The Fashion Tech Stack Series Part 2: Tech Stack Building Blocks
Updated: Mar 30
Image courtesy: Stategy+business
As discussed in our previous blog, a technology stack is a collection of tools, frameworks, and other technologies that help develop, deliver, and maintain software. Tech stacks comprise of multiple tools on a single platform, each performing a function critical to the business. For example, a Microsoft tech stack is a set of tools from Microsoft responsible for handling various application functions such as document sharing and management, social media, project management, and collaboration.
A company will have multiple tech stacks for various functions. For example, e-commerce has its own tech stack, which would comprise a server and data management service, a back-end for managing orders and other supply-related functions, and a front-end for customers and marketing-related activities. For web developers, the foundation of a technology stack includes programming languages, runtimes, data processing tools, operating systems, distributed system tools, and database tools.
But why are tech stacks so important? And what is the reason to make sure we choose the right one?
Well, tech stacks are important primarily because they help you manage the complex systems that drive your business better. When your tech stack is aligned with your business priorities, growing the business and managing functions becomes easier than with a piecemeal stack that may have been cobbled together and does not operate efficiently to support business objectives.
Since platforms and tools are usually aligned with a specific set of tools for synergies, choosing the right combination of technology products, protocols, and platforms can make a huge difference to the business. A broad and flexible stack helps manage software applications, enabling you to design, implement, and improve systems while keeping your business on track with timely updates and expansions.
Building Blocks of a typical tech stack
In the fashion industry tech stacks comprise mainly three sets of tools –
ERP: For efficient management of your product resources and finances at the operations end of the business. It involves the hard data of your business – production numbers, order quantities, and finances.
PLM: It covers the interactive and other “soft” aspects of your operations – negotiation of rates with suppliers, delivery timelines, collaborative product development processes such as design, costing, prototyping, etc.
E-commerce: This is your external technology stack which most brands tend to be most concerned with, primarily web-store, platform sales, order management applications, marketing, and customer support management since these are the primary touchpoints of the brand for customers.
Each tech stack fulfills a specific function, and while several products tend to advertise that they manage multiple aspects of the business, few can negotiate all three pillars successfully. Therefore, having the right combination of tech stacks that “talk” to each other in the same language becomes critical. Achieving smooth data and workflow integration within your tech stack gives you numerous valuable data assets which can otherwise be difficult to access. This is where the strategic understanding of business processes and technology becomes critical, and the company’s chief technology architect or CTO plays a pivotal role in making this happen.
Want to know more about tech stacks in the fashion industry? Keep an eye out for our next post!
To read the first part of the series, click here
Fuel4Fashion is a design, branding and technology consultancy for the fashion and apparel industry. We provide consulting and advisory services across design, business and IT processes to early-stage and mid-sized apparel manufacturers and brands looking to grow their business with the help of smart sustainable management practices. Visit our website here and follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for regular updates.