Fashion’s balancing act: Right product, market, timing and price

(Source: Centric Software)

In an ever-evolving and rapidly changing world of fashion, staying relevant and profitable by offering the most on-point fashion collections is one of the biggest challenges for the apparel industry. With constant pressure to stay ahead of the competition, continuously innovate and get seasonal releases on time, it can be difficult to ensure that all the moving parts come together to create the best possible products at the right price point for each target market.

Graham Jones, sales director for Australia & New Zealand, advocates that at Centric Software, a seamless end-to-end solution is essential for meeting cost, revenue and sustainability goals.

“Centric Software is the leading-edge approach and solution: design, produce, source, plan, price, execute and replenish, across pre-season and in-season, all brought together seamlessly so that they work together to produce really good financial results,” he says. 

To this end, many fashion and apparel businesses are investing in ‘single source of truth’ Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions that are integrated with AI-driven competitive benchmarking, pricing intelligence, merchandise financial planning and assortment planning capabilities. How can fashion brands and retailers create the right product for the right market at the right time and price with a seamless concept-to-customer solution?

Right product 

Fashion companies require cross-functional teams to collaborate and make strategic decisions to come up with successful fashion collections. However, the lack of visibility on product data and between teams often hinders product innovation.

Centric Visual Boards is a world-class visually interactive workspace that merges data and images from any business system in real-time. Design, product development, merchandising, buying, planning, marketing and sales teams are equipped to produce and deliver superior assortments that align with market demands. 

With the ability to instantly execute business-critical decisions from within the Visual Boards interface, fashion teams improve efficiency and collaborate more visually to deliver innovative, spot-on fashion collections on time, every time.

Right market 

Fashion and apparel companies are experiencing rapid change in the marketplace as consumers are seeking sustainable offerings and governments are putting in legislation and policies around sustainability. Fashion brands and retailers are expected to track not just the product origin but also monitor how it was produced.

There is an immense advantage of having visibility into the entire product lifecycle and centralising sustainability-related and material data so that sourcing and design teams can make more data-driven decisions to achieve their sustainability goals. 

“We are getting feedback from some of our biggest customers, the likes of Asics and Under Armour, who we partner with, where we’re building enhancements into the PLM platform which helps them address sustainability in a number of areas. Obviously, materials are important – knowing what materials you’re using, how recyclable they are and what impact they have on the environment. So we have integrated our software with databases like from Wordly (formerly Higg Inc) so a brand can calculate the environmental impact of any product,” shares Jones.

Time to market 

In the competitive, trend-driven world of fashion, getting to market on time is just as important as developing the right fashion collection in the first place. Using Centric PLM to streamline collaboration between internal and external teams ultimately speeds up time to market, especially when working with manufacturers. 

Similarly, the ability to easily communicate development and release plans to cross-functional teams to anticipate procurement, industrialisation, marketing, e-commerce and production empowers better forward planning to make fashion items available for consumers to buy at the right time.

In addition, leveraging AI-driven Inventory optimisation solution such as Centric Market Intelligence & Inventory will ensure fashion brands and retailers can accurately predict the future demand for every product, in every channel in every location to avoid product surplus or stock outs. 

Right price

Consumers today are not only price-conscious but also hyper-informed, conducting thorough online comparisons before making purchase decisions. In this landscape, understanding your market, benchmarking your offerings against competitors and aligning your pricing strategy is paramount.

To meet product margin targets, fashion brands and retailers can utilize PLM technology combined with a powerful AI-driven pricing intelligence solution to align fashion collections with brand positioning, market trends, consumer preferences and competitor price analysis quickly, easily, accurately and in real-time. No more bottlenecks with pricing decisions holding up development decisions or vice versa.

Additionally, competitive benchmarking, pricing intelligence and product trend data software does the pricing data mining and analysis. Scraping data across the digital landscape in real-time from Google searches and competitor’s e-commerce platforms, fashion companies can quickly see how the new product pricing stacks up and make data-informed decisions.

Seamless concept to customer product solutions 

To navigate the pressing issues fashion companies must contend with, Centric Software offers a connected suite of product solutions that brings compelling ROI and fast time to value. All solutions – Centric PLM, Centric Planning, Centric Pricing and Inventory, Centric Market Intelligence and Centric Visual Boards – can be used standalone or together as part of a seamless, end-to-end user experience. 

Inspired by conversations and experiences with thousands of brands, retailers and manufacturers from all regions of the world, Centric solutions feature out-of-the-box functionalities and accommodate the wide range of requirements for different types of consumer goods, seasonal patterns, business models, manufacturing methods, cultural differences and languages. Learn how seven iconic brands and retailers such as Guess, Helly Hansen and Swarovski leverage Centric Software for digital transformation. Download the free eBook here.