Apparel retailers have long dealt with a whirlwind of inventory and liquidity concerns that only continued to escalate throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, making a drastic impact on both stock levels and bottom lines. This flashpoint has underscored the need for better forecasting and agility across channels. It also created a greater problem due to the unprecedented reach of the crisis: traditional banks might not be as open to providing the financing necessary to get these firms back on their feet.
As demand remains inconsistent and port congestions and lockdowns stall orders, apparel players need more flexible financial partners to ensure they can keep their own operations up to speed while so many forces remain out of their control. These nimbler alternative financing companies are now tasked with catering to brands and suppliers alike on a case-by-case basis, whether by facilitating longer payment terms or minimizing supply chain disruptions.
During a Sourcing Journal webinar on April 6, speakers explained what retailers must do today to insulate themselves from another inventory crisis, starting with eliminating the burdens of excess inventory and gaining greater visibility into real-time stock levels and investing in demand forecasting on the back end. Additionally, the discussion revealed how apparel firms can leverage inventory data to help them generate the working capital necessary to fulfill the financial needs of their brand-supplier relationships.
Watch the webinar to learn more about:
- The state of retail inventory management, and how these decisions have impacted liquidity
- The role trade platforms can play in unlocking working capital and avoiding production disruptions
- Why overstocks and out-of-stocks are symptoms of a larger inventory problem
- How to avoid the safety stock conundrum
- How supply chain diversification could mitigate inventory issues on the road ahead
- Abby Jenkins, Product Marketing for NetSuite
- Derek Binns, VP of Sales, Europe for Tradewind Finance
- Mark Cohen, Director of Retail Studies at Columbia Business School
- Edward Hertzman, President of Sourcing Journal (moderator)