benefit.
But the good news is that once this hurdle is overcome, the possibilities that open up as a result of ‘un-siloed’ information are limitless. For example, stock can be pooled as well as cross consumed across channels to maximize stock-order fulfillment. Additionally, stock protection rules can also be introduced to cater to key demand elements such as a product launch with a key wholesale customer. This will be instrumental towards minimizing stock outs and markdowns.
To read the full interview, view the Apparel Magazine's Vendor View Point. It also features how our client, Rockport is harmonizing channels by utilizing SAP Fashion Management.