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Textile Company, Unifi, Inc., Teams Up With Professional Sports Franchises to Spread Environmentally Responsible Message

Collaboration includes in-stadium activations and launch of once-in-a-lifetime sweepstakes series

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Feb. 15, 2017 –  Unifi, Inc. (NYSE:UFI), makers of REPREVE®, the leading recycled fiber brand made from plastic bottles, announces its collaboration with seven professional sports teams, including those from the NBA and NHL. The collaboration involves engaging crowds in messages aimed at environmental responsibility, as well as the launch of the REPREVE Ultimate Sports Fan Experience, a sweepstakes series consisting of once-in-a-lifetime experiences with multiple franchises, including the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils. As part of the sweepstakes, lucky winners will receive a variety of unique prizes including on-court/ice passes, VIP tickets, pre-game bench access, locker room tours, autographed team goods and player meet-and-greets. In addition, each stadium will be enveloped in recycling messaging, showing fans that REPREVE makes it easy for them to be a catalyst for positive environmental change.

The REPREVE Ultimate Sports Fan Experience is part of Unifi’s national REPREVE #TurnItGreen mobile tour, in which the Company travels the nation with a custom-designed, interactive trailer to educate the public about the importance of recycling and showcase the high-quality REPREVE-based products that can be made when fans recycle their water bottles. The tour makes stops at sports stadiums and live music festivals across the country to raise awareness about how individuals can help make the earth a healthier place by choosing products made with recycled materials like REPREVE. Unifi’s REPREVE fiber is used by many well-known brands across auto, home and apparel industries, including Ford, The North Face, Volcom, Fossil and Pottery Barn. 

“Only 32 percent of plastic bottles are recycled in the United States, which is a statistic Unifi is working diligently to change,” said Jay Hertwig, vice president of global brand sales, marketing and product development for Unifi. “Through the REPREVE Ultimate Sports Fan Experience and the #TurnItGreen tour, we aim to rally people’s passion for sports, and help spread that passion toward taking better care of our environment. Because so many performance sports brands use REPREVE in their products, it’s a great opportunity to connect fans with environmentally responsible practices and top-quality merchandise, as well as show them that they can make a positive impact on our environment just from buying recycled products.”

Each of the sweepstakes entry periods will last for one month; the first started Feb. 13 with the Portland Trail Blazers, and closes on March 12. Fans can view the entire series and enter their favorite team’s sweepstakes by visiting www.REPREVE.com

For more information about REPREVE, visit the REPREVE Facebook page www.facebook.com/REPREVE.       

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Modaris® 3D galvanizes the development of collections for Cache Cache

Lectra’s 3D prototyping solution ensures product development is faster and less costly for the international women’s brand

Paris, February 14, 2017 – Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials, equips women’s brand Cache Cache (Beaumanoir group) with Modaris® 3D to ramp up product development and facilitate exchanges between sub-contractors.

A Lectra customer for over 15 years, French family group Beaumanoir, founded in 1981, is a specialist in fashion distribution. Cache Cache, the group’s early brand, is a market leader in French and international prêt-à-porter with over 1, 590 sales points across the world, including more than 500 located in France. Present in 21 countries, Cache Cache continues to expand in Europe and Asia, including the recent opening of its 1 000th shop in China. In parallel, the brand is forging ahead with e-commerce. The group’s brands—Bonobo, Cache Cache, Morgan, Bréal and Scottage—are accessible and in tune with young, modern and audacious women. TheBeaumanoir group employs over 14, 300 collaborators across the world, and in 2015 posted a turnover of €1.4 billion.

The Cache Cache brand, which was already using the expert version of Modaris—Lectra’s flagship solution for product development in the fashion industry—has acquired the 3D version for its design offices located at the group’s head office in St.Malo, France, and for Shanghai, China.

“Our design office in St.Malo is responsible for creating and developing products,” explains Camille Dupont, Director for Offer, at Cache Cache. “We are leveraging Modaris 3D to react rapidly to evolving demand. With this solution, our stylists and product managers can easily make choices, organized around the same screen, based on prototypes developed in 3D. The decision-making process starts as early as possible and is much quicker.”


Cache Cache initially rolled out Modaris 3D for dresses, before extending the solution across all of its collections. Their decision was driven by the reduction in the number of prototypes possible.

“Cache Cache sub-contracts manufacturing to a vast network of suppliers,” comments Karen Elalouf, Managing Director, Lectra France. “By replacing a portion of the physical prototypes with virtual prototypes, Lectra’s 3D technology will simplify the exchanges between the design office and sub-contractors, generating many advantages including—saving time, savings on materials, and reducing stocks.”

“Highly responsive, Cache Cache is permanently adapting to developments in fashion across its many markets,” underlined Jeanine Guillaume, head of the technical division at Cache Cache. “3D is the right choice for our brand. By advancing more quickly at the product development stage, our teams will have more time to dedicate to new creative ideas. In addition, we will achieve considerable all-round savings thanks to improved exchanges between our suppliers.”

A&E Launches Innovative Reflective Industrial Sewing Thread

MOUNT HOLLY, NC (February 07, 2017) - American & Efird (A&E), a global leader in industrial sewing thread manufacturing, today announced the official launch of a new product in reflective innovation, Anefil™ Reflector. Anefil™ Reflector is a reflective, specialty industrial sewing thread used in coverstitch and overedge applications for use primarily in activewear, workwear, safety apparel, swimwear, denim, footwear and other reflective markets. 

"A&E's spirit of innovation continues with this new reflective product, Anefil™ Reflector," said Mark Hatton, Vice President Americas. "Offered in a Tex 120 size, Anefil™ Reflector adds another layer of functionality in sewing that has traditionally been dominated by reflective tape. This product is a versatile, decorative sewing thread and a valuable addition to the reflective market." 

Through A&E's combined global network, A&E products are manufactured in 23 countries around the world and sold in over 100 countries, allowing global customers to quickly source high quality, color-specific materials wherever their production facilities are located. 

For more information, please contact Mark Hatton at mark.hatton@amefird.com or 704.951.2516. 

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Unifi, Inc., Brings Home Gold at World Textile Awards

Unifi logoGREENSBORO, N.C. – Feb. 6, 2017 – World Textile Awards announced Unifi, Inc., (NYSE:UFI) as its 2016 Fiber Producer of the Year, highlighting the Company’s outstanding product lineup. Unifi is a leader in producing high-quality recycled fiber and other Premium Value-Added (PVA) technologies; the Company provides innovative, global textile solutions and unique branded yarns for customers at every level of the supply chain. Through its research and product development team, Unifi works with customers to develop products that meet the demands of their consumers.

“We’re proud to be recognized as a leader in the textile industry,” said Tom Caudle, president of Unifi. “Through our dedication to developing innovative products that combine environmental responsibility, style and performance, we continue to accommodate the trends of our ever-changing field.”

World Textile Awards is comprised of a combination of textile professionals and individuals with award competition experience. It is the first independent global awards competition dedicated to recognizing and rewarding excellence across the entire textile industry; its mission is to provide a global platform for outstanding textile companies to share their successes and promote their expertise at all levels of the industry.

To learn more about Unifi, visit www.Unifi.com 

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Point Blank Enterprises Selects PA Group USA as Microsoft Dynamics AX Implementation Partner

PA Group logoFebruary 6, 2017 (CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.) – PA Group USA, a Gold Certified Partner for Microsoft Dynamics, has partnered with Point Blank Enterprises to implement the Dynamics AX Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. The coming deployment will focus on providing Point Blank Enterprises with a modern, unified ERP platform that will provide powerful business intelligence and efficiency for years to come.
PA Group's deep expertise in apparel and textile manufacturing made them the right choice to implement Microsoft's premier ERP at Point Blank. The knowledge of apparel and textile manufacturing processes and machinery is an important differentiator between PA Group and other Dynamics AX partners.
PA Group has completed global projects implementing apparel and textile ERP and Manufacturing mExecution Systems (MES), including machine monitoring systems and product lifecycle management (PLM) software. PA Group’s MES software is currently in use at major manufacturing organizations such as Kordsa, TenCate Protective Fabrics, and International Textile Group (ITG).
PA Group USA is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee and serves customers throughout North America.

Lectra appoints Jérôme Viala Executive Vice President for the Group

Jérôme VialaParis, February 2, 2017 – Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jérôme Viala, Chief Financial Officer to the role of Executive Vice President for the Group. As a result, Jérôme Viala has been number two on Lectra’s Executive Committee since January 1, 2017.

“Lectra will soon announce a new strategic roadmap, revealing the Group’s ambitions for the 2017-2019 period and beyond. I felt it was very important to involve Jérôme even more in our new industrial adventure,“ stated Daniel Harari, CEO, Lectra. “Jerome and I have worked together for 26 years. During these years, I have appreciated his rigor, his ability to make decisions and stand by them, and his many human qualities.”

Since becoming CFO of Lectra in 1994, and member of the Executive Committee since its creation in 2005, Jérôme Viala, 55 years old, has progressively taken on more responsibilities within the Group. He is now in charge of coordinating the industrial, customer care, consumables and parts, and international human resources’ activities. In parallel, over the last few years Jérôme has become increasingly involved in developing Lectra’s international operations, including the opening of Lectra’s subsidiaries in South Korea and Vietnam.

“Lectra’s upcoming strategic cycle, to be presented on February 9, will be exciting due to the highly innovative way it creates value for our customers, and for the Group,” underlines Jérôme Viala. “I am thrilled about the opportunity to support the implementation of our new roadmap in its many aspects.”

Jérôme Viala, a graduate of the ESC Bordeaux (KEDGE Business School, France), began his career as a credit analyst at Esso (France). He joined the finance department of Lectra in 1985, then successively held different financial positions in the Group before becoming Chief Financial Officer in 1994.

CGS Completes Banner Year for BlueCherry® Customer Wins

New York, NY – January 31, 2017 – CGS, a global provider of business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services, today announced that our BlueCherry® Enterprise Suite saw significant growth in companies selecting and implementing its solution in 2016. The company added more than 25 brands with thousands of end users globally to its fashion apparel, footwear and consumer lifestyle products community. The CGS team of experts and its BlueCherry suite are supporting brands that are manufactured or sold throughout various countries on nearly every continent, throughout the world.

In just the last year, such coveted fashion brand names as The Aldo Group, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Etienne Aigner, Hansae, American made Holdings, Feathered Friends, Bill Levkoff and Star Garments chose BlueCherry Enterprise Suite for its proven solutions, including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Shop Floor Control, B2B eCommerce and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

Recognized among top fashion organizations for excellent support, a robust user community, and a fully integrated end-to-end solution, BlueCherry provides its customers seamless supply chain operations, including design, sourcing, planning, manufacturing and logistics.

“With our extensive experience, CGS understands the unique needs of fashion, apparel, footwear and consumer lifestyle products brands, and the market trends that affect their businesses,” said Paul Magel, president, Business Applications and Technology Outsourcing division, CGS. “We are excited to welcome so many prominent brands to the BlueCherry community, helping them gain real-time enterprise-wide visibility and actionable intelligence. This in turn, will improve strategic decision making, help them become more agile and streamline the delivery of products from concept to consumer through various sales channels.”

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Coville Invites Industry Support For Alamac Victims Of Hurricane Matthew

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — December 20, 2016 — In lieu of its traditional annual gifts to customers and suppliers, Coville Inc. has donated $10,000 to assist in the recovery of Hurricane Matthew victims at Alamac American Knits. While the Alamac plant in Lumberton, N.C., was not damaged, the families of 10 employees lost everything in the surrounding floods.

“Many of our textile industry friends and colleagues were among those affected by Hurricane Matthew,” explained Coville President Don Trexler. “During this holiday season, our thoughts and prayers are with those families that were displaced by the extraordinary flooding. We invite all textile and sewn products companies and professionals to join us in donating to honor Alamac and their families.”

All donations can be made through the GoFundMe account “Alamac Cares,” which was established by Jay Humphrey on behalf of Robert S. Hester with the goal of raising $100,000 to assist in the recovery. According to the fund page, 100-percent of donations received will be distributed to the Alamac employees and their families who have been displaced by the storm.

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Superior Uniform Group has the look of success and wears it well

SEMINOLE — Tucked away down an unassuming entryway off Seminole Boulevard, shielded by other roadside businesses, is the headquarters for Superior Uniform Group.

You may not have heard of the 96-year-old company, but chances are you come in contact with people wearing its apparel every day.

"Sometimes when going home, I look on either side of the road and see our clients everywhere," Michael Benstock, Superior Uniform Group's CEO since 2003, said recently during an interview at his office.

More than 5 million employees in the United States wear Superior's uniforms every day in sectors like health care, retail, transportation, private security and food service. Superior's portfolio of impressive Fortune 500 clients include household names like Walmart, Lowe's, Waffle House, CVS, Walgreens, Disney, Sonic and many more.

The company was founded in 1920 by Benstock's Lithuanian great-grandmother in Long Island, N.Y., with his grandfather building and expanding the business. It went public with an IPO in 1968, relocated to Pinellas County in 1978 and switched from the American Stock Exchange to the Nasdaq in 2008.

From 2011 through 2015, the company experienced 17 percent growth, practically doubling its net sales from $112.4 million to $210.3 million, and is expected to top out at roughly $250 million for 2016.

Superior has diversified, too, stepping into other industries like the production of promotional products, staffing remote call centers, distribution and program management, and now has manufacturing facilities in Central America, the Horn of Africa, and south and east Asia. Superior posted net income of $13.1 million, or 90 cents a share, in 2015, compared to net income of $11.3 million, or 82 cents a share, a year earlier.

With accolades, awards and prestigious annual rankings to its credit, Superior Uniform Group was named to Fortune magazine's list of the 100 fastest-growing companies in the world in September, coming in at No. 24.

How did it get there? Much of it can be credited to the growth under Benstock's leadership.

You have to be laser-focused on projecting where you want to be and tuning out some of the day-to-day noise,"You have to be laser-focused on projecting where you want to be and tuning out some of the day-to-day noise," Benstock, 61, said. "We manage our business long term, and you've got to have great people. I'll take fire in the belly over a college degree any time."

Benstock's style and background go against the grain of what most people think makes up a typical executive profile.

Although he finished high school at 16 and attended Cornell, Lehigh and Tel Aviv universities, he readily admits he never graduated from college, instead winding up in Israel, where he said he became a citizen and joined the Israeli Defense Forces, serving from 1974 to 1979 as a member of its underwater demolition teams.

He's up at 4 a.m., out of the gym by 5:30 and the last out of the office, he said.

Keeping his 1,200 employees happy starts by being engaged, he said.

"Everybody wants to know that what we're doing is interesting, but they also want to know if there's something else available that's more interesting and pays better," he said. "Business is not about standing still and still succeeding. You've got to satisfy shareholders, so you've got to grow."

Negotiating deals and buying companies are challenges that appeal to Benstock — not for the vanity and ego, but for the simple reason that most of what is earned is typically poured back into the company, he said, which makes it stronger.

And he doesn't mind letting people know Superior Uniform Group is well organized.

"There's not another publicly traded company in Florida that has as solid of a balance sheet than we have," he said.

The company has an ambitious long-term objective of exceeding organic net sales growth at a rate of 6 percent per year, he said. With the number of acquisitions Superior has been undertaking, it's a realistic goal, Benstock said.

In March, Superior bought Los Angeles-based BAMKO Inc., a merchandising company with subsidiaries in Hong Kong, England, Brazil and China, and an affiliate in India, according to a statement Superior released at the time.

Benstock confirmed Superior bought BAMKO Inc. for $15.8 million in cash. As a part of the deal, the uniform company issued about $5.5 million in shares of its stock that will vest over five years. Further, Superior agreed to a possible payment in the future of up to $5.5 million in additional contingent consideration through 2021 and is assuming some of BAMKO's liabilities.

Before BAMKO, Superior acquired uniform maker HPI Direct in 2013 for $34.8 million in cash and stock, plus future payouts, Benstock said. He hinted at another acquisition on the horizon for Superior but wouldn't give a name.

According to Sanjiv Bhaskar, an analyst and vice president of research at Frost and Sullivan, the fact that Superior made the top 100 fastest growing companies in the world in Fortune is significant.

"Superior has their own manufacturing facilities around the world — that helps them have control over their design," Bhaskar said by telephone from San Antonio, Texas. "The good news for the uniform services industry is that there are plenty of smaller companies to gobble up. And they are a good acquisition company. They have the experience of acquiring and integrating those companies successfully, something they seem to have mastered, which is good for them."

Benstock suggested the company may have to think about expansion when asked how Superior keeps the good times going.

"Just keep doing what we're doing," he said. "It seems to be working so far. I've only got room for 80 more cars in the parking lot."

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Vietnam is the Latest Global Expansion for Unifi's REPREVE®

Greensboro, N.C. –Jan. 9, 2017 – Unifi, Inc. (UFI: NYSE) continues to expand its global footprint of REPREVE® recycled fiber by entering into Vietnam with support from Century Synthetic Fiber Corporation, now a licensed manufacturer of REPREVE. Century Corporation will manufacture, sell and distribute REPREVE filament yarn within Vietnam, and Unifi Textiles (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (UTSC) - Unifi’s subsidiary in China - will manage sales and distribution of REPREVE filament yarn exported from Vietnam. This collaboration will open distribution channels for REPREVE in a key apparel-producing region, helping to fulfill increasing demand and shorten lead times to the Company’s customer base.

Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Century Synthetic Fiber Corporation is one of the largest polyester yarn manufacturers in Vietnam. Century Corporation was established more than 15 years ago and continues to invest in its operations and expand capacity today.

“Vietnam has been a region of focus for brands and retailers over the past few years,” said Tom Caudle, president of Unifi, Inc. “The growth in the region cannot be ignored, with exports of approximately $27 billion of apparel and textiles in 2015, and expectations to grow to $30 billion in 2016. Within the past 18 months, we’ve grown distribution of REPREVE to include Turkey, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and now, Vietnam.”

Jay Hertwig, vice president of global brand sales, marketing and product development for Unifi, added, “This is a strategic position in growing the global supply chain for REPREVE and will allow us to expand into other Premium Value Added (PVA) products in the near future. A presence in Vietnam w

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Blog Post: Check My Calendar

"Check My Calendar and let me know when would be a good time to meet!!”

Written by Frances Harder, Founder/President of AAPN Member, Fashion Business Incorporated (FBI)

Recently this statement, or something similar is popping up in more than a few of my emails and quite frankly I find it to be supper annoying! Why am I expected to click through to someone’s calendar and search to find a time that would suit them to meet with me? In my view it is kind of an insult and I refuse to obey this new form of instruction! I wonder if anyone else finds this new age business etiquette to be an annoying, or is this just me? I have to admit that I am still preferring to use a hard copy calendar compared to using my IPhone calendar. Long term habits are hard to change. I like to see at a glance what is happening and when to plan to meet with people or schedule events. Maybe I will make a change soon as I have to admit that carrying my year book calendar around can be heavy and cumbersome, plus finding a spot in my over full hand bag is also a challenge.

“Check my calendar….” remark makes me feel a little like how I feel when people are late for a scheduled meeting with me. This is another of my pet peeves that often makes me think that those who are late think that their time is more valuable than mine. I realize that we can all get caught in traffic congestion especially in the LA area. However, I am one of those that is at the airport two hour prior to a domestic departure. I prefer to get there and then relax and get my Starbucks! It is the same with any scheduled appointment I have, I plan to be there earlier rather than turn up late.

Anyway, I digress from my blog topic of being asked to check someone’s calendar to find a good time for THEM to meet with me. I for one won’t be doing this so please don’t ask me to!! 

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GT Nexus president on shining a light into the supply chain By Phil Wainewright September 22, 2016

By Phil Wainewright September 22, 2016
GT Nexus president Kurt Cavano discusses how its network enables better supply chain visibility that helps enterprises manage costs and meet customer demands

Kurt Cavano, president, GT Nexus, an Infor company
Kurt Cavano, GT Nexus

Connected digital technology is lighting up real-time data all across the supply chain, making it possible to manage stock movements and customer deliveries in completely new ways. To take advantage of these new opportunities, enterprises must break through traditional functional silos and forge a more collaborative, flexible approach to supply chain management.

These are the headline takeaways from a wide-ranging conversation with GT Nexus president Kurt Cavano at this week’s Gartner Supply Chain Executive conference in London. In this, the first of a two-parter, we start by looking at the impact of visibility on supply chain efficiency.

Acquired by Infor last year, GT Nexus connects into the global supply chain across a network of shipping and freight companies, factories and logistics operators, to provide visibility into movement of goods. It can also automate payments to suppliers, with connections into payment processors and finance providers.

In a past life as a product manager, I can recall the days when you would arrange to ship a container of electronics from the factory in Taiwan, and for six to ten weeks, all you knew for sure was that it was somewhere on its way to you on the ocean. Today, geolocation and other tracking technologies mean you can always find out exactly where each item is in your supply chain.

When Korean shipping giant Hanjin filed for bankruptcy a few weeks ago, GT Nexus customers could instantly identify which of their shipments were potentially stranded as ports began refusing to dock Hanjin ships, says Cavano, which gave them a head start in planning contingency actions:

It’s that level of visibility in crazy times like right now that can make a huge difference for companies.

Predicting supply chain behavior
GT Nexus got started back in the late 1990s when its founders were inspired to think of using the cloud to collect information from shippers and freight companies around the world. That early start has meant it’s been able to build a network that connects to most of the world’s carriers and freight forwarders, along with tens of thousands of factories. It also has masses of data on past shipments that Infor’s data scientists can now start to mine. That is delivering insights that will help more accurately forecast estimated times of arrival (ETAs) and transit times, says Cavano:

We’re adding in machine learning and we can say, let’s do predictive ETAs. We know the boat is here, it’s supposed to be [further along]. Will they be able to catch up? As you get more and more of that data in there, you’ll be able to see.

It’s not even where the boat is that matters as much as what port is it going to go through, and within a port, what terminal is it going to go through. Why is that? Because we want to put the trucking leg on the back of it.

When’s this going to come out of the port and get on the truck? We have a four-hour window at the back of the warehouse for scheduling when that truck can arrive, and we want to get it there within that four-hour window.

We want to be able to predict that [ETA] when that boat is halfway across the ocean.

The data can also provide benchmarks that help enterprises compare different routes and transport alternatives — even see what the typical payment cycles are from country to country.

Supply chain visibility at Caterpillar
But even without delving into data science, many of the company’s existing customers have been able to make big improvements to supply chain performance simply by improving visibility, says Cavano. He cites the example of heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, where lack of visibility was leading to the creation of buffer stocks to build in safety margins across the supply chain (a phenomenon that’s all too common in the manufacturing supply chain):

There’s this extra inventory that’s kind of sloshing around the supply chain. With Caterpillar, when we turned the lights on to give them visibility of where all of the goods are in their supply chain, they were able to say, ‘Okay. We’ve got these buffers all over the place. Let’s reduce it.’

They were able to take $150 million of working capital out of their supply chain.

In some cases, Caterpillar chose to retain the buffer stock and reduce its transport costs instead. This brought a further $150 million in savings, says Cavano.

They realized that they had enough buffer in some areas where they could shift from air to ocean, or from truck to rail — start optimizing across all those modes and downshift to a cheaper transportation mode.

We have very similar examples in other companies where they’ve been able to take out either a big chunk in transportation spend or working capital or both, just by ‘turning on the lights’ in your supply chain and actually looking at the detail. Looking end-to-end, across all those silos, as if you all would cooperate together in the organization.

Collaboration in the supply chain
Visibility also helps with demand planning, which is a key issue for the large number of procure-to-pay customers GT Nexus has in the apparel and fashion industries. For example, a customer such as outdoor clothing brand Columbia Sportswear uses the platform to track its usage of raw materials such as Polartec fleece fabric. Having negotiated a price with the fabric suppliers based on its expected consumption for the whole season, it can then manage how its garment makers are drawing down the stock as it nears the end of the season, and have them ship direct to retailers from the factory, says Cavano.

That requires a tremendous amount of supply chain orchestration to be able to do that. You’re managing it down to that raw material, to the factory, all the way up to the finished goods.

The consumer gets it cheaper. Columbia’s got better margins. The factory’s got better margins. Everybody’s cooperating together.

Collaboration also extends to payment terms. While companies have traditionally delayed payment as long as possible, this can be counter-productive, says Cavano. Instead, established enterprises can use their own access to cheap money to negotiate early payment discounts from suppliers who would otherwise turn to expensive credit sources to fund their receivables backlog, as Cavano explains:

A big company that’s buying stuff from typically a lot of smaller factories, extending your terms with them is exactly the wrong thing to do. Those small factories have a really high cost of capital, in general. Big industrial companies, big brands, their access to capital right now is almost free.

If you’re paying your vendors slow and they have to pay a lot for capital, that cost of capital is going to work its way up into the cost of goods. It’s going to come back and hit you.

The trouble is, accounts payable teams are often incentivized on how long they can delay payment, so they miss the opportunity to negotiate better terms. It’s important to make sure people ask the right questions, says Cavano.

We often go into supply chains and have to say, ‘So why are you doing it that way?’ The typical answer is, ‘Because that’s the way we’ve always done it.’ It isn’t anybody meaning harm. It isn’t anybody trying to be malicious. It’s just, ‘That’s the way we’ve always done it.’ Well, here’s another way to think about it.


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Soundbites About Trends

Found these telling soundbites in an SJ article today:


“Retailers are extremely challenged right now. They are grappling with the impact of e-commerce, a pervasive promotional environment and high levels of inventory. This translated to a lower order volume for our business during the first six months of the year.”

“The retail environment continues to be very weak. In the first half of 2016 we have seen disruption to production markets, an uncertain trade policy environment and historically low freight rates.”

“Speed, innovation and digitalization of the supply chain will be at the heart of the new plan.”

WAY back in 1985, while I was with IBM, I was giving talks on the three great trends of the day. They were consolidation, globalization and computerization. Well, here we are some 30 plus years later and guess what, those words still apply.

I also like three words Chuy Canahuati of Elcatex favors to describe the opportunity today: differentiation, personalization and immediacy.

Whatever short list of words you tape by your desk is important. Using them to drive your company is mission critical. 

Mike

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Post yourself on our new Of Note ...

Yesterday, a member wrote me saying, "I have toured facilities all the way back to the raw materials that come out of Earth to understand the entire supply chain - Cotton fields in India, Cotton gins in Pakistan, Poly and Nylon extrusion and chip plants in Vietnam, Spinners in a dozen countries, Dye Houses, Knitters and Weavers in dozens more countries. I have eaten lunch in the employee canteen in all of them - 8 years on the road working in global raw materials sourcing at retail."

I found that to be REALLY good writing. So, now it is your turn to write us. We’re launching a brand new cloud-based database-driven website and one feature on the home page will be called OF NOTE……  It is reserved for whatever YOU want to say about your niche in the chain, your profession, career, experience, insights or views.
We’ll even add some of our broadcasts and YES I know - some of them you like and others of them you ask me to please deposit in my gusseted crotch pocket. It’s what happens when you write and put something ‘out there’.
Take a chance. Write something that raises our collective Apparel IQ. We’ll post it on…….OF NOTE.