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Tired of Wasting Time? Consider Cutting Spreadsheets

A forest fire starts with just one spark. Likewise, a catastrophic error in the retail world can start with one delayed reaction to an impending problem such as fabric arriving late to the factory, sample approvals running late, design changes, and a host of other reasons. For companies that still rely heavily on spreadsheets, it’s impossible to react quickly, essentially wasting profitable opportunities to solve problems before things start to spiral out of control. Though spreadsheets are used extensively to manage product development and supply chain operations, minimizing spreadsheets is the key to improving speed to market, boosting productivity and putting out small fires before they erupt into full-scale disasters.

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Looking Ahead: Key Sourcing Strategies for 2019

Coming off the heels of a monumental year, supply chains have big shoes to fill in 2019. As apparel retailers and brands prepare for a year of new tariffs, evolving customer demands and more competition than ever, they should keep in mind the key strategies that will help them streamline their processes and reach their goals. Based on developments throughout the past year, we’re predicting four sourcing strategies that will unlock success for apparel companies in 2019.

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Learn More About NGC’s Digital Supply Chain Solutions at NRF

It’s the beginning of the new year, which means brands and retailers everywhere are getting ready to make 2019 the best year yet with new opportunities. And on top of every retailer’s New Year’s resolutions list is to achieve retail’s holy grail: the perfect alignment of supply and demand. But how do retailers achieve a goal that continues to be elusive?

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Meet Industry Standards and Decrease Risk with Digital Vendor Management

Reports of poor working conditions in overseas factories, a lack of sustainable products and delayed delivery times prove that when vendor accountability and transparency aren’t up to par, a company’s sourcing strategies can quickly go awry. Suppliers, vendors and additional third parties involved in the design, manufacturing and delivery of your product set the precedent for a company’s success. Thus, keeping close watch on them will become crucial in the long run. Working to maintain ethical behavior through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and ensuring Good Manufacturing Practices can help companies avoid the problems that are all too common in the sourcing industry. In pursuit of this goal, making sure vendors comply to certain standards sensibly fits into the picture. A digital vendor management solution can help centralize the process of evaluating, managing and reporting on all the details, which simplifies complexities and makes for a more seamless approach.

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Keep Your Brand in Check: Why Fashion Retailers Need Quality Control

Product quality is a telling factor of a company’s success. While consistently offering customers well-made clothing and accessories translates into positive reviews and loyal shoppers, a single quality issue can result in negative press and lasting impressions that will deter shoppers from visiting the store or its site for future purchases. To capitalize on the former and combat the latter, fashion retailers need to implement a quality control solution they can trust.

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Here’s How Product Lifecycle Management Can Benefit Your Business

From the conception of an idea to the detailed design to its sale, a product passes through many touchpoints before it gets into the hands of the consumer. As such, retailers cannot operate smoothly without a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution in place. Keeping track of all the moving parts involved takes real-time visibility into product data and shared information across each department. PLM plays a key role in the digital transformation that’s underway among top brands and retailers. If you’re new to PLM, here’s a quick look at some of the main benefits that a PLM solution can bring to your business.

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Why Fashion Retailers and Brands Must Digitize Supply Chain Management

The fast-paced nature of today’s retail and fashion industry is impossible to manage without digitization. Without digital supply chain management systems in place, fashion retailers run the risk of out-of-stocks, markdowns, defects in product quality, and ultimately losing the trust and confidence of their customers. Having a digital supply chain is no longer a way of getting ahead of the curve, but is essential to staying competitive. According to a McKinsey report, nearly 90% of apparel chief procurement officers said they expect significantly higher investments in technology by 2030. When a retailer implements a digital supply chain, the benefits are evident, and expand across all parts of the process.

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Black Friday: Who Will Be the Winners and Losers?

It looks like turkey and pumpkin pie won’t be the only things retailers gobble up this holiday season! NRF is expecting 2018 holiday sales to climb between 4.3 and 4.8% over 2017. That’s up to a total of $720.89 billion for hopeful retailers who are getting ready for the most chaotic time of the year. There’s even more good news for apparel brands and retailers. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Holiday Retail Survey, 53% of shoppers plan on buying clothing as gifts. However, despite the retail industry’s progress, this Black Friday will be more important than ever for brands and retailers to stay ahead of the major players without sacrificing margins. So, what can apparel brands and retailers do to prepare their supply chains for the mad holiday rush?

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Supply Chain Tricks Fashion Retailers Can Learn From Zara

In the midst of heated competition and elevated consumer expectations, fashion retailers must hold themselves to a higher standard. This is especially true when it comes to the increased pressure to produce fresh off-the-runway styles. Zara, one of the biggest international fashion companies, is known as a leader amongst fast fashion retailers. Quick turnaround times for design, production and deliverance can satisfy customers seeking the latest trends, translating into retailers accomplishing one of the most sought after goals in the fashion market: gaining loyal customers.

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Time Equals Risk in Today’s Fashion Supply Chain

One of the Rolling Stones’ early hits famously begins, “time is on my side.” Time, however, is most definitely not on the side of retailers and fashion brands today. In fact, time is arguably the biggest risk factor in the supply chain. Today’s retail and fashion winners include Zara, Xcel Brands, TechStyle and others that race the clock to get the best products to customers faster than anyone else. The more time that passes, the greater the risk that fashion trends, consumer demands and other variables will change.

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