C&F Apparel,

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Executive Brief
“C&F Apparel, Inc.”

C&F Apparel faced constant challenges of developing good forecasts and maintaining product availability. The main question for Bill Smith, director of business planning for C&F Apparel, was whether or not adopting similar approaches such as “fast fashion” apparel makers Zara could work for his company. Either way, the assumptions in this case is that although it keeps cost low, is outsourcing most of its products from material and assembly plants located in the Pacific rim (while being in North America) worth waiting the two to three months for it to ship? Perhaps C&F should look into the cost-benefit analysis of outsourcing so far away and looking at more domestic sources, such as what Zara has that supplies them in typically two to three weeks. If C&F weren’t outsourcing as much, they could get their products in faster, and thus getting to customers faster. This could also help with fashion trends as waiting two to three months for shipment could be outdated than other similar sized sports apparel and active wear companies. While looking at their previous sales in certain products, its also important for C&F to see how those products demands are looking for their competitors in the same industry.

The missing information is how much the company is actually saving by outsourcing their products versus using domestic providers, or even making most of it themselves. Also, what is the demand for their current product line using time series analysis models? Are there any accessories that customers are looking for the company to sell? C&F needs to develop a strong CRM to see what customers needs and wants are as well as construct more creative ways to market their products, such as by utilizing marketing research and grassroots forecasting.
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