Building sustainability in sourcing and manufacture across the international textile industry

November 23rd, 2015

Pacing yourself for long term success

There is an incredibly instinctive North East fashion business that shines brightly in the region.

It’s an ecommerce brand, led by a CEO with perception, vision and an amazing ability to ‘just know’ what to sell. This is a young company, run by young people, for young people – perfect.
They enjoyed tearaway success in the first few years… but were smart enough to know that they needed coaching and development in order to sustain what they’d started.
Fashion is a complex business and I was brought in to look at sourcing, purchasing, warehousing and external logistics.

Their operation was slick.
They moved exciting and attractive products quickly to the customer.
The staff loved their work and enthusiasm was high.
They grew fast.

There was a danger of exhaustion – in relation to time, money, motivations and products.
Natural ‘choke points’ would eventually arrive; but these guys were ahead of the game.

An outside eye
Asking for help from an outside source is smart.
They see things you can’t.
When you’re embedded, invested, emotionally attached, vehemently protective… you’re can be blinkered.
Critiquing yourself is never easy!

In the fashion industry, creative instinct is everything.

The creative contributors must give themselves the time and space to do their job brilliantly, and that means handing certain things over to others.

Being a Jack of all Trades does, in this instance, mean that you’ll ultimately be a Master of None.

So, understand your strengths.

Know that short term growth does not always lead to long term sustainability.

See that burnout is inevitable, unless your foundations are rock-solid.

The company added a Warehouse Manager, developed in-house design, creating an advanced planning strategy, implemented Product Lifestyle Management systems, tightened their control on all processes and, crucially, they documented everything. This creates a written template for success which can be passed down from generation to generation. This creates legacy.

They go from strength to strength and deserve every bit of their success.

And they maintain their pace of growth because they have the strategy to support it.

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