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Chains of supply: do you know where your jeans have been?
Peter Goldberg

Peter Goldberg

Think you were the first person to get your hands on your brand new 501s? Nope. They go on an epic global journey before you button them up.

Pristine, unwashed (don't sit on the couch), untouched by human hands. Your perfect new jeans, straight from the factory, to the store, to you.

Not quite. Let’s look at the journey a classic pair of Levi's 501s goes on before it reaches you:

First, farmers in...

Mississippi grow the cotton. This is then refined and shipped to...

North Carolina to be woven. From there it's loaded on a ship and sent to...

Dominican Republic to be cut and sent to...

Haiti for sewing, then shipped back to...

Dominican Republic to be finished. Then, the jeans are sent out to...

distributors, then shipped to...

local retailers, which is when...

you bring them home, from a physical or online store.

This may sound complicated, but it's actually quite a short cycle. Some jeans crisscross the globe before they're ready for you. And don't forget the materials. There's also the fabric, buttons, zippers and dyes, which all have their own manufacturing processes and supply chains. 

All of this means that the simplest of world commodities, like jeans, take massive logistical effort. Even the globe-trotting jeans in the film, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, have nothing on your average dungarees sitting on the rack.

Time (and complexity) is money

With so many steps, thousands of miles to travel, and often several languages to navigate, supply chains can be very difficult to manage efficiently. Our Levi's whirlwind journey around the world could eat up a lot of dead time, or, managed well, they could quickly and efficiently reach their destination.

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Want to make your supply chain more efficient? It's time to ditch the paper and get tech savvy.  

One plague on supply chains is imprecise location information. If you don't have a clear view of where goods and disruptions are during transport, you can end up with delays, blockages and resources wasted on ineffective systems. Also, you need to manage your supply chain efficiently to avoid a significant drain on resources and wasted time spent idling. This means avoiding things like empty space in containers or warehouses.

These inefficient processes, and poor visibility, and cause companies to lose significant amounts time and money which in turn, of course, narrows profit margins. 

Making it seamless 

Smarter tech can help. You can, for example, gain visibility over every step in the supply chain when you track all of your goods in real time. This is something we spend a lot of time thinking about at HERE. Our real-time location tracking, for example, offers 360-degree visibility, and eliminates unnecessary inefficiencies in the tangle of shipping and supply chains.

As goods are monitored from departure to delivery, you can more accurately plan your shipments and address sudden interruptions. Also, warehouse tracking allows you to optimize shipments to ensure that stock is never too high or too low.

And there are other transportation and logistics solutions that can help remove the guesswork from shipping. With the right location intelligence, you can better manage your fleet (for example with truck routing), and empower your drivers to make better use of the last mile

Interconnected and global as it is, the modern supply chain is truly a marvel: one whose intricate coordination is subject to the smallest disruption, and requires the right tools to deliver even the simplest things to our homes. Consider that, the next time you get dressed.

Read more on how HERE's transportation and logistics solutions can help your business.