I met someone recently who works in the fashion industry and I was surprised that she manufactures her clothes in the UK, in London.
The rationale was both the quality, although she said that with enough training there are other cheaper countries which could eventually match the UK quality; and the time to market. She said that there are other fashion companies moving to the UK because it’s difficult to justify garments sitting on a container ship for several weeks on their way from Asia to the UK.
The same is happening in the technology industry. Apple has announced it will begin manufacturing Macs in the US. One reason for this is the publicity of job creation. Another reason for this is to speed up the time to market – something that Tim Cook has spent his career doing in supply chain management.
I recently bought a new Dell laptop. We placed the order during the first week of January and a couple of days later we heard that the laptop won’t be shipping until February 11th.
This week I was told that shipment won’t be before February 28th.
It is hardly surprising then, that Apple’s hardware financial results are simply outstanding at the moment, and that Dell is having trouble. You can’t increase revenues if your products are unavailable for purchase.
This is one of the key reasons Apple is so successful – a consumer can walk into a shop or buy online, and have the product instantly. The consumer can then take out their credit card and start buying apps straight away.
Apples are fashionable devices. That’s another reason the company is so successful – as soon as the new [version of] iPhone, iPad or iPod comes out, people want to buy them. Apple then offers the [fashion] buzz and purchase immediacy.
So then, it’s no surprise how the world of fashion clothing and technology are aligning.
Photo courtesy of Digital Cat on Flickr