Beating Stormy Weather: Supply Chain Resiliency

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on Fri, Sep, 15 2017 @ 2:00 PM

Hurricane season is upon the Western Hemisphere, and 2017 looks to be a record-breaking year. Before Hurricane Irma barreled through Florida, where businesses, government agencies and residents were braced for the deluge, it leveled small islands in the Caribbean with high winds, leaving chaos in its wake. A few states over, the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey may be receding but the price tag is rising to a multi-billion-dollar record. Unfortunately, ongoing disasters are not just attributable to hurricanes. In the western U.S. and Canada, wild fires continue to encroach upon civilization, spelling destruction for homes and businesses in their path. Mexico’s strongest earthquake in a century left dozens dead and buildings destroyed. 

The west isn’t alone in facing life-threatening weather conditions. Heavy monsoon rains paralyzed Mumbai, India's financial hub, flooding streets and disrupting land, air and road traffic. In the Pacific, Macau is suffering an economic loss of US$1.42 billion in the wake of Typhoon Hato, and the Hong Kong Observatory expects three more typhoons to sweep in over the coming weeks.

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Topics: Global Trade Management Software, Supplier Management, Transportation Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Production Management

Visibility and Collaboration: It’s Not Just for the Factory Anymore

Posted by Joe Gabro on Thu, Sep, 7 2017 @ 10:15 AM

In today’s fast moving supply and demand environment, agility and tight collaboration with the extended network of partners is paramount for retailers and manufacturers looking to stay ahead of the competition.  However, when it comes to being agile, companies need to leverage a single platform that connects all of the parties and activities while also providing end-to-end visibility.  Often touted as the “magic pill” for supply chain ailments, control tower visibility can provide the advantage of foretelling where issues will cause the chain to break when suppliers and service providers are globally distributed and disparate.

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Topics: Production Management, Production Tracking, Material Order Visibility, Order Collaboration

Need for Speed: Becoming Faster Through Supply Chain Transformation

Posted by Joe Gabro on Thu, Jul, 6 2017 @ 10:15 AM

Speed-to-market has become the top market pressure for retailers. There are a few companies in the apparel industry that are turning heads with their transformative process changes. What can other industries or CPG manufacturers learn from the “fast fashion” leaders like H&M, Uniqlo, and Zara who are able to go from concept to shelf in weeks?

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Topics: Production Management, Production Tracking, Material Order Visibility

Focus on Africa: The Dark Continent Brings New Light for Global Sourcing

Posted by Joe Gabro on Mon, Mar, 13 2017 @ 8:50 AM

In recent years, the apparel and footwear industry has shifted its global sourcing away from China to other emerging markets due to increased labor, transportation, tariffs, and other supply chain costs.

Africa has emerged as a particularly attractive manufacturing option because of the preferential treatment granted under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for eligible countries.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Production Management

Social Compliance Concerns Amplified in 2017

Posted by Joe Gabro on Thu, Feb, 2 2017 @ 10:00 AM

There is a lot to be worried about in 2017 for those companies reliant on global trade. You are encountering the anticipated shifts in worldwide trade policies stemming from a series of governmental changes (such as the U.S. election), last year’s trade volumes and retail sales hitting bottom, transportation and logistics companies running aground, brick and mortar stores turning out the lights for good, and everyone being asked to do less with more. 

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Topics: Supplier Management, Production Management, Shipment Preparation

Webinar Recap: Vera Bradley Shares Its Amber Road Experience

Posted by Joe Gabro on Mon, Dec, 5 2016 @ 9:42 AM

A few weeks ago, we held a lively webinar with Megan Coale from Vera Bradley and Cheryl Layne from our customer success team.  We talked about the implementation of Amber Road’s solutions used by the teams at Vera Bradley to produce their iconic products.  Vera Bradley is a manufacturer of stylish quilted cotton luggage, handbags and accessories. With small-town roots in Indiana, the brand has grown to $500 million in annual sales, serving customers all around the globe.  Known for its distinctive and colorful fabrics and trims, some of the core company values that originated at Vera Bradley’s birth 20 years ago still exist – high quality products, produced by suppliers in a timely fashion, and of course, those recognizable, trend-setting fabrics.  These are the expectations of customers today, and Vera Bradley has it in the bag.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Production Management, Sample & Costing Management

Testing Tinkertoys, Tonka Trucks, Teddy Bears, and Toy Chests: New ASTM Criteria Unifies Global Standards

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on Mon, Nov, 7 2016 @ 8:50 AM

Toy sales in the United States have shown robust growth figures in the last decade. Much of it is spurred by syndicated toy products from movies released to coincide with the Christmas season, drawing kids to add them to Santa’s list. According to The NPD Group, US toy sales increased 6.7 percent to $19.4 billion in 2015, topping the firm's estimate of 6.2 percent growth.

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Topics: Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Production Management, Quality Control Inspection

Quality is Stitched into the Supply Chain: A Vera Bradley Case Study

Posted by Colleen Bush on Mon, Oct, 31 2016 @ 2:46 PM

Vera Bradley is a leading designer of women's handbags, luggage and travel items, fashion and home accessories and unique gifts. Founded in 1982, the brand's innovative designs, iconic patterns and brilliant colors inspire and connect women unlike any other brand in the global marketplace. To ensure high quality products that continue to exceed customers' expectations, Vera Bradley leverages Amber Road’s Supply Chain Collaboration solutions.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Visibility, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Production Management, Sample & Costing Management

Forced Labor: Passé or Probable?

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on Fri, Oct, 21 2016 @ 9:30 AM

Ask any social compliance or corporate governance executive about forced or slave labor and the response is always the same: “It is unacceptable in my supply chain.”  Yet the reality is most supply chains lack the transparency to identify and take action against suppliers who violate this policy. Even with increased regulations and growing pressure from consumers and NGOs, industries struggle to maintain compliance

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Topics: Supplier Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Supplier Compliance Questionnaires, Global Supply Chain, Risk and Quality Management, Production Management

How to Unlock Value from Interconnecting Product Lifecycle Management and Supply Chain Teams

Posted by Colleen Bush on Thu, Oct, 13 2016 @ 1:19 PM

Despite the increasing number of unexpected supply chain vulnerabilities and disruptions, many companies are failing to address these challenges. With many brand organizations and retailers relying on outsourced manufacturing, these complexities have become more evident, and in many cases, hinder companies’ ability to build quality products quickly and deliver them to their consumer base efficiently. So how do you overcome these complexities? The answer lies in interconnecting product lifecycle management (PLM) and supply chain teams.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Production Management, Production Tracking