Conflict Minerals Traceability Brushed Aside?

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on Wed, Feb, 15 2017 @ 2:30 PM

Every year, millions of dollars are channeled to armed rebels and insurgents and the source of these funds comes from the trade of minerals that are used in consumer goods of every type. Now known as conflict minerals, tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (the 3TGs), are mined mostly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding nations. The eventual sale and use of minerals originating from these countries frequently helps finance the violence and prolong the illicit working economy where civilians endure harsh conditions of armed conflict and human rights abuses.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Vendor Management, Production Tracking

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: Global Sourcing, Vendor Management, Shipping Collaboration

Webinar Recap: Vera Bradley Shares Its Amber Road Experience

Posted by Gary M. Barraco 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, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Product Development, Vendor Management, Sample Management

Sole Searching for Answers to Trade Compliance, Customs and Supply Chain Snags

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on Thu, Oct, 27 2016 @ 10:21 AM

An unusual rainy start didn’t stop the lively discussions and informative sessions on trade issues, compliance challenges, and customs solutions at FDRA’s Footwear Trade and Distribution Conference (FTDC) last week in Huntington Beach. Nearly 200 of the industry’s top footwear executives, traffic and distribution specialists, customs experts, and service providers joined the longest running U.S. footwear conference on October 16-19. Companies on stage and in the audience included Caleres, Deer Stags, Amer Sports, KEEN, NIKE, Kohl’s, and others.

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Topics: Apparel, Global Sourcing, Import Management, Import Compliance, Vendor 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, Product Development, Vendor 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, Risk and Quality Management, Vendor Management, Production Tracking, Facility Compliance

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, Vendor Management, Production Tracking

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, Product Development, Vendor Management