Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Zara’s Secret for Fast Fashion

In Zara stores, customers can always find new products—but they're in limited supply. There is a sense of tantalizing exclusivity, since only a few items are on display even though stores are spacious.Such a retail concept depends on the regular creation and rapid replenishment of small batches of new goods. Since most garments come in five to six colors and five to seven sizes, Zara's system has to deal with something in the realm of 300,000 new stock-keeping units (SKUs), on average, every year.

This "fast fashion" system depends on a constant exchange of information throughout every part of Zara's supply chain—from customers to store managers, from store managers to market specialists and designers, from designers to production staff, from buyers to subcontractors, from warehouse managers to distributors, and so on.

Here, I just collect some information about how information technology used in the practices of Zara’s successful story.Information and communication technology is at the heart of Zara’s business. Four critical information related areas give Zara its speed includes:
  • Collecting information on consumer needs: trend into information flows daily and is fed into a database at head office. Designers check the database for these dispatches as well as daily sales numbers, using the information to create new lines and modify existing one.
  • Standardization of product information different or incomplete specifications and varying product information availability typically add several weeks to a typical retailer’s product design and approval process, but Zara ‘warehouses’ the product information with common definitions, allowing it to quickly and accurately prepare designs, with clear cut manufacturing instructions.
  • Product information and inventory management being able to manage thousands of fabric and trim specifications, design specifications as well as their physical inventory gives Zara’s team the capability to design a garment with available stocks, rather than having to order and wait for the material to come in.
  • Distribution management: its State_of-the-art distribution facility functions with minimal human intervention. Approximately 200 km of underground tracks move merchandise from Zara’s manufacturing plants to the 400+ chutes that ensure each order reaches its right destination. Optical reading devices sort out and distribute more than 60,000 items of clothing an hour. Zara’s merchandise does not waste time waiting for human sorting.

 For more interesting part of Zara’s practices, you can see the link below:

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