ELEVATE Vendor Seminar
October 10, 2018 - New York
Preparing for Vendor Ownership -
A Practical Guide to Achieving Competitive Advantage
ELEVATE launches its first major event targeted exclusively at vendors, agents and licensees to help you know your retailer customers, pursue your own responsible sourcing programs, and understand issues looming on the horizon.
Convening in New York City on October 10, 2018, the ELEVATE Vendor Seminar gives an up to date overview of Supplier Ownership initiatives and moves participants proactively through practical steps to plan and execute cost-effective programs.
We have created eight sessions to help vendors achieve competitive advantage in an increasingly volatile market:
A detailed agenda can be found here.
With the markets changing so rapidly, online retailing, new uncertainty with trade rules, pressure on factory liquidity, retailer bankruptcies and store closings, it’s a real challenge for retailers and their suppliers to stay aligned. Retailer supply chains are large and diverse, spread across many countries, and are often managed by small teams. This makes effective supplier management a real challenge. Add to this the ever-present threat of public naming and shaming and the increasing activism of institutional investors, being a retailer is not so easy. This session will explore the various challenges faced by your customers and how it shapes their approach to the supply chain.
Vendors do not always find it easy to determine what their retailer customer really wants. Vendors struggle with contrary customer demands for lower prices while pushing high-cost initiatives, wonder about investments in factory improvements while customers may aim to go direct, and question overall which requirements are most important for each customer. Vendors’ margins are being constantly squeezed and it is difficult to balance these investment decisions. In this session, we will explore how to decipher retailer social responsibility priorities and how best to position your company to respond to them.
No company, retailer, brand or vendor wants to grow headcount in this current environment. Yet, there is constant pressure to do a better job of managing social responsibility. Who’s supposed to do this? The quality team, a junior sourcing analyst? How can this best work and how should you structure it? Are there better approaches? ELEVATE will explore the topic with a number of key vendors who have faced the issue and then synthesized ideas into actionable budgets.
For the past two decades, retailers have driven manufacturers to improve wages, worker treatment, environmental regulation, and security, and these improvements have made life better for millions of employees across the globe. However, with rapid changes in the China textiles and light manufacturing sectors, and an increasingly challenging retail market demanding faster deliveries and smaller MOQs, retailers and brands are now being forced to improve purchasing practices in order to maintain a stable supply chain. In order to improve key purchasing practices such as planning and forecasting, design and product development, cost negotiation, sourcing, and production management, buyers now need detailed, product-specific knowledge to assess risks, identify partners, and properly manage their go to market calendars and make the best decisions to ensure their product will deliver at quality, on time. In this session participants will examine collaborative approaches to improving purchasing practices in order to overcome challenges in the current manufacturing climate and build thriving supply chains, as well as review practical first steps vendors and retailers can take today.
After the morning session, this roundtable, organized into breakout groups, will encourage attendees to share their challenges and discuss the biggest inhibitors effecting their compliance efforts, all with an aim to learn from others and bring creative solutions forward in a spirit of collaboration and progress.
Use your supply chain data to work for you, beyond a pass/fail report. The right technology can boost the efficiency of your responsible sourcing program goals and lend insights to help you make better supply chain decisions. There are technology platforms designed to help you manage your compliance information, track factory improvement, and centralize what is often a global effort across many departments. Learn how you can apply best practice in data management in a few cost-effective steps.
Audits, surveys, and self-assessments are all part of a familiar set of mechanisms used by your retailer and brand customers to measure factory compliance. However, looming on the horizon are a new set of vendor performance measurement tools. Vendors may be familiar with scorecards, but may not have encountered the next wave of measurement tools. Vendor audits – whether baseline reviews, graduation assessments, or post-graduation reviews – will present vendors with a new set of issues. The session will explore the new vendor assessments, the types of questions that will be asked and what you should do to prepare for them.
North Korean workers, UK Modern Slavery, unauthorized? sub-contracting, the sunsetting of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety are some of the higher profile social responsibility topics today. Learn from this panel of retailers and brands about other issues looming on the horizon and how they want their vendors to prepare for them.
ELEVATE Vendor Seminar10 October 2018