Global Supply Chain Solutions for Retailers

Posted by Kelsey Barker on June 3, 2019

Retailers, let’s face it: your job is only becoming more challenging.

While consumers expect you to deliver higher-quality products faster and at lower prices, the cost and complexity of your supply chain is increasing. Between tariff and duty fluctuations, labor hikes in key sourcing countries, and continuing visibility issues, staying afloat in today's retail market requires fast-acting strategy and the support of a comprehensive global trade management solution. 

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Topics: Supplier Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Supplier & Product Traceability, Product Management

Why Does Product Testing Matter?

Posted by Kelsey Barker on August 1, 2018

As protectionism continues to rise across the world, the chance of having your goods stopped at the border increases as well. There are volumes of legal documentation and a corps of agents enforcing regulations in each country all over the word. These rules are in place for many reasons: protecting against terrorism, consumer safety, balancing trade, and generating revenue, to name a few. 

In particular, a lack of testing and certification that should occur well before the goods are shipped often leads to improper or incomplete documentation and can cause shipment delays.

Amber Road's eBook, Stopped at the Border: Why Product Testing Matters, explores how to combat border delays through rigorous product testing.

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Topics: Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management

Supply Chain Visibility Win: Quality is in the ‘Sole’ for this Footwear Company

Posted by Paris Riley on January 26, 2018

Manufacturing can be a risky business. In fact, Whirlpool is currently facing a possible product recall of up to one million dryers due to a defect. What if there was a way to improve quality control in product testing and reduce defect rates at the same time? One leading footwear manufacturer has been making shoes since the late 1800s, but struggled with an 8% product defect rate for years before implementing Amber Road.

Their high defect rate mainly stemmed from a lack of visibility into their supply chain and a disparate supplier base. Amber Road's supply chain collaboration platform enabled this major footwear manufacturer to improve quality and visibility in their supply chain, leading to a significant reduction of claims and defect rates and ultimately reduced risk.

Amber Road’s new Customer Value Summary, Quality is in the ‘Sole’ for this Footwear Company, details their triumphant fight against high defect rates and for greater supply chain agility.

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Topics: Supply Chain Visibility, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Quality Control Inspection

Product Testing Keeps Santa from Going Up In Flames

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on December 18, 2017

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…

I have everything in place for a wonderful morning of holiday gift-giving and memories to be made.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

So I settle down with a mug of warm cocoa, light the log in the fireplace, and unwind from the hustle and bustle of the holiday.   

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Topics: Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Quality Control Inspection

Plastic Lions, Tigers, and Bears - OH MY!

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on November 6, 2017

There’s a slew of new regulatory requirements on the horizon that will keep production and supply chain managers up at night on how to effectively manage them.

It isn’t often that government agencies reduce the burden on manufacturers, but during an October 18th meeting the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) altered the current ruling requiring third-party testing of seven plastics sometimes found in children’s toys and child care products. 

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Topics: Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management

Voluntary vs. Mandatory Product Safety

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on November 1, 2017

A few weeks ago, I attended a meeting in the DC area conducted by various organizations focused on product safety testing as a critical function of product commercialization and sale. A primary topic centered around the development and implementation of voluntary product testing standards. Regulatory standards exist, like the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), California Prop 65, EU REACH and CE programs, China GB and others. However, companies and organizations are working to build standards before they become a law, as a means of self-policing. 

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Topics: Product Testing

Technology Provides an Inside Track to Product Testing Concerns

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on September 18, 2017

Drawstrings that cause choking. Ingesting baby rattle contents. Fire-sparking cellphone batteries. Electric-shocking power adapters. Consumers beware! According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), recalls that should put consumers on high alert occur daily. It seems product recalls are now the norm on a wide range of products from cellphones to ATVs, high heels, children’s clothing, and more. 

In one week, the CPSC reported several recalls on its website: incorrect venting Nutrilife® hydrogen peroxide bottles cause fires or burns; melting hoses in Academy Sports + Outdoors pet crawfish kits; cracking rings on BRIO baby rattles cause choking; and tires blowing out on Polaris’ recreational off-highway vehicles cause crashes.

Recalls are a nuisance for consumers but have serious repercussions for a brand or manufacturer. They can cause brand blemish, unexpected operational burdens, and costly remediation. I recently met with a senior executive from Samsung and we discussed the impact on the organization’s transportation side from the Galaxy Note7 recall. He urged me to think about the return shipping process for over 2.5 million units. The published estimated cost for the entire product recall: $17 billion.

The complexity of today’s global supply chains only means an increasing vulnerability to unexpected supply disruptions, with more suppliers and contract manufacturers added into the supply chain.
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Topics: Product Testing

CPSC Doesn’t Toy Around with Safety

Posted by Gary M. Barraco on April 13, 2017

Most of us are familiar with the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) and the work they do to protect consumers. Recently we’ve heard a great deal about safety recalls for air bags, mobile phones and hover boards – all of these with life-threatening concerns for consumers.  As manufacturers and importers, it is your responsibility to ensure every product meets the most current standards for product testing; an often difficult task given the mounting additions to the current federal and state regulations.

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Topics: Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Quality Control Inspection

Sporting Goods Retailer Takes Safety and Product Testing to New Level

Posted by Joseph Gabro on April 5, 2017

In today's complex and dynamic regulatory environment, retailers must leverage technology and best practices to address costly product safety and compliance risks. Real time visibility and reporting are essential components in preventing disruptions throughout the entire product development lifecycle. However, what happens if your data becomes scattered and is not integrated into a primary supply chain management solution?

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Topics: Retail, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management

Webinar Recap: Vera Bradley Shares Its Amber Road Experience

Posted by Joseph Gabro on December 5, 2016

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, Supplier Management, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Production Management, Sample & Costing Management

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