virtual supply chain

Term of the Week: Virtual Supply Chain

It's a term you've heard in the industry, but have you familiarized yourself with it?

Consider yourself part of a network of industry providers that can both benefit and contribute to a process that offers your customers more access to more products and services. Building upon that thought can lead you into new audiences and markets at your pace. 

The virtual supply chain concept is at work all around us and is the future of retail. A virtual supply chain network is a partnership-based connection through digital links, it is flexible to adopt, and changes to customer needs quickly. Each role can have new members added, and others deleted or reassigned roles within the chain. Products and services can then be offered on-demand with no limits or minimum requirements. 

Many virtual stores begin by displaying rendered T-shirts using a cloud-based technology service partner. The ability to showcase virtual products allows unlimited print and embroidery design variations, as well as customization and personalization. Once a customer purchases a product, logistics software pulls order information from the shopping cart, and the fulfillment process begins. The substrate and decoration file info are both embedded into the work order so the substrate can be pulled or ordered and the production team has the decoration file. The product is made to order and shipped on behalf of the front-facing store to the end customer. Essentially, the company markets their products and is a collaborator in the virtual supply chain. 

With this type of system in place, the viability of producing one decorated product now becomes a reality and eliminates minimum requirements for decorating goods that can't be done in-house or are not financially viable. 

Source: Mike Angel, Render Logix