Improving Cost, Quality and Speed in the Fashion Industry: Part 3

Posted by Clarissa Willis on July 29, 2019

The only thing that is certain in the fashion industry, is change itself. Although the volatility and challenges plaguing the footwear and apparel industry may make the outlook look rather bleak, CEO’s that are able to embrace this as a catalyst for change will come out stronger and more resilient longer-term.

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Topics: Apparel, Global Sourcing, Global Trade Management, Sourcing Optimization

Rules of Origin Really Do Rule: How to Diversify Your Global Sourcing Portfolio

Posted by Paris Riley on July 23, 2019

Change is a constant when your sourcing practices have to ride the waves of global trade policy. In the face of rising tariff costs, consumer expectations for sustainability, environmental challenges, and international politics, many shippers are looking to change and diversify their global sourcing practices.

Parts and material sourcing is what determines the success of a final product, therefore it is incredibly important that any changes made to sourcing practices keep quality top of mind. Of course, that's not all there is to consider when diversifying your sources. It's easy to overlook something very important that can have a profound effect on the company's bottom line: inputs and their origin.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Duty Management, Free Trade Agreements

Meet Your Customers' Demand for Quality & Build Sustainable Innovation

Posted by Paris Riley on July 22, 2019

Sustainability is a huge buzzword these days. Everywhere, customers are holding brands to a higher level of accountability - especially in the fashion industry, with the rise of eco-friendly and socially responsible brands flooding the market. Consumers now expect for companies to consider not only the latest trends in fashion but the environment and the well-being of their employees throughout the supply chain. How does one keep corporate social responsibility top of mind while meeting demand for high quality products? The answer lies in automation.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Sourcing Optimization

Ethical Sourcing - The Business Imperative (and Advantage)

Posted by Clarissa Willis on July 15, 2019

Technology has made it possible to have almost all human knowledge at our fingertips, but this easy access to information has brought about the age of the informed consumer. More than ever before people are doing research on items before they make a purchase, taking everything into consideration. Product reviews, price, and quality are usually the focus. However, some consumers dig even deeper and ask about where and how a product was created, and how it will impact the environment after it is no longer useful. Goods that are produced by child or forced labor, are funding violent groups, or churn out massive amounts of pollution, are viewed negatively by consumers. This mindset at the dawn of the age of the informed consumer has no doubt been a driving factor in cultivating the demand for companies to focus more on their corporate social responsibility.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Sourcing Optimization, Product Management

Fashioning Better Supply Chains – The AAFA Annual Conference

Posted by Daniel Smith on May 15, 2019

Earlier this month, I joined representatives from dozens of footwear and apparel brands in Washington, D.C for a pulse-check on market trends and regulatory changes that affect the industry. The conference, hosted by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), provides a space every year for industry advocates to meet with people actually in the industry to discuss global trade and supply chain issues. Amber Road has been a sponsor of the event for many years, and this year in particular presented an opportunity for a lively discussion. Fittingly, the theme of the event was "Solutions to Challenging Times."

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Global Trade Management

Let’s Talk About Global Sourcing

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on April 23, 2019

When comparing today's retail environment with the past, it isn't surprising that the industry remains focused on improving visibility in the supply chain (again).  Anyone who reads the daily news realizes the greater complexity of our business. You've got fast fashion, global competition, changing demographics, seismic political shifts, demanding consumers, product innovation, and throw in an NGO or two pushing for ethical sourcing and sustainability (rightfully so). So many things are affecting apparel and footwear companies, many of which brands have very little control over.

There are things companies can have better control over: supply chain visibility for one.  Generally, visibility means that you know what's happening throughout the product life-cycle of your goods and where it's happening at any given time. Moreover, while there are different levels of visibility, I think what we want to discuss is full end-to-end visibility – I like to think of it as a transparent glass pipeline – that allows access to every piece of data on a given product at any given time. And it's essential beyond being called a "buzzword," because full visibility allows a company to deliver their products to their customers on-time and with the level of quality that people have come to expect.

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Topics: China Trade Management, Global Sourcing, Events, Supplier & Product Traceability

Globalization and Supply Chainmail

Posted by Daniel Smith on February 26, 2019

There was a time when the world was flat. The world had not yet been explored and global trade only accounted for a small portion of supply to most regions. Goods were mainly produced locally, or within a reasonable distance for them to be transported, at least before the 18th century. This was especially true for perishable goods.  Supply chains linked consumers and suppliers to what they needed—as long as it was close, or they had the resources to bring it from far away. And it used to be that this link was just physical—moving a product from source to consumption.

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Topics: Global Trade Management Software, Global Sourcing, Global Trade Management, Free Trade Agreements

Webinar: How Are Shippers Using Technology to Address Global Trade Woes?

Posted by Kelsey Barker on February 8, 2019

Global trade has never been as ubiquitous as it is today. Technology of all kinds – from transportation tech like containerization, cargo aircraft, and supermax vessels all the way to the digital global e-commerce marketplace – facilitates an unprecedented flow of products around the world. At the same time, tariff and sanction shifts have become the main enemy of the supply chain manager, who relies on consistency and certainty to plan and execute global trade.

Next week's webinar on February 14 seeks to answer the question: How can we leverage technology to overcome emerging and enduring global supply chain management risks? Amber Road and AAEI conducted a survey of supply chain professionals involved with global trade in order to gain a clearer picture of the primary challenges facing the community, and how their companies are using technology to address these challenges.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Global Trade Content, Global Trade Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Trade Agreement Identification, Free Trade Agreements, Global Supply Chain, Sourcing Optimization

Bang! Supply Chains Kick Off 2019 in the News

Posted by Veronika Clough on January 31, 2019

Supply chains are running at full steam in 2019 as some economies boom, while others take hits from obstacles to open commerce and trade. From protectionist trade policies to ever-increasing costs to product recall challenges, Amber Road’s subject-matter experts provide some revolutionary best practices in a range of industry publications to help companies keep the wheels of trade moving.

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Topics: Global Trade Management Software, Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Visibility, Free Trade Agreements, Global Supply Chain, Sourcing Optimization, Supplier & Product Traceability

Amber Road Customers Closing High Performance Gap with Digital

Posted by Veronika Clough on October 2, 2018

Despite store closures, sluggish sales, and demanding consumers, at least 50 of the most profitable  retailers still managed to keep growth going. Their success is in large part related to the technology they use to keep their supply chains running at optimal performance and beat the competition in a tough marketplace. Industry resource Apparel magazine has released its annual “Top 50 Report,” not just listing the most profitable US apparel companies, but shedding light onto how they came out swinging in 2018, despite the industry challenges they faced.

In order to hold a position on this list, retail companies need to exceed $100 million in sales, even though most reach into the billions. As publicly traded US companies, these organizations have demonstrated profit margin increases over the last year, grading them in order of these strides in revenue gains.

Amber Road is proud to congratulate 10 of the Top 50 companies who we also have the honor to serve as customers. These are the companies on this year’s Apparel Top 50 list that are customers leveraging Amber Road’s software solutions for supply chain collaboration and execution:
  • Tapestry (Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman)
  • Nike
  • Cintas
  • PVH
  • VF Corp
  • Chico’s
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Vera Bradley
  • TJX
  • L Brands

“Some of these notable names have been long-time customers. The year-over-year performance of these winners is impressive, and we believe software solutions do play a hand in their achievements,” said Cheryl Layne, Customer Success Director for Amber Road. “We have always maintained a customer base of growing apparel and footwear companies and we congratulation them for their hard work.”

When asked about challenges, Robert Wallstrom, CEO of Vera Bradley replied: “Over the last few years, retail has been going through a very disruptive cycle, and the industry has changed forever. Technology has revolutionized retail: the e-commerce channel has become the primary growth engine; marketing has transformed to a ‘digital-first’ strategy; the physical store has moved from a place of purchase to a place of brand experience; and artificial intelligence is becoming the core engine to drive change faster than anyone could have previously imagined.” You can read the entire Apparel article here.

It’s apparent these companies understand the business value of automating and optimizing their supply chain execution operations for greater visibility, agility and lowered risk, while reducing sourcing costs across the board. To do it right, organizations need to take a holistic, integrated approach that encompasses every phase in the lifecycle. Amber Road offers companies solutions across the entire supply chain. To learn more about today’s global trade management solutions, click on the download below from Aberdeen Group.

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Topics: Global Trade Management Software, Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Visibility, Order Collaboration

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