Spring 2019 - Inside Outdoor Magazine

Inside Outdoor | SPRING 2019 30 Made in Americas A s with most other categories of retail, the way people browse and buy clothes has fragmented and transformed during the last 10 or so years. After a hundred years of racks, outriggers, man- nequins, fitting rooms and cash registers, suddenly market entry, or even domi- nation, can be mustered up by clever software and some servers. As for the apparel supply chain, one could ar- gue the shifts and transformations haven’t proved commensurate. Sure, many cool new technologies and processes have been developed and imple- mented in factories and finishing houses around the world, but since well before the days of smart phones and mobile broadband, emphasis of appar- el production has remained on unit cost, more ef- ficient capacity and basic compliance. That’s about to change, show surveys by McKinsey & Co. Apparel suppliers are beginning to feel the full effects of shopping’s digital transformation, suggest McKinsey analysts. Business models based on six-month to one-year lead times, stock- ing warehouses with bulk orders and top-down demand are facing pressure from today’s digital lifestyle, they argue. The companies that survive will be those that embrace new technologies and move production to nearer shores, and the analyst firm expects to see a “step change” toward near- shoring as early as 2025. Sourcing executives and managers appear to agree. As much as 79 percent of those surveyed by McKinsey & Co believe “that a step change Nearshoring’s Rapid Approach By Martin Vilaboy McKinsey expects significant shift toward near-home manufacturing by 2025