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How do 3PLs benefit fashion manufacturers and retailers?

Textile manufacturers and fashion retailers are increasingly dependent on third-party logistics (3PL) companies, especially when those brands want to grow their businesses and boost profits. Here are some compelling reasons why fashion industry enterprises often conclude that 3PLs can help them meet their goals.

3PL-help-fashion-industry
Figure 1: Textile manufacturers and fashion retailers are increasingly dependent on third-party logistics (3PL) companies.

3PLs can help the fashion industry become more responsive

Some clothing trends appear to come out of nowhere, defying expectations and predictions. For example, five years ago, a person who insisted the ‘athleisure’ trend would soon take off may not have been taken seriously by peers. But as we now know, gym clothes are not just for workouts, and people appreciate wearing these stretchy and flattering fabrics while going to other public places, too.

Textile manufacturers are often the first to notice the shifts in consumer preferences. For example, if people want clothes that are stain-resistant, ultra-soft or extremely durable, it is necessary to source fabric blends that meet those desires.

A 3PL company can assist a manufacturer with quickly meeting requests for particular kinds or amounts of fabrics for garments. Returning to athleisure wear, several new materials have emerged that are ideal for those pieces. A 3PL provider can streamline the movement of textiles between destinations, reducing delays and ironing out logistical details, thereby enabling manufacturers to cater to consumer trends efficiently.

In the European fabric market, businesses hope to withstand increasing competitive pressures by focusing on sustainable fabrics, including some with traceable origins. No matter where a textile manufacturer is in the world, a 3PL company can make it easier to respond to global customer preferences instead of falling behind the curve.

Working with a third-party logistics provider can boost flexibility

Besides paying attention to changing customer tastes, the fashion industry must be ready to provide shoppers with season-specific garments. There can be up to 52 ‘seasons’ per year in the fashion sector — one for every week on the calendar. Many clothing manufacturers utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to detect fabric defects or predict customer demand during a given period.

The fashion industry moves at lightning-fast speeds, while textile manufacturers and garment retailers must keep up to remain profitable. The specialized resources provided by 3PL companies allow them to match the robust pace, whether a textile brand needs to ship fabric to another country or a retailer must regularly stock an in-demand piece.

That technology can help, but humans still need to go through the logistical steps that make this kind of flexibility possible. For example, individuals who live in warmer areas of the country may not be as eager to wear thick fabrics as those that face blustery days filled with snow and ice. Even still, climate change is causing unusual weather patterns that may further dictate the kinds of textiles and clothing buyers prefer.

Succeeding in fashion requires having flexible operations. Many operations — especially smaller ones — find that maintaining the necessary flexibility is a struggle, especially when they need to ramp up processes in a relatively short time. 3PL companies fulfill three primary services — transportation, warehousing and information technology. They provide services that would be out of reach to many manufacturers otherwise.

3PL companies enable market expansion

Many textiles originate far from the countries that sell the clothes consisting of those fabrics. However, textile manufacturers and retailers alike can bolster their chances of success by working with a 3PL provider that can assist clients with moving into new, international markets.

From a textile company’s perspective, forging relationships with entities in other countries could enable sourcing materials faster or at cheaper rates. Conversely, a retailer could meet a present need by launching operations in a new marketplace and serving customers there — particularly if people have already requested that a store start selling a specific in-demand brand.

Retailers satisfy customers with the help of 3PL companies

third-party-logistics-benefit-fashion-manufacturers
Figure 2: A 3PL company can assist a manufacturer with quickly meeting requests for particular kinds or amounts of fabrics for garments. 

Most people have felt the disappointment of wanting to purchase a must-have garment and discovering it’s out of stock. Many fashion retailers aim to avoid that scenario by working with 3PLs to get goods to their outlets faster. If a retailer discovers that a sweater is selling exceptionally rapidly in the Northeast part of the U.S., a 3PL can ensure that stores in the region have enough on hand.

Retailers are also planning on outsourcing more of their e-commerce order fulfillment to 3PL businesses, research shows. A 3PL can ship a fashion company’s products directly to the consumers who order them, reducing delays and meeting expectations.

Ideally, fashion retail customers are happy with what they buy, whether the transaction occurs in a store or through a website. However, due to factors like fit, feel and durability, that doesn’t always happen. Many retailers know hassle-free returns are a value-added aspect consumer appreciates. 3PL organizations can handle returns for retailers, and the benefits pass onto consumers when the overall process is smooth and fast.

3PLs help the fashion industry keep pace

The fashion industry moves at lightning-fast speeds, while textile manufacturers and garment retailers must keep up to remain profitable. The specialized resources provided by 3PL companies allow them to match the robust pace, whether a textile brand needs to ship fabric to another country or a retailer must regularly stock an in-demand piece.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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