Whether its, Regular Fit, Slim Fit, or Loose Fit – whenever a shopper returns a pair of jeans, many challenges take birth for both the brand and its retail outlet. And being a denim brand if you follow an old-school technique of managing and tracking your orders in an excel template for your whole order fulfillment process – then you already know what you’re LOSING!
If a shopper returned a pair of jeans and the warehouse sent her a replacement, she could do that countless times. The system wasn’t tracking the number of times a shopper did this, so the customer could keep exchanging products with no limits – said Varun Bhambri Sr. Manager, IT E-commerce Levi Strauss & Co.
Just at the beginning of the New Year, you see a large datasheet of denim sales history which are either returned back or left unsold. In fact, that is also the worst time of the year where your denim products are sinking with sales numbers.
So how can you predict what and how much inventory (pieces of denim) would be consumed in a festive season?
Create a transparent Supply Chain
Transparency in the supply chain allows businesses to know what is going on upstream in the supply chain and to communicate this information internally and externally.
Let say, you have 3 locations (warehouses) A, B, & C, in different cities/states, from where your suppliers pick the product and deliver to its final destination.
|LOCATION||STOCKS (Pieces of Denim)||Average Sales per piece daily|
Now as you can see, city A has 1500 stock gets a daily average sales of 25 pieces of denim. Which would last around 60-days, while city B’s stock would last only about 20-days and C’s 34-days.
So if you’ve clear transparency throughout your supply chain, you may transfer some amount of denim stocks from location A & C to B, so that the location B doesn’t go out-of-stock in a very short time.
And if you’re a huge denim brand that has thousands of retail outlets across different geographical regions, then it is recommended to have a centralized system – that shows everything from inventory on-hand, outgoing, incoming orders, of all the warehouses or multiple online marketplaces like Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, etc in a single dashboard.
Accordingly, by following the above-mentioned tip one can easily predict how much inventory to keep, so that they never do overstock or understock.
You can even automate this process by implementing an order management system, which would automatically generate a PO or send an email to the supplier regarding the stock transfer.
Speed isn’t the only thing customers look for, but the standard for speed is increasing at a pace that is speeding up itself. Making sure you have your denim products close to your customers – order management system is important – for the vast majority of fashion brands to remain competitive.
“Instead of making a bunch of stuff months and years in advance and trying to sell it, we’re able to see what’s selling and make accordingly.”- Bart Sights, VP of technical innovation at Levi Strauss
It also helps brands track how fast your inventory is moving and compare it over time. Fashion businesses can save an enormous amount of time each month by automating the reordering process and also compute the sales forecast for thousands of products in minutes.
Order Management System is a backbone for apparel’s business- yes it may sound cliché – but the truth is Levis’ reduced the platform’s backend architecture by 15% and shortened the average time of a customer service call by 90 seconds per call, after implementing a stable and easy-to-integrate order management system.
How Orderhive can help you predict denims demand?
With Orderhive you can have access to real-time supply chain processes, knowing exactly and precise, up-to-date data on cost, inventory, sales, and profitability, identify weaknesses and strengths by filling gaps with actionable reports.
This not only helps with our overall process in managing and making sure our denim’s inventory levels are balanced, but also assists in tax purposes at the end of the year.
Orderhive can even analyze the trends through a customer’s lifetime with you or across different combinations of denim’s SKUs. Denim brands will have all of the below questions answered leveraging Orderhive’s integrated clothing inventory management system:
- Are the same denim model ordered by customers more than once?
- Which denim trends are getting off from their shelves easier and vice-versa?
- Are customers purchasing multiple denim products each time they place an order?
Segregate denim’s demand
Denim brands can even segregate demand, like :
i) Product-wise: A trend for a specific type of denim let say “Crushed-denim” see’s an incredible demand during one part of the year. But virtually goes down to zero orders the rest of the year. Hence crushed denim’s inventory forecasting will be very different than the types of denim with consistent demand or gradual growth.
And all this will be projected by Orderhive’s system, therefore you’ll have optimized result of how much inventory for a specific type of denim you’ll need.
ii) Seasonal demand: In Orderhive by using past sales report, you can get the estimate of during which month or season the demand for your denim’s business increases or decreases.
iii) Loyal Consumer: You also get to understand your loyal denim buyers and their frequency and buying nature through the report and analytical feature of Orderhive, which would eventually helps you to predict how many units you must keep on-hand for your loyal buyers.
Wrapping it up
Although 2020 is not expected to be a cake-walk for some fashion businesses. Fashion brands are under pressure to be digital-first and to make full use of new technologies, to improve diversity across their assortments and organizations and to meet the growing demand for the industry.
Nonetheless, the coming year will require the denim industry to bring meaningful change across the value chain and across multiple fronts while reducing risk and managing uncertainty. But there will also be chances to catch for the fortunate few.