This case introduces the students to the information and material flows in the supply chain of an Indian fashion company – Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited (ALBL), renowned for retailing both in-house and licensed international brands. The case deals with challenges like demand unpredictability, volatility and fads peculiar to fashion and how they influence the design of not just an efficient and responsive supply chain but also the product mix of a fashion retailer. The case establishes the importance of various activities, from planning, design, manufacturing to distribution and retailing, in the value chain for a fashion product and thus leads the student on to understand the significance of fulfilment in the fashion industry. The case prompts the students to think about the interactions among the stakeholders, both upstream and downstream of the value chain. It persuades them to evaluate cloud-connected solutions and the underlying technologies of blockchain in the ALBL context and how the implementation challenges can be overcome to facilitate communication between various players in the chain leading to more responsive processes.
The case details the design practice of ALBL – Concept to Shelf (CTS), followed by brands under the ALBL umbrella, primarily focusing on the challenges associated with the product development or the design phase. Material flow is discussed in terms of the manufacturing, supply, and retail strategy adopted by the company. It challenges the students to think about the strategies that would enable an Indian fashion retailer to improve the competitiveness in the market and focus on the key strengths of branding and retail of the licensed brands. It also discusses the influence of e-commerce on physical retailing and design of an omni-channel supply chain. This case encompasses the complete gamut of operations of an Indian fashion retailer. It facilitates the students to think about multiple facets working in sync to improve the overall functioning and profitability of ALBL.
The case discusses the strategy and the operations involved from design to retailing of fashion apparel and key factors that influence profitability of any player in the fashion industry. Students undergo a structured method beginning with understanding of the importance of short-life of fashion products in the planning and design of an omni-channel supply chain to end-to-end value stream mapping; then identify the relative importance of different activities to design a faster and more responsive value chain taking key decisions of outsourcing and retaining capabilities in-house. This further leads them to identify issues faced by various stakeholders and how technology, in the form of blockchain or cloud-connected solutions, can facilitate the achievement of growth and profitability for ALBL.