Fulfillment & Third Party Logistics Blog

Apparel Logistics: Managing Truckload Transportation Costs

The women’s apparel sector alone was a $116.4 billion industry in 2013, up 4% from the previous year according to Global Biz Circle.  Although revenue across apparel categories is only expected to rise over the next decade, new consumer demands and increased competition is making it more challenging for apparel companies to increase profit margins. 

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Apparel & Clothing Fulfillment: Streamlining the Warehouse

In a market with increased competition and stringent demands, anything that can create speed and, reduce costs is highly valuable. The apparel market in the United States is expected to grow from $225 billion in 2012 to $285 billion by 2025. This significant amount of growth means that clothing companies will be expected to move more inventory, quicker and more accurately at lower costs. There is one key development within the warehouse that can make this tall task possible: mobile technology.

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Fashion Fulfillment: The Logistics of Subscription Based Clothing

The idea of renting has long been an affordable and convenient option. Traveling? Rent a car. Out of town but want to enjoy a round of golf? Rent a set of clubs. Have a wedding coming up? Rent a tuxedo. Typically these needs only arise during special occasions or for extenuating circumstances. However, more companies are offering rentable options of everyday items, specifically clothing. Subscription-based clothing businesses are answering new e-commerce demands and creating solutions for e-commerce apparel challenges. A recent Inbound Logistics article explains how one such business is accomplishing this. Read more here.

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Apparel Logistics: Reducing Downtime, Increasing Efficiency

Today we have simple items that we’ve been using for years, even decades. 

 However, with the frantic pace of life and a never-ending list of things to do, we need and expect these common devices to do more.  Phones need to receive email, play music and surf the internet. You need one jacket to handle a variety of weather conditions.  Your car needs to be powerful and efficient while being roomy and sporty at the same time.  Technology has made all of these multi-tasking combinations possible.  Heritage conveyor and sortation systems for apparel and fulfillment are no exception. 

The pressure of meeting cost and time demands on distribution centers stems from a growing direct-to-consumer market.  While overall fulfillment operations are being put to the test on a daily basis, the swift pace of technology is making it possible for a facility’s main circulation system to meet these new demands.  The expectation of same-day, next-day and two-day delivery options coupled with different packaging, like bags and envelopes of varying dimensions, can overwhelm sortation systems designed for totes and cartons.  Accuracy issues, error rates and downtime can all be addressed with these 4 tips.

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3 E-Commerce Tips for Apparel

You can hear the groans now.  Time to go to the mall.  The kids need new shoes for school, you are due for a new suit and you have a laundry list of other things to freshen up in your closet.  After 10 minutes in traffic you are already starting to question your judgment.  After three prime parking spots have been stolen right out from under you, you’re sure this is a terrible idea.  Finally, after navigating a stroller and a dozen shopping bags through mobs of teenagers and crowded food courts, you promise yourself you won’t be returning.  If only there was another way... 

With the emergence of e-commerce as the preferred way to shop for clothing and apparel, there is a convenient alternative to the mall.  On-line shopping is seeing double digit growth year over year, ending 2013 up 16.9%.  More and more people are choosing the comfort and convenience of their laptop, tablet or phone to make purchases.  This makes the apparel sector ripe for disruption.  This disruption is coming in the form of e-retailers.  While this is a growing sector, it is also quite competitive.  Here are three tips that can generate success in your e-commerce apparel operation: 

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Footwear and Apparel Accuracy: The RFID Solution

Finally, five o’ clock has rolled around at the end of a long day.  After gathering your laptop, notes and sunglasses, you are greeted at the front door of your office by a clap of thunder and a torrential downpour.  You see your car about 20 feet away and before you begin to negotiate the puddles and lightning, you pull your key fob from your pocket, unlock the driver’s side door and count your lucky stars you don’t have to fumble with your keys and briefcase trying to fit the key into the door lock as you become inundated with rain.  This is just one of the modern conveniences made possible by radio frequency identification technology, or RFID.  Even though the shoes on your feet are now saturated, thanks to RFID tags your footwear and apparel supply chain doesn’t need to end up underwater.

The challenges posed by today’s hyper competitive landscape in the footwear and apparel sector can be met through a number of ways.  RFID technology makes two of the most crucial possible: lowering costs and increasing visibility.  The fact that this technology offers the opportunity to meet these critical objectives is evident in IDTechEx’s forecast that the apparel RFID market will grow to over $1 billion by 2021.  This is an increase from only $36 million in 2010.  Let’s take a closer look at how RFID tagging can enhance supply chain accuracy through decreasing cost and increasing transparency.

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