- 11 Oct 2010
Fashion turns to IT as the smart way to combat hard times
Whilst retail in general has borne the brunt of the downturn, I think it’s fair to say that fashion has felt more pain than most. This is largely because it suffers from numerous external conditions such as complex supply chains, competition from cheaper markets, and fickle customers!
When it comes to supplier relationships then, retailers should be equally demanding – under-performing systems can no longer be tolerated and greater efficiencies should be squeezed from existing systems.
Gone are the days when a systems change meant a long process, starting with an ITT. Today, pressured clients want rapid results: a better system or a better deal from their suppliers, including flexible working and licensing models. Large-scale capital outlays have disappeared, with leasing, rental and SaaS options taking their place.
In terms of how IT is used today, the focus is on ’quick win’, justifiable changes that are easy to see, save money, and enhance processes, customer service and stock management. Packaged solutions have replaced bespoke developments. With the main elements in place, minor customisation is cost-efficient and can often done by users.
The good news, if there can be a silver lining to the recession, is that retailers are actively seeking the right software solutions as an agent for improvement and are using them to turn themselves into smarter businesses.