As far as the retail business was concerned the key indicator of sales success was the proportion of 'full price sales' achieved by the company, as opposed to garments being sold at a discount during the 'sales' period. Such discounts on garments offered on end of season sales may go even up to 50% of the prices depending on the style and demand for particular garments. There are several logistical models available to help speeding up the supply chain management and thereby improve the profitability of the company. This paper attempts to discuss some the models such as Quick Response (QR), Fast Fashion and Mass Customisation, which help in improving the efficiency of the supply chain management. The study also analyses the relationship between these models and the relative merits and demerits of the respective models available to the organisation employing these models.
"More than ever before speed has become a source of competitive advantage. Competing on speed requires an organisation characterised by fast moves, fast adaptations and tight linkages. .. Forming alliances is one of the most effective avenues for competing speed. The best example is the textile industry's quick response initiative, designed to improve the flow of information, standardise recording systems, and reduce turnaround time along the entire supply chain from fiber to textiles to apparel to retailing." - Roberta S. Russell, Bernard W. Taylor Operation Management: Edition IV (2003). pp 37. Quick Response (known shortly as QR) is best suited to Fashion Retail Industry. This is due to the following factors:
Seasonality - This is the main factor which necessitates the speed in the supply chain of fashion retailers.
Products are made according to a predetermined standard size and there is no time to revise the outfits once manufactured.
Pricing - Especially with the seasonality factor, garments which have note reached in time to the retail store may have to be sold at heavily discounted prices.
Excessive lead time due to the fashion collections being prepared by the designers considerably before the time the garment reaches the retail stores put an element of distortion in sales due to faulty or unacceptable designs.
"Few industries are as notorious as the apparel industry for having such difficulty predicting demand," observed by Marion Bragger (2004)
2.1 METHOD OF OPERATION OF QUICK RESPONSE:
The essential features of the Quick Response method are outlined below:
By convincing a potential and dependent supplier of garments, the manufacturing facility may be split into, some capacity doing production in normal way and a certain minimal part of the production capacity can be converted into following the QR approach.
The management of the factory should have a meeting with the workers to educate them on the necessity and operation methods of the QR system, so that any initial resistance from the workers side may be controlled.
The next step is to form the QR teams with workers selected from the existing workers either by the management or voluntary QR teams can be