From easier inventory management to better cash flow, on-demand manufacturing can make life easier for retailers of all sizes and stripes – from entrepreneurs just breaking into the business to large, established companies feeling hamstrung by traditional manufacturing. Here are ten ways on-demand manufacturing helps retailers keep customers happy and keep their bottom line intact.
In today’s quickly changing sociopolitical climate, remaining flexible is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have. Adapting to the changing tides with apparel options that are poignant and relevant can be the difference between a failed business and one worn by celebrities. On-demand manufacturing makes it possible for brands and retailers to maintain this flexibility both in their inventory levels and their selections.
2. Less Risk
Maintaining a large inventory is a high-risk endeavor. What if the product goes out of favor? What if your poster celebrity has a misstep without a chance for redemption? When social tides can change with a tweet, maintaining a small and manageable inventory is a risk management strategy. On-demand manufacturing means retailers and brands choose when and how much product is created, without the limitations of high minimum orders.
Large stores, large inventories, and high minimum manufacturing orders are all things of the past. On-demand manufacturing offers an affordable and sustainable alternative to traditional manufacturing. Without high minimum orders, on-demand manufacturing means you have lower upfront costs, less loss over time, and a more firm grip on your bottom line.
Because of the speed, availability, and affordability of on-demand manufacturing, it is now easier than ever to take your million-dollar idea and turn it into a million-dollar product. On-demand manufacturing makes it easy for you to choose the products you want to put into production, and get the quantity, timeline, and price you’re looking for.
5. Inventory Control
High minimum manufacturing orders can often mean high inventory levels necessitating inventory control measures that are expensive and time-consuming. With on-demand manufacturing, you can manufacture the products you have room (and consumer demand) to store and sell. You decide – not the manufacturer – how much inventory you keep.
With big online retailers bringing the global apparel market into the homes of buyers, competition is fiercer than ever. Higher quality is possible when you have the option to purchase product on your own timeline, giving you the competitive edge your company needs. Smaller upfront investments for smaller size runs mean you can offer a higher-quality product to your customers.
Smart business growth, longevity, maintaining the bottom line, and nimbleness are all made just a little bit easier with on-demand manufacturing, and all are key to a sustainable business model. When you don’t have to maintain unnecessarily large inventory levels and your investments are closer to your returns, sustainable business growth and longevity are all within reach.
8. Less Waste
Today’s consumer wants to know how much waste your business is creating. They want to know how much of your product goes in the garbage. They want to purchase from retailers who are contributing less to our ever-increasing waste problem. With smaller minimum orders, on-demand manufacturing makes it easier for you to purchase just the products you need, so less ends up in the landfill.
9. Customer Service
Creating the apparel your customers want in the quantity you need can drive engagement and enhance buying behaviors. On-demand manufacturing lets you cater to your customers’ needs and values with limited size runs and additional color or fabric options, fostering customer loyalty while saving you costs.
According to Phys.org, one of the biggest trends in the retail industry right now is the “widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ and the impact this has had on consumer behavior.” On-demand manufacturing makes it easier for brands to tap into and create an emotional connection for consumers in the brands they love, the celebrities they follow, and the causes they hold dear to their heart.