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Digitizing PLM Alone is Not Enough: Why Connecting Every Part of Your Value Chain is Crucial

While digitization closes the product information gap and extends the PLM to the entire product development process, digitizing PLM alone is not enough to reap the full benefits of a true end-to-end digital solution. Instead, fashion retailers and brand owners should scale their business by bringing together all departments, including merchandising, product development, sourcing, compliance, purchasing, production, quality, logistics, marketing and sales. By connecting vendors, suppliers and other providers, a cloud-based solution that powers every part of the business streamlines processes, improves collaboration and reduces lead times.

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Combatting the Social Compliance Problem With Digital Supply Chain Vendor Management

Whether it’s failing to provide safe working conditions, treating employees unfairly or producing products that contain banned substances, social compliance remains an issue for many fashion companies outsourcing production of apparel, footwear and textiles across the world. For the approximately 75 million people laboring in this industry, the lack of a well-regulated supply chain may make workers subject to forced labor. In return, these conditions could tarnish the reputation and degrade the brand value and revenues of any company who fails to prioritize ethical sourcing and social compliance.

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The Biggest Trend in PLM Today is SCM

What’s the biggest trend in PLM software today? In a word, it’s SCM: supply chain management. As NGC noted in Technology Evaluation Centers’ Supply Chain Predictions 2019 report, incorporating product lifecycle management (PLM) software into digital supply chains was a big trend in 2018 and will only continue to get bigger in 2019. We recently shared our thoughts on the integration of PLM software into digital supply chains with TEC principal analyst PJ Jakovljevic for his annual report. Our viewpoints highlighted the reasons why PLM increasingly means SCM.

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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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The Digital Supply Chain Was Front and Center at NRF 2019

NRF, the National Retail Federation’s annual extravaganza in New York, is called Retail’s Big Show for a reason. With over 38,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors, 2019 once again broke attendance records as retailers from around the world descended upon the Javits Center. NRF is an unparalleled opportunity for retailers to set a vision for the new year, connect with partners that will help transform their business and take advantage of the ultimate networking experience.

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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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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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