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

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

Webinar Q&A: Dick's Sporting Goods Goes to the Source

Posted by Kelsey Barker on Fri, Sep, 2 2016 @ 10:00 AM

During our webinar with SupplyChainBrain last month, Ryan Miller of Dick's Sporting Goods discussed how the company has adopted new technology to automate and simplify the supplier relationship management process, making it easy for sourcing executives to make quick, informed decisions about their suppliers. Several viewers asked questions during the webinar, and while our speakers were unable to answer them all live, Ryan Miller and Gary Barraco have answered the additional questions here.

Q: Does your implementation of Amber Road integrate with other systems?

Ryan:  Yes, absolutely.  We are integrated today with Flex PLM from PTC.  That’s our main development system where we are doing all our tech packs, and that’s where our product information starts.  Amber Road comes at the beginning.  So as we are onboarding a vendor, all that vendor data is fed from Amber Road into PTC.  And then later on after development is through, we feed the data back from PTC back over to Amber Road for product testing and materials testing.  It’s one continuous back and forth integration.

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Topics: Retail, Apparel, Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Supplier Compliance Questionnaires

Amber Road to Discuss Global Sourcing Trends at the FDRA Footwear Forum

Posted by Mollie Leon on Wed, Aug, 3 2016 @ 8:48 AM

International retailers must keep pace with the changing dynamics in global sourcing so they remain agile, automated and aggressive in the marketplace. In fact, speed to market is the top concern for 58% of footwear brands and manufacturers. 

This month, Gary Barraco, Director of Global Product Marketing, will speak at the FDRA Footwear Forum in Portland, OR on August 18th. This forum will bring together the industry’s top footwear executives and distribution specialists in a one day workshop providing important information and updates on footwear customs, sourcing and compliance, product safety, and other issues.

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Topics: Retail, Supplier Management, Production Tracking

Webinar: Dick’s Sporting Goods Goes to the Source

Posted by Kelsey Barker on Mon, Jul, 11 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Organizations that successfully align with their key suppliers enjoy reduced risk factors and improved innovation, quality, reliability, supplier visibility, and cost 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 supplier relationship management 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, Supplier Solicitation Campaigns, Production Management, Product Management

[On-Demand Webinar] Strengthening Retail Supply Chains – Supplier Management

Posted by Ryan Gudovitz on Fri, Jul, 8 2016 @ 12:03 PM

This year, US retailers have been on a roller coaster ride of economic volatility. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released in May, imports of goods from February to March decreased by $7.9 billion. As a result, many brick-and-mortar stores closed due to cautionary consumer spending on goods such as toys, games, sporting goods, textile apparel and household items.

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Topics: Retail, Supplier Management, Global Trade Management, Global Supply Chain

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, Supply Chain Risk Management, Risk and Quality Management, Production Management

Connect the Supply Chain Dots: Collaborate from Design to Delivery

Posted by Kelsey Barker on Fri, May, 13 2016 @ 3:16 PM

What are your supply chain partners doing right now? What will they be up to six months from now? On the other hand, do your partners know what you’re doing right now?

Today’s global supply chains face pressures on all fronts: numerous trading partners add to the existing challenges of longer lead times, fluctuating trade regulations, and international logistics.

That makes internal communication, collaboration, and centralized data absolutely critical.

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Topics: Supplier Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Events, Global Supply Chain

Heightened Supply Chain Security in the Shadow of Risk

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on Mon, Apr, 25 2016 @ 4:02 PM

Global supply chains are growing in complexity, yet remain vulnerable to myriad dangers damaging to both people and businesses. Supply chain disruptions, delays and loss of goods are costly global problems. The supply chain must be protected against those disruptions by establishing processes like counter-terrorism evaluations, identifying the most critical elements of the supply chain system, and bolstering resilience so the supply chain can recover quickly from any disruptions. 

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Topics: Supplier Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Supply Chain Risk Management, Risk and Quality Management

Driving Apparel and Footwear Innovation: Top 5 Takeaways from the AAFA Sourcing Conference

Posted by Kelsey Barker on Thu, Apr, 21 2016 @ 6:11 PM

This year’s Sourcing, Customs and Logistics Conference, hosted in New Orleans by the American Apparel and Footwear Association, was all about innovation – so go ahead and add “innovate” to your to-do list. But what does that mean, exactly? How do you ensure that a multi-national organization outwits, out-produces, and outsells nimble newcomers to the apparel and footwear marketplace?

Luckily, a fantastic lineup of retailers, wholesalers, shippers, service providers and brands shared their strategies for driving innovation, especially in the areas of product development, sourcing, logistics and trade compliance. Here are our top 5 takeaways:

1. Be a master of supply chain, not retail

Take UNIQLO for example. They have mastered the supply chain, with limited, well-researched SKUs, quick time-to-market, and almost no duties – and have seen double-digit growth. Rick Helfenbein, CEO of AAFA, stressed that the “how” outweighs the “what.” 62% of all logistics cost is transportation, a number that only grows with increasing East Coast demand for Asian goods. Also remember that productivity rates matter more than outright cost – while Bangalore suppliers may be cheaper per item than China’s, for example, they may not match in efficiency and output.

2. Be a sourcing pioneer

Asia isn’t the only place to source goods. Africa is one of the world’s biggest untapped resources. By 2035, the working-age population in the region is expected to be as large as China’s is today – more than 900 million people.  While it’s caught the attention of the apparel industry, the continent presents numerous challenges. For example, the area has vast water resources, but lacks the infrastructure to store it. Security in the region also poses a huge threat, as ISIS, Boko Haram, and Somalian pirates add significant risk to many ports.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Import Compliance, Supply Chain Risk Management, Product, Production Management