ELEVATE Vendor Seminar – New York

  • New York
  • 10 October 2018
  • 08:30 AM (EDT)

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 10 October 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.

Session 1: What Drives Your Retailer Customer?

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.

Session 2: What do Retailers Really Want from their Vendors?

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.

  • Panelists: Odilia Cristabel de Ciutiis, Macys; Todd Nash, The Home Depot
  • Facilitated by: Jennifer Clarke, ELEVATE

Session 3: The Emergence of Supplier Ownership Programs

Many retailers are actively exploring the introduction of structured, incentive based supplier ownership programs. Similarly, there has been an uptick in the number of vendors actively seeking to build programs or, at a minimum, become more proactive in how they manage social reprehensibility within their supply chains. This session will explore and help answer a number of important questions. What are the retailers’ programs likely to look like? What sort of incentives? Who do they apply to? What are the “graduation” requirements?

Session 4: Collaborative Purchasing: Improving Buying Practices in Private Label

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.

Session 5: Trends & Challenges with Compliance at the Vendor Level

After the morning session, this roundtable organized into breakout groups, will encourage attendees to share their challenges and discuss the biggest inhibitors affecting their compliance efforts, all with an aim to learn from others and bring creative solutions forward in a spirit of collaboration and progress.

  • Roundtable Discussion

Session 6: Leveraging Technology to Improve Efficiency

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.

Session 7: Preparing for Vendor Performance Measurement

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.

  • Speaker: Jennifer Clarke, ELEVATE

Session 8: Customer Views on the Next Three Years

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.


About ELEVATE - Our People - Mark Jones

Mark Jones

Chief Customer Officer, ELEVATE

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About ELEVATE - Our People - Margot Sfeir

Margot Sfeir

Director, Strategic Accounts, ELEVATE

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Pete Burrows

Peter Burrows

Executive Director, Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC)

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Josh Cherin

Josh Cherin

VP, Supply Chain at GMPC

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Todd Nash

Todd Nash

Director of Social and Environmental Responsibility, The Home Depot

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