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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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Three Supply Chain Trends You Can’t Ignore

These days, it’s difficult to know what the future holds for the global fashion industry, especially when the new norm is marked with unpredictability. However, one thing we know for sure is that change and innovation will always be constant, making it necessary to improve what’s within your control.

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Top Three Compliance Trends in the Apparel Industry

This past year, we’ve seen consumers become more socially conscious than ever before, demanding greater visibility and transparency from the products they purchase. This increasing consumer demand is driving organizations to prioritize vendor compliance throughout the apparel supply chain, leading to a more detailed focus on traceability. As the apparel sector focuses more on supply chain transparency, we’ve put together the top three compliance trends that are shaping the industry and will continue to present challenges and opportunities for apparel brands and retailers in 2018.

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2018 Sourcing Outlook: Challenges and Expectations

Despite the fact that many dubbed 2017 as the “Year of the Retail Apocalypse,” the fashion and apparel industry is still alive and well as we kick off 2018. However, the sourcing landscape has changed and will continue to evolve as customer demand, rising costs and rapid innovation are here to stay. While none of these trends are new, these drivers have reached a tipping point and can no longer be ignored if retailers and brands want to succeed in 2018.

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Prioritize Vendor Compliance and Quality Control in 2018

Vendor compliance and quality control are at the top of mind for brands and retailers today. It’s easy to understand why, given the costly issues that can occur from any uncertainties in the supply chain. And if the blunder is serious enough, it could significantly damage your business and reputation—even if you’re not directly responsible.

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Four Sourcing Strategies to Prepare for in 2018

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means it’s time for brands and retailers to evaluate industry landscape and set themselves up for sourcing success. 2018 is looking to be a good year for the apparel market, with innovative technology creating new opportunities. However, retailers must remain competitive to stay ahead of the game. In 2018, we’re predicting four key sourcing strategies apparel retailers and brands should watch out for.

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