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Li & Fung helps global retailers focus on their customers
20
Sep '10
Ms Deepika Rana
Ms Deepika Rana
Li & Fung Ltd is the export trading arm of the Li & Fung Group, which manages, supply chains for major brands and retailers worldwide. The Group operates an extensive global sourcing network covering over 80 offices and over 13,000 employees in more than 40 countries across North America, Europe and Asia and boasts of an annual turnover in excess of US $14 billion.

In addition to the wide range and variety of consumer products available through its sourcing network, Li & Fung also leverages its strengths in custom product design and development to provide complete global sourcing solutions for its customers. It takes care of all vital aspects of the supply chain so that their customers; leading retailers and brands, may focus on their customers.

Professionalism, experience and integrity have earned Li & Fung its reputation as the world's leading consumer goods sourcing company. Dedicated teams of product specialists focus on each customer segment to professionally manage the entire supply chain; from product design and development, through raw material and factory sourcing, production planning and management, quality assurance and export documentation, to shipping control.

Fibre2fashion got an opportunity to interact with Ms Deepika Rana, Executive Vice-President at Li & Fung (India). We began this very informative interview by asking her about the major challenges that they face, while managing supply chains for major brands, to which she said, “The major challenge in managing a supply chain is ensuring on-time-delivery, meeting pricing challenges, ensuring social and technical compliance and shipping a good quality product.

“Because of the many supply chain variables, these areas have to be closely monitored and to ensure product is shipped to specification. The other key challenges are quick response and cycle time reduction, flexibility, and increasing the role of technology with respect to efficiencies and approvals”.

There has been a shift from manufacturing orientation to service orientation with the goal of achieving customers' delight and not only customer satisfaction. We quizzed her on the reasons behind this paradigm shift, to which she informed, “The main reasons for the shift from manufacturing orientation to service orientation is that customer requirements have changed and costs are playing a very important role in customer relationships.

“Customer requirements have become more cost and sales driven. Their focus has now shifted from the back-end functions to more front-end orientation. Functions like design and development, sampling, approvals, and logistics are outsourced to agents, changing the agency role to a much more service oriented one.

Speaking on the current situation of apparel retail business in India, she observed, “While organised retail is still emerging, retail in India is growing at an annual growth rate of 15-20 percent. It is a very price driven business and costs of locations have a great influence on the selling price. The emergence of the Indian middle class and their recognition of brands, along with the emergence of B and C grade cities as strong markets, are some important factors influencing retail in India”.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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