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July 17, 2024

Supply Chain Data Management: Why Fashion Needs It

In today's fashion industry, data management is not just a technical necessity but a cornerstone of traceability. As the demand for transparency and sustainability from consumers grows, fashion brands must adapt by leveraging data to track and trace every step of their complex supply chains.

Effective data management ensures that brands can accurately communicate the origins, processes, and impacts of their products, meeting regulatory requirements and fostering trust with their audience.

On May 27th, we hosted an insightful meetup focusing on this pressing issue fashion brands face today. The event featured prominent industry experts: Caroline Poulet-Mathis, Sustainability Manager at Isabel Marant, and Florian Chapron, Sales Manager France at Centric Software PLM. Moderated by Guillaume Babule, Key Account Project Manager at Fairly Made®, the discussion delved into the vital role of supply chain data in transforming the fashion industry.

The Power of Data Management in Traceability

Traceability has emerged as an indispensable component for the fashion and leather goods industries, driving the sustainable transformation of brands. It goes beyond mere tracking; it embodies transparent communication, increasingly demanded by discerning customers and consumers.

The fashion industry's complex and globalized production model involves multiple stages across various countries, often with extensive subcontracting. Achieving effective traceability requires a thorough examination of production chains, risk identification, and robust supplier communication.

This approach not only advances progress but also mitigates environmental and social impacts. Comprehensive environmental data collection throughout the value chain is essential to measure a garment's footprint accurately.

For many brands, traceability has transitioned from a luxury to a necessity, driven by regulatory requirements. Mastering supply chain data is crucial for complying with current and upcoming regulations in France, Europe, and North America.

Best Practices for Supply Chain Data Management

Several standout strategies and best practices emerge as essential:

  1. Stakeholder Engagement:
    • Internally, aligning various departments on traceability initiatives.
    • Externally, fostering close collaboration with suppliers and partners.
  2. Gradual Approach:
    • Establishing clear priorities and goals.
    • Integrating CSR and data strategies over the long term to transform data into actionable insights.
  3. Optimal Tools:
    • Identifying the right solutions and partners (PLM, ERP).
    • Ensuring system interoperability to enhance efficiency.

Insights from the Experts

Caroline Poulet-Mathis from Isabel Marant highlighted the significant time savings achieved through API usage in the Fairly Made® collaboration. She explained how traceability has revealed data issues and optimized their workflow.

The partnership with Fairly Made® aims to surpass AGEC law requirements, focusing on environmental data collection and raw material origin tracking. Key challenges include organizing internal data, engaging suppliers, and managing vast data volumes.

Florian Chapron from Centric Software PLM discusses the data management challenges, emphasizing the need to maintain updated material and supplier databases and manage Bills of Materials (BOM).

He underscores the importance of a single source of truth for data and interconnecting systems (PLM, ERP, traceability tools). Centralizing product information in the PLM feeds all other systems, ensuring data accuracy and completeness.

How to get started?

To achieve effective data management and traceability, Fairly Made® centralizes information gathered through the meticulous investigative work of our textile engineers with each supplier involved in garment production.

Our dedicated supplier platform strengthens relationships within the supply chain. Seamless data transmission is facilitated by our API, ensuring smooth integration and visibility into product and supplier information.

This transparency is also beneficial internally, providing a comprehensive overview that can be transformed into strategic decision-making opportunities.

Furthermore, mastering this data is essential to meet legislative requirements and achieve compliance. Our legal expertise allows you to anticipate these regulations and take proactive measures regarding the information to collect.

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