Running an apparel business isn’t easy – there are dozens of problems you have little control over that can put big roadblocks in your supply chain. Anything that stops or slows the transit of goods can be considered a supply chain barrier. Whether it’s inadequate infrastructure in the nation where you source your fabrics, or constantly changing tariffs in countries where own an apparel warehouse, these barriers can scuttle your company’s profits and introduce frustrating unpredictability into your day to day work.

Apparel Warehouse Supply Chain

Here are two of the most common supply chain barriers that apparel warehouses face, and what you can do to get past them:


  • Weather Problems. Extreme weather can strike almost anywhere in the world, and when it hits it amplifies any infrastructure problems that already existed in the area. If you’re sourcing raw materials from an underdeveloped country and a tsunami wipes out the roads, you’re going to be waiting for a while for those textiles. While there’s no way to completely insulate your supply chain from weather-related delays, the “push-pull” supply chain strategy in your apparel warehouse can give you a buffer to work with – by pushing product differentiation down the line until you know how much of each product you actually need to make, you can keep a larger reserve of raw materials to work with.


  • Tariffs and Border Issues. The complex and ever-changing tariffs around the world make supply chain management extremely challenging, and stop a lot of business from happening at all. In fact, a recent study found that eliminating import tariffs would increase global trade by 10%. The frequent changes to each nation’s tariffs means that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but some companies have found ways to pay less on a regular basis. One popular strategy is to catalog and analyze the tariff structures of the countries of origin of your raw materials and the countries where most of your products are sold. Once you have the full picture, you can find the ideal location for your manufacturing facilities – a place where the total cost of the import tariffs for your raw materials and the export tariffs for finished products is smallest.

If you want to manage your supply chain more effectively, Apparel Business Systems can help! Our expert consultants can diagnose where your problem is, and our apparel ERP solutions are purpose-driven to track your apparel production from raw materials to the retail store. Contact us today for more information.