Supply chain professionals around the global and across industries will have admiration for how Zara has designed and implemented it's supply chain business model which has dominated the fashion retail industry . Their supply chain model is a great example of quality and speed required to cope with the volatile industry they operate in. Constant changes in consumer tastes sees an in-house team of supply chain planners, managers and designers coordinating new product launches delivered to stores inside just a few weeks. This is made possible by frequent replenishment of it stores (several times per week) which also aids forecasting accuracy, short production runs and lead times. As a result Zara earns the right to avoid carrying too much stock in it's inventory saving storage costs and not being forced into selling goods at discounted prices. This supply chain model is a fine example of how a highly responsive and agile model should look like.
Going into the future how will Zara cope with strengthening it's online presence? In order to keep control of it's supply chain and be able to handle the constant changes Zara is very much focused on in-house European operations where its famous distribution centre "the cube" is linked by monorail to 11 wholly owned factories. The whole model is deeply rooted to successfully serving customers offline via customer store visits. In terms of matching Amazon regarding US/Asia deliveries via online it lags behind. Is Zara's supply chain versatile enough to outstandingly serve its customers online and if not what changes will they need to make?