Apparently even high fashion designers like Bulgari, Valentino and Gucci are paying attention to their supply chains and striving to improve performance. They are making sizable investments in information technology to (1) cut lead times and (2) track sales data to better match the products in the store with what is selling. In some cases they have learned the hard way – Gucci reported that a supply chain glitch lowered its quarterly sales growth by 2%. Valentino hopes to reduce its lead time from Italy to the US by a couple of days. These companies still rely on the novelty of their designs and the cache of their brands, but even they can appreciate the value of a smooth process.
WSJ June 27, 2008: Logistics are in Vogue with Designers