In order to serve the apparel industry, a 3PL needs to master the different setups and services required for the market. Apparel fulfillment includes fulfilling orders to department store retailers, boutiques, and everything in between. This means B2B and B2C capabilities in large volumes, with quick turnaround times, seasonality, and retail’s unique value-added requirements.
Challenges that are unique to the apparel industry include complicated inventory, special packaging, and returns.
Fashion trends and tastes change quickly, and a fulfillment company must be flexible and responsive to new directions. With thousands of SKUs on the line, clothing fulfillment companies must handle very large numbers of SKUs and SKU change-outs. The company must have a warehouse management system (WMS) that can accommodate all these SKUs.
This means specialized warehouse setups that facilitate size-run picking in B2B and efficient size-specific inventory set-ups for dedicated B2C fulfillment environments. The intricacies and seasonality of the fashion industry mean expertly handling constant SKU changes, high SKU counts, spikes in SKU counts, and short SKU lifecycles.
Packaging is among the biggest challenges in this industry and quality control is especially important in packaging. Also, in the high-end B2C market, presentation is vital. These items must be stored securely and packed safely with the utmost care.
Apparel fulfillment packaging includes tagging, custom bagging, and special packaging or tags that display the branding that the customer wishes to see. Quality inspections of the products and packaging must make sure the customers receive only the best.
Returns are an unfortunate reality and must be handled by a dedicated returns management team. The fulfillment company will receive and inspect the return with a complete once-over so the manufacturer does not lose any revenue opportunities. For items that can be refurbished, the returns team does a quality inspection and then they re-fold and re-bag the inventory to be put back.
AMS Fulfillment is highly experienced in the apparel industry. Our clients rely upon us to accurately pick, pack, and ship large volumes – all while meeting customer deadlines and adhering to rigid retail routing guidelines. Our omnichannel capabilities include multiple online stores with thousands of SKUs to brick-and-mortar stores including department stores. Whether our clients sell baby clothes, sportswear, or professional attire, we have what it takes to keep logistics on track and better serve our clients.