When out shopping and buying clothes and other apparel merchandise, a lot of people forget how far a product has come.  The supply chains of the apparel and textile industry have been under a lot of scrutiny and are in need of change.  Whether this change is for the rights and conditions of workers or to accommodate the ever changing online market, current conditions will not last much longer.

While the main heat for human rights scandals in supply chains may be taken by the apparel and textile industry, these issues have been seen in just about every industry's supply chain.  The apparel industry needs to work on changing the design and standards in the supply chains, perhaps with more social compliance programs to enforce minimum standards, as well as different audit methodologies.

Another aspect of the supply chain that the apparel and textile industry needs to adapt to is the new consumer.  Companies in this industry need to find ways to satisfy the 24/7 nature of online shopping consumers by becoming innovative in their supply chains.  The internet has now made “volatility and complexity the norm rather than the exception”, reports Supply Management.  Firms in the apparel industry are using social media and customer feedback to enable a much leaner supply chain.  Specifically, companies in part use the "likes" and "dislikes" of customers on social media sites like Twitter to adjust demand planning and come up with necessary inventory levels for their products. 

To remain competitive, companies need to continue to innovate in their supply chains and respond to the needs and wants of their customers.  To learn more global supply chains check out the globalEDGE Business Review: Knowledge in Global Supply Chains.

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