Ecommerce to production – The Virtual Supply Chain

Noga Chen
January 29, 2018

Looking back with some nostalgia at the moment ecommerce was just being formed – an interview with Jeff Bezos recorded in 1997 on Amazon as he could see what the future held. He spotted the soaring adoption of the internet very early on, and translated it into a profitable
business.  Ironically even then, Bezos talks about Amazon’s business model – They offered a huge number of books on the Amazon website, but stocked mostly the best sellers, and then would use their
network of suppliers to source books. They cleverly controlled inventory and coined the term “Almost-in-Time”, sourcing book as they were ordered them and setting
standard for shipment even then.

Mike Angel from Kornit presented Ecommerce to production The Virtual Supply Chain at ISS.

What are your thoughts on this video clip?

Although the technology developed by Bezos and other first adopters of eCommerce like ebay are impressive, the fundamental concept of why eCommerce is successful is not.  That concept? Access.  Giving consumers more access to products is all you need to accomplish eCommerce success.

As we move
from early adopter to an acceptance phase, more technology has become democratized making it easier for industries like the decorated products
industry to offer access to their customers not possible until now.  A wide variety of decorated products can now be produced on demand with no minimum quantity requirements and with a
limitless graphic and even custom design choices.


How do
you view ecommerce as a driver of change for the apparel industry?

eCommerce is the virtual store front that allows consumers access to purchase anything they wish without pre-manufactured inventory. As long as a manufacturer has set up the process with the right
technology it is possible.  We see products as intricate as footwear being manufactured on demand and delivered within 2-4 days or a simple white t shirt offered with limitless graphic designs.  eCommerce allows consumers to visually
experience these products and the wide varieties they crave.  

What are the key production factors that any manufacturer using screen or digital methods should bear in mind?  Pre-decorated inventory is not needed. Certainly,
minimum unit quantities are not needed anymore if you take advantage of current web to production technology.


On-demand Direct-to-Garment print full production workflow solution

What are the pitfalls? What are the major barriers to success? Many companies are not aware of current web to production technology and
how to either apply it to their current business models or create new ones.  Pitfalls can come in the way of lengthy and costly custom web to production software development.  

What are
the trends that manufacturers need to be aware of?

The big trend amongst major brands to the smallest promotional products
producer is offering a catalog of standard substrates with unlimited decoration
options and no minimum quantity requirements.

will the surprises come and how can manufacturers be ready?

As more manufactures adopt Web to Production business models and create
Virtual Supply Chains, consumers will increase their online spending because
they will have access to more products.
A manufacturer not maintaining this type of agility will not survive.

Ecommerce is
breaking down the barriers for any manufacturer to market and sell directly to
consumers. Could you give us your thoughts on this.  Big apparel and fashion brands are a good
example.  Many brick and mortar locations
are struggling around the world.  These
locations run off the current pre-decorated wholesale model.  Brands are enhancing their online sales
because they enjoy better margins and can implement an on-demand model and only
need to manage non-decorated substrates.
Substrates can have a limitless graphic design offering without
challenges that are seasonal or poor sellers.
Merchandise teams/designers can change the graphics or decoration
element without any inventory loss because It is an online virtual
offering.  The product is only decorated
once it is purchased.

What are
the hidden opportunities that you see that lie ahead? How can
players/manufacturers be sure to be part of the game?

Co-branding and tapping into readymade audiences lies ahead.  Working with organizations like non-profits,
sports teams and corporations allow manufacturers to tap into existing
audiences that can purchase their brand on products without committing to any
pre-decorated inventory.  


Mike Angel, Business Development, Kornit Digital