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With operating efficiencies already quite high, members of the apparel and manufacturing supply chain need to look at strategies other than reducing labor costs to improve margins. The key area is collaboration with supply chain partners. Collaboration offers an opportunity to reduce costs in the supply chain in the areas of product development, inventory holding, and manufacturing through better capacity utilization, lower reject rates, fewer charge-backs and profitability. Apparel and garment industry is highly fickle and is characterized by short life cycles, unpredictable demand, whimsical consumers, multiple trading partners, difficulties in doing cross-border trade, and stagnating economic conditions. Information Technology enabled collaboration should be the key area for tackling the hurdles in this regard.
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