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

Why Multi-Tier Supplier Collaboration Is More Important Now

Posted by Kelsey Barker

Real-time visibility into your global suppliers is no longer a pipe dream. Market leaders in every industry segment have visibility not just into their important tier 1 suppliers, but also a limited cross-section of their tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers as well. Enterprise-class technology solutions that offer flexibility and visibility at every step are a required part of every agile company’s playbook to stay ahead of the game in 2017 and beyond.

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

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

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

Posted by Joe 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

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

Social Compliance Concerns Amplified in 2017

Posted by Joe 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

Dialing Into the Supplier Network

Posted by Nick Fabretti

Expanding supplier bases and stretching out supply chains have increased the pressure to roll-out a supply network with leading supplier management and global sourcing tools.

This is critical for product innovation, product quality management, facility compliance, and reduced order cycles and cost – with just a single global transaction. In short, automate all the way upstream to the source.

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Topics: Supplier Management

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, Supplier Management, Supply Chain Visibility, Free Trade Agreements, Global Supply Chain, Trade Compliance

Webinar Recap: Vera Bradley Shares Its Amber Road Experience

Posted by Joe 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

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