The supply chain has gained mounting relevance and popularity in business literature and media. However, most marketing and brand executives in fashion spend little time thinking about their company’s supply chain, the behind the scenes. Their brand promise is about delivering the right product, to the right place, at the right time, hopefully in a sustainable way. But supply chain capabilities can make or break the brand ability to fulfill that promise, in particular today, given the number of external shocks and internal constraints that fashion supply chains experience. Entering into a closer partnership with fewer suppliers is a strategy that brands are implementing to consolidate their supply chain with the increase of the full-service model where suppliers manage the entire production cycle.
Strategic suppliers are able to offer to their clients (the luxury and fashion brands) a number of key competencies such as: quality and sustainability standards, the technical ability for sampling and production, flexible production capability, the organization and financial capacity to respond to brand needs of planned production and ability to handle production of in season capsules, the ability to propose innovative materials, washes and products (supplier R&D), respect of delivery timing and product confidentiality.
Behind the scenes of top international luxury brands there is CIEFFE, a family business based in Soncino, Cremona with 35 years of experience in manufacturing fashion pret a porter. CIEFFE offers an integrated and responsive manufacturing platform thanks to 2 factories, 200 employees, among which 40 pattern makers and a qualified network of sub-contractors in proximity that share the same values of ethics and aesthetics. Visiting CIEFFE MAFED students could discover from the words of the CEO Marco Panzieri the value of an Italian suppliers’ industrial craftmanship where precious creative and manual skills are combined with the latest technologies and product excellence is combined with a responsive and personalized service to clients from research & development to logistic services. The reasons why Made in Italy is still unique, a treasure to respect and protect.
by Stefania Saviolo
SDA Bocconi School of Management