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

Posted by Joe 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 Joe 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

Why Multi-Tier Supplier Collaboration is Gaining Importance

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

It’s obvious to many that global trade enforcement is topping the list of “To Do” tasks for the new U.S. administration. However, many do not realize that this is widespread all around the world and feels a lot like a protectionist measures. President Trump is no longer just talking about aggressive action- his budget plans, formation of new task forces, and cabinet picks all echo his vow to crack down on unfair trade practices by prioritizing trade enforcement functions. In Europe, the 2017 elections could yield more of the same attitude.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Supplier Management, Production Tracking

Conflict Minerals Traceability Brushed Aside?

Posted by Gary M. Barraco

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, Supplier Management, Production Tracking

How to Unlock Value from Interconnecting Product Lifecycle Management and Supply Chain Teams

Posted by Colleen Bush

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, Supplier Management, Production Management, Production Tracking

Why Traceability Plays a Key Role in Social Compliance

Posted by Thomas Ng

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, Supplier Management, Risk and Quality Management, Production Tracking, Facility Compliance

Video Series Chapter 2: Supply Chain Collaboration Solutions

Posted by Ryan Gudovitz

Continued from Chapter 1: The Challenges of Global Trade

Companies that rely heavily on manually intensive processes struggle to get their products from concept to creation in an efficient manner. With multiple product lines and changing consumer demands, the sourcing and production phases within the product lifecycle require close collaboration between companies and their buyers and suppliers. A lack of communication can lead to bottlenecks and increased costs. It’s imperative for companies to find a way to effectively collaborate with their suppliers to ensure success.

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Production Management, Production Tracking, Product Management

Amber Road to Discuss Global Sourcing Trends at the FDRA Footwear Forum

Posted by Mollie Leon

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, Supplier Management, Production Tracking

The "-abilities" of Global Trade Management: Product Traceability

Posted by Joe Gabro

Product traceability has become a critical aspect of supply chains and global trade; with definitions that run the gamut depending on the industry or phase in the product lifecycle.  Product traceability may be both a regulatory and environmental issue.  Retailers want to ensure they provide their customers with as much supply chain visibility into sourcing operations, including where their products are manufactured and if those factories maintain safe working conditions, pay workers a fair wage, and use methods that do not damage the environment. Likewise, product testing laws continue to increase in complexity. Traceability is a requirement for many import and export controls, as demonstrated by these regulations:

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Topics: Global Sourcing, Product Testing, Risk and Quality Management, Production Tracking, Quality Control Inspection