WWD interviews leading solution providers in the apparel industry about coronavirus’ current impacts and requisite future planning. As part of the article, Ms.Sharon Lim, Browzwear’s CEO, weighs in:
“A global crisis on the scale of COVID-19 is less ‘if it happens’ than ‘when it happens,’” Sharon Lim, chief executive officer of Browzwear, a digital fashion solution firm, told WWD. “That’s why it’s key that manufacturers build contingency plans to mitigate the impact to their business. At this point, the time frame to prepare for these changes is very slim.”
Lim said whether it’s sourcing or manufacturing, fashion businesses reliant on China are inevitably facing supply issues. “With factories closed and the flow of materials and finished products interrupted, they’re unable to get the products they need. Without contingency plans in place, manufacturers can’t get things like fabric, buttons and zippers [trims], and designers can’t get the samples for their showrooms made and retailers, especially ones who have adopted just-in-time business models, will be without merchandise to sell.”
What brands can do, Lim explained, is investing in digital technologies that take the pressure off of physical dependencies, as well as streamline efficiencies through solution providers to secure a more transparent, tighter supply chain.
“Every company should review their entire supply chain as well as that of their suppliers and make sure they have plan B in place for every piece of fabric, every button and every factory. They should also review their processes to make sure they’re operating as efficiently as possible, and where technology makes it possible, reduce dependence on physical items in lieu of digital ones, for example, using 3-D renderings in place of physical samples in their showrooms.”
Source: WWD Full article By Tracey Greenstein, March 3, 2020