The fashion industry has been changing at a very fast rate. For example, in the past, most cloths used to be customized while currently only between 5-10 percent are customized. In light of this, businesses in the fashion industry must remain a breast with the changes in this market and also be competitive. In this regard, businesses in this industry must be creative in order for them to remain competitive in this market.
In order to remain competitive, businesses in the fashion industry have continuously adopted innovative technologies, designs, and manufacturing processes in order to remain competitive. On the same breath, they have also streamlined their distribution channels in order to ensure that customers can easily access their products. Similarly, enterprises in the fashion industry have modernized their retail stores by making them more attractive and welcoming to customers.
In terms of designs, the businesses in the fashion industry have reduced the number of cloths that are customized from 20% to between 5 and 10%. Accordingly, businesses now prefer to make cloths for mass consumption. Similarly, there has been a trend of reducing the seasonality in the introduction of fashionable cloths. In the past, fashion used to be based on the two major climatic changes; summer and spring. Currently, there has been a change in this trend. Major cloths manufacturing companies such as H&M and Zara are now continuously introducing new fashionable cloths throughout the year. In addition, these companies do not repeat past fashion designs, rather, they improve on these designs or introduce totally new designs.
Concerning manufacturing, the cost of this process determines the ideal location for these activity. For example, H&M has its suppliers from all over Europe and Asia who enable the company to access many raw materials needed in the fashion industry at a low price. In addition, companies in the manufacturing industry consider the lead time needed to complete an ordered batch. For high volume fashion cloths, the companies require a long lead time. However, companies such as Zara, which supplies a significant proportion of it materials enables it to be competitive by reducing its lead time.
Companies in the fashion industry also have an elaborate distribution channel. For example, Zara and Benottin have an automated warehouse system. H&M on its part has a sophisticate stock management which it uses to control its inventory levels and provides insight on the items that the company should purchase. Finally, most fashion business have uniquely designed their retail stores in a manner that they are spacious and attractive. This large spaces enables shoppers to easily trace the items that they are looking for and to be comfortable while shopping.
The quick adaption of modern designs and the failure to repeat outdated designs. Generally, the fashion industry is mainly marked with introduction of stylish designs regularly. In this regard, the constant introduction of new cloths by H&M and Zara enables these two companies to stay ahead of competition. This factor is also supported by the fact that unlike competitors who mainly introduce new cloths twice an year. The continual production and sale of the company’s items will enable them to increase their market share and dominance in the industry.
Learning and Insight
The case study on fashion has been important in showing the various methods that major manufacturers have been using to increase their competitiveness. Currently, the main competitive edge of businesses in the fashion industry is in their ability to manufacture cloths that are of the best designs, that are properly distributed in the market, that are of the right quality, and those that have ample space for shoppers.
The reduction of the number of customized cloths shows that currently few individuals are interested in having their own unique cloths. Rather, people are more interested in having the latest fashion. In this regard, businesses that continuously introduce new and innovative products in the market have the advantage of easily attracting most of the fashion “crazy” clients.  In order to tap into these attractive client base, companies such as H&M and Zara have been introducing new cloths regularly, and not twice as used to be the case.
In terms of marketing, industries in the cloths business always market themselves as having the latest fashion in the industry. In this case, although manufacturing of long-lasting cloths is good for clients, most of them do not wear cloths for more than one season. Therefore, the main competitive edge in the fashion cloths industry is in a business having the latest trend than having high quality products.
I have also learned on the importance for a fashion-based business to control its operation costs in order for it to be competitive. Generally, most businesses in poor industries outsource their services to countries that are cheap to manufacture. These process enables the business to reduce its operation cost, which has the overall effect of increasing the business profits. However, it is important for a business to consider the effect of outsourcing various services such as lead time and quality of finished goods. For example, Zara is very competitive in the introduction of new fashionable cloths since it has a lot of control of the production process. In fact more than 40% of the company’s products are manufactured in its factories in Spain. In this regard, a business should ensure that in as much as it is outsourcing its activities, it can quickly and easily introduce new products to the market at a low cost.
Finally, business in the fashion industries have a retail section that is spacious and modern. This facility is important in complementing the marketing efforts of the company. Normally, a spacious area enables shoppers to easily find the specific items that they are searching. In addition, a huge space provides the clients with a comfortable area and an attractive environment, which encourages them to purchase the selected items. In this regard, the presence of a spacious and attractive shopping area complements the activities of the marketing the fashion company. In fact, the provision of an attractive and comfortable environment is part of marketing.
In conclusion, the fashion industry is highly competitive. Therefore, businesses must continuously adopt innovative ways of outdoing competition. Among them, these enterprises must continuously develop new fashionable clothes that are demanded by their customers. In addition, they must create an attractive and comfortable shopping environment that will give their clients the confidence they need when purchasing various cloths.