This is the third in a series of six articles about problems and opportunities in global supply chains, with a focus on the fashion industry. In this article we explore established and emerging business models in the fashion retail industry. If you have not read the first two articles in the series you may do so using the following links: The Fashion Supply Chain Is Broken and Where Will Technological Disruption in The Fashion Supply Chain Come From? However, reading those two articles is not a prerequisite for following this discussion.
This is the second in a series of six articles about problems and opportunities in global supply chains, with a focus on the fashion industry. In this article we focus on trying to learn how executives at fashion industry incumbents may learn how to predict technological disruption in order to develop appropriate responses to the evolving environment that surrounds their companies. We start by briefly surveying some of the theory about disruption. Then, we delve into a series of brief historical analyses of technological disruptions in a number of industries. We try to understand those episodes by using the theoretical foundations developed earlier. Finally we ask the question that forms the basis for this article, by posing questions about potential sources of disruption in the global fashion industry, the issues that every team of c-level executives in the industry worries about daily.
Authors’ Note: This is the first in a series of six articles about problems and opportunities in global supply chains, with a focus on the fashion industry. This article frames the problem. The next article will delve into a historical analyses of technological disruption, from the perspective of risks and uncertainties for the fashion industry.
Executive Summary: Recent trends present incumbent companies in the global fashion industry with challenges and opportunities related to innovation in supply chain. In this article, we discuss how a historical top-down approach to business is giving way to an emerging bottom-up approach that is driven by consumer preferences. This is placing stresses on fashion supply chains which the industry can only address by adopting a collective, collaborative, ecosystem-driven approach to innovation.
The fashion supply chain is broken and must be refashioned. This is the conclusion we have come to after studying the issue, starting in 2014.