uInformation Technology Keeps It Boiling
Information and communications technology is at the heart of Zara's business. Four
critical information-related areas that give Zara its speed include:
Collecting information on consumer needs: trend into information flows daily,
and is fed into a database at head office. Designers check the database for
these dispatches as well as daily sales numbers, using the information to create
new lines and modify existing ones thus, designers have access to real-time
information when deciding with the commercial team on the fabric, cut, and
price points of a new garment.
Standardization of product information different or incomplete specifications
and varying product information availability typically add several weeks to a
typical retailer's product design and approval process, but Zara “warehouses”
the product information with common definitions, allowing it to quickly and
accurately prepare designs, with clear cut manufacturing instructions.
Product information and inventory management being able to manage
thousands of fabric and trim specifications, design specifications as well as their
physical inventory, gives Zara's team the capability to design a garment with
available stocks, rather than having to order and wait for the material to come
Distribution management: its State-of-the-art distribution facility functions with
minimal human intervention. Approximately 200 kilometers of underground
tracks move merchandise from Zara's manufacturing plants to the 400+ chutes
that ensure each order reaches its right destination. Optical reading devices
sort out and distribute more than 60,000 items of clothing an hour. Zara's
merchandise does not waste time waiting for human sorting.
Figure 4.6 : Inventory...