The apparel distribution industry is becoming more competitive with each passing year. As an increasing number of technological advancements become available, smaller distributors and their corporate rivals can both struggle to stay afloat. But with the right strategies in place, many apparel distributors are able to surpass their competition and increase their profits despite the cut-throat environment. Consider using these tips to help make your apparel distribution company more profitable.
Automate Warehouse Processes
Image via Flickr by USDAgov
You don't have to have a facility completely run by machines to take advantage of the latest in warehouse robotics. In fact, starting with one or two automated processes is an excellent way to incorporate robotics slowly into your warehouse. Examples of small ways to start using automation for more efficient warehouse processes include:
- Scanning products as they arrive or leave the facility.
- Sorting products for more efficient storage and shipments.
- Shelving or retrieving boxes.
- Packaging products (assembling boxes, sealing packages, applying labels, etc.).
Make the Move to Cloud Computing
Lagging behind when it comes to IT is one of the biggest reasons apparel distributors can struggle in today's market. Poor computing solutions lead to lackluster performance, slower response times, and inaccurate data. Many business owners have slowly expanded their IT capabilities as the business has grown. However, they've failed to update from the data storage and sharing processes they've been using for years.
The solution for these technology-related struggles is to transition to cloud computing for your apparel distribution company. While it will require many company-wide changes, switching to cloud computing can lead to dramatic improvements across the board. With this new system, companies can access updated data and real-time product tracking on demand. Employee productivity will get a boost, as outdated practices are replaced with more streamlined solutions. If you don't already use it, it's time to start seriously researching business management software for the distribution industry.
Minimize Wasted Warehouse Space
The distribution of apparel can be more difficult to manage compared to other products because of the ever-changing nature of clothing trends and seasonal styles. As a result, many companies in this industry end up with wasted warehouse space when they've stocked too much product or have to leave areas open for upcoming shipments. While this is often seen as an inevitability in the apparel distribution industry, it doesn't have to be if you invest in the right technological tools.
Advanced artificial intelligence algorithms can make it possible to optimize the use of your warehouse. These statistics-based programs go beyond mere data collection to analyze sales and anticipate customer behaviors. The detailed datasets collected by an AI program can be used to predict sales in the coming months, so you can organize and manage your inventory accordingly. You'll be well-stocked for the future and avoid having large quantities of leftover products once a trend or season has passed.
To keep your company relevant, it's important to invest in these technologies of the future. Use these strategies to stay competitive in the apparel distribution industry.