Zara Production Design Case Study

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III. Production Design Zara’s production design is a crucial and differentiating element to its success. Although Zara’s production process is of course a part of their supply chain, which will be later discussed, the design of it is worth studying individually. Zara’s production design includes its production size, speed, and basic layout. Zara’s production process features small batch productions of each clothing item, as opposed to the mass production processes of the average retailer. Zara produces a small number of each design, resulting in clothing only being held in stores for about two weeks before being completely replaced by new designs. Because they produce less of each design, inventory costs decrease while ordering costs increase…show more content…
__ reports, “They create up to 1000 designs every month based on store sales and current trends.” (Thompson). A high number of designs means higher costs for labor and less cost cutting possible because of eliminated deals for manufacturing is mass. A high number of designs is beneficial for Zara because it means they are always creating and customers will always stay interested and keep coming back. Zara sometimes will produce new styles up to twice a week. This high number of designs allows them to please more people and stay current with the trends. Zara’s rapid production speed makes all of this possible, and makes it possible to follow trends. On the week of 9/11, Zara quickly was able to pull the pastel clothing and replace it with black clothing to meet their moods. Crucially, “Most other manufactures cannot respond to industry trends any quicker than three to five months”. Because their production process is equipped to handle a high number of demands, such flexibility becomes…show more content…
Zara ensures that 85 percent of their capacity is available for in-season adjustments, while only 15 percent of a season’s product line is locked in six months in advance. They outsource the fabric to get the best deal, but use the production technique of postponement to finish creating the product in-house at the last minute. The sewing and coloring is completed by their 11 factories near their headquarters in Spain. Meanwhile, the designing, prototyping, and computer aided fabric cuts are held in-house in Spain. Zara utilizes an electronic data interchange to link supply chain with information. Pieces are ordered during sales day by store managers; in two days, items will be shipped from their distribution center from their headquarters in Spain. Clerks send information throughout the day about sales and customer verbal feedback, to allow the design and production teams to get to work immediately. Zara centralizes product design and development to speed feedback

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