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The Key Benefits of Digitizing Quality Control

If not properly managed, quality is an area where your business can fail due to factors that are out of your control. Fortunately, quality control is an area that is quantifiable and closely tied to financial performance, and retailers and brand owners can easily and quickly see ROI.

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The Key Benefits of Digitizing Your Product Development Processes

Every fashion company today aspires to the same basic goals: to become more agile in order to produce the right products faster, to delight customers with on-trend designs, and to produce compelling products that build brand loyalty. Succeeding in today’s hyper-competitive environment is tougher than ever, though. Companies must improve the speed from concept to delivery and improve operational efficiency to offset higher sourcing and production costs. There’s also the constant pressure for lower prices and higher margins, and the need to react quickly to changing consumer demands. The stakes are high, too: companies that fail to meet these objectives will not survive.

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Three Keys to Vendor Compliance

Ensuring vendor compliance for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Good Manufacturing Practices is necessary in order to mitigate risk and protect a company’s brand. The stakes are high, as fashion brands can’t afford to have their names associated with unsafe working conditions, tragic factory accidents, or products that contain banned substances. However, managing the intricacies of vendor compliance is an extraordinarily complex process that involves brands, retailers, third parties, NGOs and governmental entities at multiple levels. To simplify the process, we've broken down compliance into three basic areas.

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Why A Flexible, Agile Supply Chain is More Important Than Ever

The best-laid plans often go awry, as the old saying goes, and this can be especially true in today’s fast-paced fashion industry. Materials may not arrive on time. Quality samples may be rejected, or shipments may be delayed. There can be issues with quality or on-time deliveries from the factory, forcing you to quickly re-evaluate your vendor mix. Having a more flexible, agile supply chain continues to be a top priority for apparel brands and retailers. The ability to rapidly pivot and respond to both challenges and opportunities can spell the difference between meeting profit goals for the season or ending up with missed sales, markdowns and red ink.

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A Lack of Supply Chain Transparency Should Keep You Up at Night

Today’s fashion companies are placing compliance, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), quality and safety as top priorities. That’s because brands know these are crucial in order to mitigate risk, gain consumer trust and protect the brand’s image; these are key reasons why vendor compliance and supply chain transparency are such hot topics today.

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The Digital Supply Chain is Key to Lead Time Optimization

Lead time reduction has been the holy grail of the fashion industry for years. In survey after survey, apparel sourcing executives continue to cite “lead time reduction” or “lead time optimization” as a top business and technology priority. Nike, for example, made waves last year when it announced that it was cutting production time in half.

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AAFA Executive Summit Recap – Surpass the Competition with Better Quality Processes

At last week’s annual AAFA Executive Summit in Washington, DC, Ananth Raman (UPS Foundation professor of business logistics at Harvard Business School) made a powerful statement in regard to the elaborate turnaround plans apparel brands and retailers have been announcing. He said, “whether these companies win or lose will be determined more by how they execute than how well-crafted their initial strategy was,” and I couldn’t agree more!

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Overcoming the Challenges in Achieving Supply Chain Transparency

As fashion brands and retailers strive to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) an integral part of their business, they are faced with challenges. It’s one thing to define your goals and strategies as they relate to CSR and compliance, but it’s another to actually execute on them. And one of the biggest challenges in executing on these goals is supply chain transparency, or lack thereof.

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Deconstructing Your Sourcing Strategy – 4 Key Elements to Consider

Apparel brands and retailers have experienced a steady increase in production costs over the past couple of years. That combined with bigger competition and slowed growth, has added to the pressure to improve margin performance. As a result, businesses must analyze their sourcing strategy to find the most effective ways to keep costs down. The struggle to keep up has businesses focused on the wrong thing – cutting costs by squeezing out suppliers. Although you may get a few cents out of suppliers, in the grand scheme of things, this kind of cost-reduction won’t have a substantial impact on overall cost, especially when goods are being marked down at an all-time high. Instead, retailers and brands need to evaluate their sourcing strategy – four elements in particular - to find ways to not only cut costs, but meet the demand for shorter lead times. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the four key elements shared by John Cheh, CEO of Esquel Group, in a recent Sourcing Journal article, and find out how they impact your overall supply chain program.

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Challenges Posed by a Complex Global Supply Chain

As it stands, many companies have put together programs to support their commitment to compliance and CSR. However, the actual execution of these programs still poses problems. Several key challenges are making the execution difficult, but there are solutions that the fashion industry can implement to move towards a more transparent, compliant supply chain.

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