DHL publishes ‘The Human Centred Supply Chain’

A new study on the future of fashion logistics has been jointly published by DHL, the Council of Fashion Designers America (CFDA) and the consulting firm Accenture.

The report, called “The Human-Centered Supply Chain”, identifies major challenges that fashion industry supply chains will face in the future as well as areas where action must be taken.

As the title suggests, the study argues, “humans will continue to play a critical role in the supply chain supporting the fashion industry”.

“The fashion industry is no longer what it was just a few years ago,” said Arjan Sissing, Senior Vice President Corporate Brand Marketing at Deutsche Post DHL Group. “Digitalization and the resulting boom in e-commerce have helped supercharge the naturally fast-paced fashion business and its production and sales processes.”

The study identified four key areas in which digitalization and e-commerce have created new challenges and opportunities for designers.

The first key area, ‘process ownership’, involves defining both clear and flexible processes that extend from purchase, through production to delivery.

The second area is ‘relationship building’. According to Deutsche Post DHL: “The fashion industry has always primarily sustained itself on personal networks and contacts. Since cooperation and sharing of expertise and structures have become increasingly important to sustainable supply chains, the significance of relationships and partnerships has also continued to increase.”

‘Brand operations’ are the third key focus – and the study found that “for fashion retailers, the supply chain must also form part of their brand story”.

The final core area is ‘actionable information’, which consists of a constant flow of information between deliverers, designers and customers for the purpose of further optimizing processes and products and responding to customer demands.
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