Apparel is as Perishable as Avocados

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

Who knew? Avocados are one of the most complex products to ship internationally. They do not ripen on the tree, but once harvested they need to be handled with great care. Handlers delay the softening process by pre-cooling the fruit immediately after picking. Then during transportation, they need to be stored at optimal temperatures and shipped expeditiously so the cargo is at the desired stage of ripeness upon reaching destination. Who cares, though? Last year, the industry was buzzing about the first practical application of blockchain technology and avocados were the test product. Maersk, the global shipping giant, is expected to announce it is using IBM’s version of the blockchain to track the avocados, flowers, and machine parts it carries on its enormous cargo ships. The highly-sensitive, speed-critical product —  the avocado — was at the center of the Maersk/IBM blockchain initiative, and an example of how this technology can be used to share traceability data to benefit global supply chains.

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

Webinar: The 6 Global Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2018

Posted by Kelsey Barker

Are you ready for 2018? Global trade soared in 2017 across major economies around the world, raising hopes that the climate is ready to improve. And at the same time, the complexity of conducting global trade and complying effectively with numerous and growing regulatory and licensing requirements has also exploded.

As we flip the calendar to 2018, companies with global supply chains should keep their eyes and ears open for these primary concerns. Luckily, we'll explore these topics for you in our upcoming webinar, The 6 Global Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2018, this Thursday, January 11, at 2PM EST.

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Topics: Apparel, Retail, Global Trade Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Global Sourcing

Fast Isn’t the Only Factor in Product Lifecycle Management...

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

One of the biggest industry buzzwords over the past year has been “fast fashion,” as companies race each other to bring goods to market faster and faster. Originating in the fashion sphere, the concept has caught on like wildfire and spread to other industries. Companies are taking a closer look at their internal tools and procedures, seeking areas of the product lifecycle where time can be saved and speed-to-market accelerated.

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Topics: Apparel, Production Management, Global Supply Chain

Amber Road Transforms Fashion at PI Apparel

Posted by Julia Gorman

Consumers want speed - fashion brands need to deliver or fall behind. The need for speed trickles all the way down to product design. To stay in the game, brands need to fully transform their supply chains in order to streamline operations without sacrificing quality. From product life cycle management to supply chain visibility, brands have turned to technology to ensure flexibility, agility and visibility from conception to delivery.

Amber Road is excited to attend the 2017 Product Innovation Apparel Workshop in New York City from June 22 to 23. PI Apparel serves as a platform for technology and software providers to share the solutions that are disrupting the fashion, apparel and footwear industry.

Amber Road will kick off Day 2 of the conference with a Think Tank session: ‘Maintaining Raw Material Quality Standards During New Product Launches.’ Amber Road’s Cheryl Layne, Customer Success Champion, will lead the session alongside Vera Bradley’s Megan Coale, Business Solution Lead, at 8:30AM in the Seward Room (on the 3rd floor mezzanine).

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Topics: Apparel, Events

Santa Replaces Reindeer-Based Visibility System to Tackle Cross-Border elf-Commerce

Posted by Kelsey Barker

The original pioneer in cross-border elf-Commerce, North Pole Industries (NPI) has had to adapt with the times just like any other retailer. The key, Santa says, is investing in technology and making process changes in advance of the holiday season.

“We needed to brace ourselves against disrupters that could send our supply chain into a tailspin the night before Christmas,” says Santa, Chief Executive Elf of NPI.

To that end, NPI has worked to automate and track nearly all of its global trade operations with Amber Road’s Trade Automation solution suite. The first step was the most crucial in a deadline-based industry: automating NPI’s trade compliance processes to ensure that Santa’s sleigh doesn’t get caught up in Customs on its way to chimneys around the world. Amber Road’s Restricted Party Screening tool, backed up by its extensive Global Knowledge® database, guarantees that only good little girls and boys are on the approved toy recipients list.

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Topics: Retail, Apparel, Global Supply Chain, Supplier Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Trade Compliance, Free Trade Agreements

The Morning After-Shock: USFIA 28th Apparel Importers Trade and Transportation Conference

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

The world, our nation and especially the apparel industry was stymied by the results of the Presidential election, and now are starting to realize the changes that might come with the Trump Administration. But the opening speakers at the US Fashion Industry Association’s Annual Conference in New York City on November 9th, didn’t dwell on the negative. As a trade association, and body of people and organizations that represent the industry there was a lot of optimistic discussion and positive outlook. 

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Topics: Events, Apparel, Transportation Management

The Morning After: What the Future Holds for Trade Policy & the Global Fashion Industry

Posted by Nick Fabretti

Across the United States, most Americans are getting ready to cast their votes in one of the strangest elections in our country’s history.

With Election Day less than 2 weeks away, supply chain executives are beginning to analyze what the future will hold for trade policies, agreements and regulations. The largest piece of trade legislation, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is still in play, but importers and exporters are wondering not solely if, but how the result of the election will affect their supply chain operations.

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Topics: Events, Apparel, Transportation Management

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

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

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, Import Management, Import Compliance, Global Sourcing, Supplier Management

Amber Road to Discuss Product Classification at the AAFA Footwear Forum

Posted by Mollie Leon

Even the most innovative, perfectly constructed and tested, best priced product still needs to make its way into the country where it will be setting trends. Accurately classifying goods is essential to ensuring that cross-border trade runs smoothly. Tariff engineering and classification management, if done right, can also provide leverage for greater cost savings. 

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Topics: Apparel, Import Management, Export Management, Product Classification

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

Posted by Kelsey Barker

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

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