Jul 11, 2022
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UK fashion brand have slashed lead times since the pandemic - report

Jul 11, 2022

There was, at least, one positive to come out of the pandemic. UK clothing, fashion and accessories brands all reduced their delivery lead time delays by half over the last two years, new data has revealed.

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According to Unleashed’s Product Lead Time Index, the three segments combined to become one of the top industries to slash their lead times compared to pre-pandemic levels, dropping by 49.86% between 2019/20 and 2021/22. 

That improvement has come despite it being one of the most difficult times for the fashion industry and its suppliers. Supply chain issues have been very much in the news and the impression many would walk away with is that companies wouldn't be able to reduce their lead times in the way this study shows they have.

Of course, those supply chain problems have also been a big spur for companies to make them find more creative solutions and their initiatives have clearly paid off.

The analysis of more than 2,500 businesses and 25 different sub-sectors showed clothing, fashion and accessories was the fifth biggest to successfully cut lead times in the top 10 industry sectors covered, midway between the food sector (56.14%) and agriculture, forestry and fisheries (45.26%).

Stephen Jones, Regional Manager UK & EMEA at Unleashed, said: “Global supply chains are complex, and while the market has been more uncertain than usual, our data suggests that suppliers are working hard to build resilience. In fact, for many, the crises have only strengthened their resolve. Given how much lead times have dropped in some sub-sectors including clothing, fashion and accessories, their efforts are clearly paying off.

“Keeping a tight rein on inventory is essential at any time but particularly during periods of disruption. When product lead times are fluctuating, the right technology can quickly show you the actual vs expected lead times which allows you to manage customer expectations, or look for alternative suppliers who can deliver faster.”

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