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Supply Chain Visibility – The Key to Overcoming Quality Issues

Quality issues are inevitable. But reacting to the issue(s) once goods arrive is not the solution – visibility into your supply chain is! At NGC, we’ve been stressing the importance of supply chain visibility for years. With zero or limited visibility throughout the production processes, it’s difficult to address problems and/or institute a solid quality control program. As retailers and brands come to realize what poor product quality means - not just to their brand reputation, but to their bottom line – they realize the need to implement better quality programs. In our last post, Poor Product Quality – What It Means to Your Bottom Line, we identified the costs associated with poor quality. Now let’s look at how to avoid quality issues – through supply chain visibility.

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The Changing Role of PLM

Looking at recent headlines, you’ll see that former leading retailers are now facing store closings, liquidations and layoffs. In large part, this is due to changing consumer buying trends that have taken over traditional methods of shopping. For example, Gen Z and millennial consumers are purchasing products from Instagram or trading clothes with people online. Additionally, stores are downsizing and landlords are leasing out space for experiences rather than selling products, making malls an entertainment complex rather than purely a shopping center. In order to survive, retailers and brands need to ensure that their product development and supply chain operations are able to reach to evolving sales trends.

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Poor Product Quality – What It Means to Your Bottom Line

In today’s competitive market, brands and retailers are focused on their bottom line. To most, that means acquiring new customers, increasing distribution networks, and preparing for next season. However, there is a way to increase profit quickly – by reducing the cost of poor product quality. The effect of poor quality can lead to exponential costs, both internally and externally, and can hinder your long-term growth if not addressed. In addition to the direct cost of the defective product, you must consider the internal processes that directly or indirectly led to those errors, and how poor quality ultimately affects your consumer relationships and your brand’s name. For example, if you don’t have the proper systems and procedures in place for detecting a defect early in the production cycle, a product could get rejected once it reaches your customer. This results in a chargeback, or worse, it could be put on the shelf only to end in a return or bad review by a consumer.

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It’s Time to Make a Strong Commitment to E.S.G.

You might not have heard of the acronym, “E.S.G.,” but if you’re planning to seek funding anytime soon, listen up: E.S.G. is now a key metric for investors in making major investment decisions. But what is E.S.G.? Investopedia provides a simple explanation, saying, “The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Criteria is a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen investments.” Here’s how they break it down:

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Sourcing Journal: Your Supply Chain Isn’t as Fast as Zara’s – But it Could be

NGC’s Mark Burstein recently spoke with Crawford about how retailers need to close the gap between recognizing the need to change and actually being able to match the speed of Zara’s supply chain. “At Zara, they’re afraid to not make a quick decision…if it’s the wrong decision, they’ll recover and move on,” Burstein told Sourcing Journal.

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NGC Software at PI Apparel NYC, June 22-23

We’re excited to announce that NGC Software’s Mark Burstein will be speaking at PI Apparel NYC, June 22-23. This two-day event features the latest technologies and leading experts disrupting the fashion, apparel and footwear industry. Mark’s session, “Retail Transformation, The Changing Role of PLM and What You Need to Do About It,” explores how the digital supply chain demands that information and data flow throughout the entire value chain. Today, PLM systems only contribute to a sector of that value chain; PLM’s role is rapidly changing, and almost no global fashion company knows the proper approach to execute a Digital Supply Chain.

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Part 3: Managing Risk In Your Global Supply Chain – The Vendor Assessment Process

In the first two installments of this three-part blog series, we discussed the overall importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), outlined the first step in implementing a CSR program – Setting Standards of Vendor Engagement, and then reviewed the 4 Critical Terms of Engagement vendors should be expected to uphold to build the foundation for a healthy, lasting and successful relationship. In this installment, we will review the final step in the series, The Vendor Assessment Process.

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Part 2: Managing Risk In Your Global Supply Chain – Establishing Terms of Engagement

In the first installment of this three-part blog series, we discussed the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and outlined the first step in implementing a CSR program – Setting Standards of Vendor Engagement. In addition to adhering to the Standards you set, there are specific Terms of Engagement vendors should be expected to fulfill, which we’ll discuss in this installment. If upheld, these terms will prove to be the foundation for a healthy, lasting and successful relationship with your vendor(s).

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Part 1: Managing Risk In Your Global Supply Chain - Setting Standards of Vendor Engagement

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a hot topic in the apparel industry right now. With so much competition and uncertainty, the last thing you want to do is risk your brand’s reputation at the hands of your global vendors. In this first installment of a three-part blog series, we will discuss the importance of implementing a CSR program and outline the first step - defining the Code of Conduct, or Standards of Vendor Engagement, that you expect your vendors to adhere to, those guidelines on which each supplier will be evaluated.

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New Research Explores The “Zara Gap”

If you regularly follow NGC’s blog or our guest posts on The Sourcing Journal, you’ve heard us discuss what has been christened in the industry as the “Zara Gap.”

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