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, Production Tracking, Material Order Visibility

Perfect Products Require a Perfect Order Management System

Posted by Joseph Gabro

In today's global trade landscape, retailers and manufacturers need to ensure their products reach their customers in a timely manner with little to no production delays. Automation and visibility is key - but how exactly can you enable a seamless process from design to delivery?

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Topics: Production Management, Material Order Visibility, Order Collaboration

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, Global Supply Chain, Production Management

Communication is Key: Material Management Just Got a Whole Lot Easier!

Posted by Joseph Gabro

In today's growing fashion industry, companies must meet their customers' demands as efficiently as possible while containing costs and reducing risk. But where should you start?

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Production Management, Material Order Visibility

Beating Stormy Weather: Supply Chain Resiliency

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

Hurricane season is upon the Western Hemisphere, and 2017 looks to be a record-breaking year. Before Hurricane Irma barreled through Florida, where businesses, government agencies and residents were braced for the deluge, it leveled small islands in the Caribbean with high winds, leaving chaos in its wake. A few states over, the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey may be receding but the price tag is rising to a multi-billion-dollar record. Unfortunately, ongoing disasters are not just attributable to hurricanes. In the western U.S. and Canada, wild fires continue to encroach upon civilization, spelling destruction for homes and businesses in their path. Mexico’s strongest earthquake in a century left dozens dead and buildings destroyed. 

The west isn’t alone in facing life-threatening weather conditions. Heavy monsoon rains paralyzed Mumbai, India's financial hub, flooding streets and disrupting land, air and road traffic. In the Pacific, Macau is suffering an economic loss of US$1.42 billion in the wake of Typhoon Hato, and the Hong Kong Observatory expects three more typhoons to sweep in over the coming weeks.

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Topics: Global Trade Management Software, Supplier Management, Transportation Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Production Management

Visibility and Collaboration: It’s Not Just for the Factory Anymore

Posted by Joseph Gabro

In today’s fast moving supply and demand environment, agility and tight collaboration with the extended network of partners is paramount for retailers and manufacturers looking to stay ahead of the competition.  However, when it comes to being agile, companies need to leverage a single platform that connects all of the parties and activities while also providing end-to-end visibility.  Often touted as the “magic pill” for supply chain ailments, control tower visibility can provide the advantage of foretelling where issues will cause the chain to break when suppliers and service providers are globally distributed and disparate.

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

Need for Speed: Becoming Faster Through Supply Chain Transformation

Posted by Joseph Gabro

Speed-to-market has become the top market pressure for retailers. There are a few companies in the apparel industry that are turning heads with their transformative process changes. What can other industries or CPG manufacturers learn from the “fast fashion” leaders like H&M, Uniqlo, and Zara who are able to go from concept to shelf in weeks?

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Topics: Production Management, Production Tracking, Material Order Visibility

Focus on Africa: The Dark Continent Brings New Light for Global Sourcing

Posted by Joseph Gabro

In recent years, the apparel and footwear industry has shifted its global sourcing away from China to other emerging markets due to increased labor, transportation, tariffs, and other supply chain costs.

Africa has emerged as a particularly attractive manufacturing option because of the preferential treatment granted under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for eligible countries.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Production Management

Social Compliance Concerns Amplified in 2017

Posted by Joseph Gabro

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: Supplier Management, Production Management, Shipment Preparation

Webinar Recap: Vera Bradley Shares Its Amber Road Experience

Posted by Joseph Gabro

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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