Supply Change: Adjusting to Supply Chain Shifts in Retail

Maor Yur
July 29, 2020

Recent global changes related to the COVID-19 outbreak forced retailers around the world to rethink many parts of their work. With retailers feeling overwhelmed by the rapid and unexpected changes, we wanted to share three points of view that can help companies in the textile industry and beyond navigate this crisis and turn it into an opportunity whenever possible. 

Diversified supplier portfolios

It’s no secret that the pandemic’s strong impact on manufacturing companies in China has influenced the work of businesses anywhere else on the globe. Companies that up until recently relied on Chinese businesses every step of the way found themselves looking for quick and adequate replacements. Later during the pandemic, different regions shut down and reopened, making the search after available high-quality suppliers harder than ever. One lesson we can all learn from this is about the importance of creating a diversified supplier portfolio that allows retailers to continue offering their products without being tied to a specific place or company. Greater diversity also means greater competition, which should allow retailers to hold a position of power when negotiating with suppliers.    

Diversified product portfolios

Speaking of diversity, the same logic applies to retailers’ product portfolios. During the pandemic, continue to experience very fast and dramatic changes in consumers’ preferences, to which retailers must quickly adjust. This includes shopping for different items like face masks, searching for retailers that put a stronger emphasis on hygiene and the use of specific materials, and more. Retailers must learn to use their production line for the creation of many different products and offer a speedy response to shoppers’ needs. 

Studying the supply chain   

We’ve mentioned the current focus on hygiene, which became a surprising focal point during these turbulent times. If up until now, retailers were able to only examine their own production when it comes to environmental and health implications, they are now being asked to take responsibility for other supply chain participants. Working with companies that hold the right certificates is more important than ever, and proves that at the end of the day, our industry may comprise different businesses, but we’re all part of the same cycle leading up to one specific consumer. We were happy to learn that Kornit’s sustainable printing process and choice of pollution-free materials has made this an easy need to answer. 

Going digital

Social distancing sent many retailers searching for alternatives to manual labor, which created a long-overdue shift to digital textile solutions for some companies. As a company focused on digital textile printing solutions, we support companies in their transition to digital and know that it offers them a more reliable process, no matter what global conditions the business has to deal with. 
In order to further support the retail community, Kornit has created a special informative and practical asset. Sign up to learn how you can offer customers the items they need, when they need them, using your existing production line.