Does production relocation offer sustainable solution?
The new management model in the fashion business should be focused on the customer’s response. The customer today is not the customer before January 1st, 2005 and it is not only this date that made the customer looking for more value when shopping.
Customer’s response requires that companies will have to build strategies that make them flexible but at the same time confident about the future. When moving production from country to country fashion companies are maybe flexible but cannot be confident. When moving production and change suppliers fashion companies do not focus on the values, they focus on the price.
The new philosophy in the supply chain should be based on the same principles with which the fashion companies are building relationship with the customers – flexibility, loyalty and ethics. They need to weave a win-win strategy into the whole supply chain. The fashion companies need to share strategies with suppliers, all using their global human resources.
As we know the countries are not trading amongst themselves, but the companies in different regions are looking for answers and partners that might change the pattern of the global fashion supply. So the question is not China or China, China or Vietnam. The question is how to build sustainable future to build loyal customers and bring them more value through building a value in the supply chain.
Bulgaria is a small country in Europe, developed as a production center for the European fashion brands and employing about 150 000 workers in the clothing and the textile industry today. The country had no negative effects after the termination of the Multifiber agreement. The industry was prepared to face the end of the agreement, since the country had opened its market at the time changes in Eastern Europe took place.
The future of the various industry players both in Bulgaria and in Europe depends completely on the strategic partnership that they are going to develop in the near future. Since production costs are rising everywhere, it is time to build better systems to manage costs through sharing information and innovations.
Similar are the questions standing in front of American and Asian buyers and suppliers that face consumers on the other two biggest world markets.
Fashion Marketing Lecturer, Beijing, China
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