Made To Measure and Made To Order - The New Fashion Formula - From Sheep to Suit

The global men's fashion supply chain is driven by large brands which dictate styles, materials and prices. Traditional contract manufacturing for these brands operates under price-based competition. In order to break out of this dead end, Richmart, the most modern made-to-measure men's suits factory in Eastern Europe, decided to reconfigure its entire supply chain. The managers undertook a detailed Thinking Process analysis of the supply chain, based on the principles of the Theory of Constraints and decided to move towards a win-win partnership between all parties involved from the wool through fabric, machinery and equipment to sewing factories and fashion consultants to the consumer. The Sales Director of Men's Fashion Group Dean Manev and Martina Martini (Art Director) made a presentation about Made To Measure and Made To Order services during the International TOCICO conference in Berlin, Germany on 19 July.

Some Challenges of Today‘s Textile Supply Chains

Long procurement time
Between purchase planning, supplier research and selection, value analysis, negotiations, and actually making the purchase, the procurement process can take a very long time. Inventory management is also a common issue as retailers often end up out of stock, delayed or overstocked, since market trends are changing much faster than their procurement processes.

Supply chain inefficiency
Production of goods only accounts for about 10% to 20% of the total time for the textile supply chain, the remaining time is spent for information processing from one end to the other. These processes include building the right connections, sending/receiving RFPs, manufacturing, dispatching, and payment procedures.

Lack of information sharing
Having a proper flow of information among textile supply chain members influences the performance of overall supply chain performance. This information includes customer data and demand, inventory status, production and promotion plan, shipment schedules, payment details, etc.

Lack of online presence
As textile businesses go global, competition increases. With more companies fighting over an increased share of the market, building and maintaining an online presence is vital to remain competitive. The easier a company is found online, the more business opportunities comes their way.

Questionable labor and environmental practices

Made To Measure and Made To Order - The New Fashion Formula - From Sheep to Suit

Rerailers’ Challenges

In fashion industry there is unsuccessful prediction of sales - inability to plan for 6 months ahead, risk of financial losses and unsold inventory.

As a result of the high inventory, the companies have blocked money and are unable for development and business growth.

Still there is lack of variety in the shops /only black, grey, blue colors/, because they can't keep on stock all possible colors and sizes from all models. Due to that there is a loss of clients and sales.

The quick sell of the bestsellers and the inability for immediate new orders leads to loss of clients again.

Discount sales

• 10% to 80% discount of price;
• Efforts and energy in offering unsellable products;
• Out of fashion goods;

Made To Measure & Made To Order - The New Fashion Formula

The solutions offered are:

• Follow the actual demand:
• Direct sales with no inventory;
• Opportunity to order NOW;
• No minimum quantity for orders;
• Quick response to the client’s needs;
• Always best sellers in the shop
• Quick ROI

With Made To Measure & Made To Order producers and shops together can reduce the supply chain time from 9 months to 2-4 weeks.

This will solve the inventory problems - will reduce the inventory, reduce the deficit to a minimum and in this way release the blocked money.

The shops will have the opportunity to order every week instead of twice a year, will increase their profit and expand the business with minimum investments.

Made To Measure and Made To Order - The New Fashion Formula - From Sheep to Suit

Motivation for the designers

• Opportunity to offer 52 collections per year;
• Use wide variety of fabrics and models;
• No risk someone to copy their design;

The Future of Apparel Retail in Europe

In the coming years, European retailers will be forced to import the majority of large orders of clothing from far countries in order to remain competitive. But remaining competitive for these firms will also mean reducing opportunity costs of lost sales resulting from mid-season stock-outs, particularly for higher quality items. Far countries, due to its slow delivery and inability to ship in small quantities, will not be an option for retailers and buyers to respond quickly to unforecasted fluctuations in demand.

The solution for shops to remain competitive is to offer Made To Measure services & to use Made To Order solutions offered from producers in Europe and in this way reduce the supply chain time from 9 months to 2-4 weeks.

Men’s Fashion Cluster and Men’s Fashion Group Tuscany offer solutions for Supply Chain Synchronization, keeping the value of the European product, keeping the European working places, opening of new working places for new employees.

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Tags:mens fashion, supply chain, contract manufacturing, Richmart, made-to-measure, mens suits factory, Eastern Europe, Thinking Process, Theory of Constraints, wool, fabric, machinery, equipment, sewing factories, fashion consultants, consumer, Mens Fashion Group, TOCICO, conference, Berlin, Germany

About the Author

Silvia Kabaivanova

As the founder of Be Global Fashion Network and several other fashion websites, Silvia has been working for more than 20 years covering fashion industry trends and news. With a passion for the fashion business, she focuses on sustainable fashion and innovations, custom fashion and print on demand services. Silvia is a Chairman of Bulgarian Fashion Association. You can reach her at

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