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Join NGC Software at Sourcing Journal Summit 2017: Pain Points + Pivots

On Tuesday, Oct. 17, NGC Software will be in NYC for the fifth annual Sourcing Journal Summit, a gathering of supply chain executives leading the sector’s latest initiatives. We’re proud to be a sponsor for this year’s event, focusing on “Pain Points + Pivots.” This year’s content will include an analysis of how the new U.S. administration has changed taxes, trade and regulations, and the impact each has had on our industry. Speakers will investigate the seismic shifts hitting retail and how the entire supply will have to adjust to meet the new consumer demands. Discussions will highlight the way in which innovation is changing the supply chain, including production, sustainability, transparency and retail transactions.

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Embrace the Digital Supply Chain: New McKinsey Survey is Apparel Industry’s Wake-Up Call

The apparel industry has been one of the hardest-hit sectors in retail the past few years. However, an important new research study from McKinsey & Co. provides clear direction on how to thrive in today’s tough business climate – embrace the digital supply chain. In its study, “Digitization: The Next Stop for the Apparel-Sourcing Caravan,” McKinsey surveyed 63 chief purchasing offices (CPOs) from leading apparel companies and found that digitization is a major priority despite its low maturity rate in the apparel sourcing industry. These results are no surprise to NGC, and they validate our vision of the digital supply chain as the key to business transformation. As the McKinsey study makes clear, apparel executives are laser-focused on change, and they’re looking to technology as the key enabler. McKinsey found that, “More than 80 percent of CPOs in our survey expect digitized end-to-end process management—including centralization of product-development and procurement processes in one cloud-based system. More than two-thirds of sourcing executives expect to have digitally enabled capacity planning in place, helping them to allocate production capacity more efficiently and spot bottlenecks earlier. A similar number expect to have digital portals up and running to foster transparency and collaboration both with external suppliers and internal colleagues.”

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Good Manufacturing Practices Yield Good Quality

As we highlighted in our recent white paper, “Managing Your Global Vendors – The Three Pillars of Success,” Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are critical to successfully evaluating your global vendors. Equally important, GMP is also essential to produce high quality products. In short, good quality starts with Good Manufacturing Practices. Without GMP in place, quality problems will multiply quickly. There are multiple departments in a factory that are involved in high quality production. Skilled personnel, well-maintained equipment, process control and risk management are critical to GMP. When evaluating vendors, factory evaluators should assess:

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The Top 6 Must Haves in a Solution for Compliance Executives

Vendor Compliance is key to mitigating risks to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and ensuring Good Manufacturing Practices in today’s socially connected world. The right technology can help compliance executives enforce control and accountability for all suppliers, vendors, and other third parties involved in the design, manufacturing and delivery of product. This helps businesses ensure compliance, avoid costly litigation, reduce downstream risks and costs of non-compliance, and win market share by building and maintaining a positive public image.

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How to benefit from three different types of Quality Inspections

We’ve established that poor quality can be detrimental to your bottom line and supply chain visibility is key to managing quality control. Performing inspections during the production cycle prevents poor quality products leaving the factory. Auditors should catch and address quality issues before they damage a brand or retailer’s bottom line or reputation. There are three primary types of quality inspections: pre-production, in-line, and final. There are a variety of details that must be inspected and approved during each phase in order to detect and correct quality problems.

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7 Strategies to Accelerate the Digital Supply Chain

With traditional fashion retailers and department stores struggling to stay open, it’s more important than ever for companies to innovate by using data to transform their supply chain model. However, it’s not enough to simply have access to data. Companies must “plan their reaction” to experience growth in the retail industry.

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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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Congratulations to Our 2017 Apparel “Top 50” Customers

Apparel Magazine has released the 2017 “Top 50” publicly traded apparel companies who have demonstrated that they are “working diligently to meet customer demand with innovative product, fast delivery and seamless experiences across channels, while facing down the challenges of a swiftly changing retail world.” We’re honored to announce that six NGC Software customers are featured in this year’s list.

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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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