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

Why Traceability Plays a Key Role in Social Compliance

Posted by Thomas Ng on Tue, Oct, 11 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Today’s consumers expect accurate and detailed product information at the point of sale to ensure that apparel, footwear, food, and other products meet their social and ethical standards. As companies recognize this growing consumer demand, many are advancing their traceability efforts to provide consistent and complete sourcing, social, and ethical product background information.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Risk and Quality Management, Production Tracking, Facility Compliance

Improve Your Trade Compliance Training Program

Posted by Mollie Leon on Fri, Oct, 7 2016 @ 8:50 AM

Multinational companies are not investing in trade compliance training for their employees. Amber Road’s Global Trade Academy conducted a survey to better understand the trade compliance programs and training needs of companies.

Close to 70% of companies stated they had on-going compliance training for employees. Yet only 48% have an annual employee training budget. This discrepancy may be due to using internal resources instead of external training resources.

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Topics: Import Management, Export Management, Global Trade Management, Global Trade Academy, Risk and Quality Management

Upcoming Webinar: Is Your Cargo Secure?

Posted by Joe Gabro on Mon, Sep, 12 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Cargo theft and security remains top of mind for supply chain executives. Although violent thefts are falling, reports of “fictitious pickups” are growing rapidly.

Please join us for a complimentary Supply & Demand Chain Executive webinar entitled Cargo Theft & Security: The Current Risks, The Best Defense, broadcasting live on Wednesday, September 14 at 1:00 PM EDT.

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Topics: Risk and Quality Management, Facility Compliance, Quality Control Inspection

Video Series Chapter 3: Risk & Quality Management

Posted by Ryan Gudovitz on Wed, Sep, 7 2016 @ 1:35 PM

Continued from Chapter 2: Supply Chain Collaboration Solutions

A single supply chain disruption has the ability to negatively impact a company’s reputation. With global organizations operating in an environment of ever-changing regulatory constraints, brand manufacturers and retailers must take measures to help ensure accountability and full supply chain transparency.

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Topics: Global Trade Management Software, Global Trade Management, Risk and Quality Management

The "-abilities" of Global Trade Management: Product Traceability

Posted by Joe Gabro on Wed, Jun, 29 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Product traceability has become a critical aspect of supply chains and global trade; with definitions that run the gamut depending on the industry or phase in the product lifecycle.  Product traceability may be both a regulatory and environmental issue.  Retailers want to ensure they provide their customers with as much supply chain visibility into sourcing operations, including where their products are manufactured and if those factories maintain safe working conditions, pay workers a fair wage, and use methods that do not damage the environment. Likewise, product testing laws continue to increase in complexity. Traceability is a requirement for many import and export controls, as demonstrated by these regulations:

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

Going to the Source:  Supplier Relationship (Micro-) Management

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on Fri, Jun, 17 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Across the world, sourcing, supply chain, and global trade executives are under intense pressure to streamline their processes in order to stay ahead of the competition and keep their companies in the black. But let’s face it — it’s not easy in this environment: light-speed business, stringent compliance regulations, and consumer demand for more agility than a squirrel on a bird feeder.

Studies show the top organizations that have successfully aligned with their key suppliers have reduced risk factors and improved innovation, quality, reliability, and costs/price reductions. Both sides of the business can achieve greater value, which is difficult to achieve if operating independently.

Amber Road customer Dick’s Sporting Goods has adopted new technology to automate and simplify the SRM process, making it easy for sourcing executives to make quick, informed decisions about their suppliers.

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Topics: Retail, Apparel, Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Risk and Quality Management, Production Management

Will we see true reform from TSCA?

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on Wed, Jun, 15 2016 @ 2:00 PM

Last week, the US Congress passed the biggest chemical safety legislation since the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted 40 years ago to regulate the manufacture, import, and processing of chemicals. Now it awaits President Obama’s approval, considered a sure thing after the White House’s endorsement of the measure in May.  But will the passage of this bill really mean the US finally has a unified and comprehensive chemical safety program that works?

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Topics: Manufacturing, Global Trade Management, Import Compliance, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management