Case Study: Critical Path

The Client

A leading apparel brand

The Case

As with all apparel retailers accurate planning during the concept and design stage was considered key to the successful delivery of each new line. During this development phase costs were carefully compared with price points for each style and appropriate margins planned. However practice showed that margins were falling far short of expectations as costs greatly exceeded the original targets set. Investigations revealed that this was mainly due to increased shipping costs.

The WWA Solution

By examining the development processes for each garment, it was found that sourcing locations were being switched without regard for increased shipping times. Whilst a contingency had been included within the original plans to overcome delays in either manufacture or delivery this allowance was found to be way short of the actual time required. As a result garments were being air-freighted rather than ocean-freighted, at a substantially higher cost. By introducing more realistic time frames and a distinct critical path for each manufacturing location, these problems were overcome, albeit at the cost of an earlier start to the calendar.