Production delays in the apparel industry are so commonplace that companies (and their customers) have come to expect delays, missing items, and mistakes. From human error to a distributed supply chain, some production delays are caused by inefficiency, but many others can be attributed to companies not embracing today’s current manufacturing technology.
Below, we’ll highlight the six most common reasons for production delays in clothing manufacturing, plus pro tips for how to avoid them.
1. Inefficiency in the Supply Chain
The use of a dispersed supply chain is a major cause of production delays in the apparel industry. When design, material sourcing, manufacturing, customization, and shipping occur in separate places, it takes time to inventory, organize, and move products through the process to get a finished product. But this old model doesn’t utilize modern manufacturing technology or keep up with the latest manufacturing trends changing the future of fashion.
2. Multiple Manufacturers
Each supplier has its own way of managing and tracking the manufacturing process, which may be an old-fashioned paper trail or could be a modern cloud-based platform for tracking items through production. Either way, tracking multiple manufacturers and multiple products through all of these steps is time-consuming and can cause delays. When one manufacturer has a delay, the entire process is put on hold.
The solution? Put the entire supply chain under one roof. With on-demand manufacturing, production delays due to inefficiency in the supply chain become a thing of the past. With simplified sourcing, in-house design and manufacturing, all the major players are in one place so companies can get products manufactured and shipped quickly.
3. High Minimum Order Requirements
The traditional manufacturing model has high minimum order requirements, which means to get product, companies have to wait for the entire order to be manufactured. With consumers demanding more customization and faster delivery, these high MOQs can slow down the entire process. High MOQs mean big material orders, slow production, and expensive shipping.
4. Inflexible Process
With high MOQs comes a manufacturing process that isn’t nimble enough for the modern consumer. While huge orders of products are being manufactured, social and fashion trends can change, leaving companies with inventory that won’t move for months or even years. The structure of the manufacturing process can mean heavy markdowns that cut into profits.
The solution? No MOQs and fast turnaround times. On-demand manufacturing means companies can have an idea put into production quickly. Taking advantage of social trends, recent events, and minute-trends can put a brand on the map. Dealing with unnecessary production delays caused by an old-fashioned system just doesn’t work.
5. Lack of Digital Tracking
Paper pull slips, emails and phone calls for order updates, and manual inventory counts should be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, they’re a reality for many companies that cause major production delays in the apparel industry. Human error is never intentional, but it can have real and lasting results.
6. Lack of Transparency
When there’s a production delay in the apparel industry, the manufacturing customer needs to know immediately, because delayed inventory could mean empty shelves for big holidays and sales events. Often the company is the last to know when something has gone wrong because the traditional apparel manufacturing supply chain isn’t transparent in operations and lacks operational efficiency.
The solution? Put it in the cloud. With our on-demand manufacturing service, The/Studio offers a cloud-based management system that puts information in the right hands. Material sourcing delays, design delays, and product shipment delays can all be avoided with on-demand manufacturing.
Learn how on-demand manufacturing helps companies avoid production delays in the apparel industry by reading Our Story.