Introduction Merchandising, design and sourcing Challenges and limitations
TACTIC ONE: KNOW WHAT YOU’RE BUYING Information inputs The components of a garment’s price Raw materials Trims and treatments Focus on the Free on Board (FOB)
TACTIC TWO: ESTABLISH TARGETS Follow the merchant’s lead Free on Board (FOB) to Landed, Duty Paid (LDP) to selling price Alignment of the FOB and selling price Make comparisons First quotes and targets
TACTIC THREE: FOCUS ON VALUE Price versus value Value criteria Your vendor matrix
TACTIC FOUR: ENLIST YOUR LOCAL TEAM It’s all details The strategy session
TACTIC FIVE: GET ORGANIZED Information overload The costing worksheet Set the stage
TACTIC SIX: STAY POSITIVE The vendor is your partner Establish rapport Preliminaries Make a personal connection Keep cool
TACTIC SEVEN: SET PRIORITIES The three-tiered wish list “Gotta haves” and “throw aways” Back-and-forth on the “close enoughs” No compromise The exit plan
TACTIC EIGHT: EXPLORE ALTERNATIVES “What if?” scenarios Substitutions and trade-offs Design and brand integrity
TACTIC NINE: LEVERAGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP Align your objectives Hitting a wall Just ask Delegate up
TACTIC TEN: WRAP UP Confirm and reconfirm A positive and personal ending Time to begin again
If you work in apparel sourcing, you will appreciate that price negotiation is a critical, and often stressful, aspect of your job. Few clothing companies provide practical training in the process of negotiation, although correct product pricing is integral to the health and wellbeing of any brand’s bottom line.
This report examines ten tactics that will help people who work in sourcing develop a personal negotiation strategy, a strategy that will strengthen communication with their internal merchandising and design teams and reinforce their relationships with their vendor-partners.
In most apparel organisations, negotiation can involve dozens or even hundreds of unique style and fabric or yarn combinations. Each style has a story of its own, one that the sourcing manager needs to be intimately acquainted with in order to negotiate the seasonal buy, armed with the documents and information needed for effective negotiation. But in the less than ideal, often undisciplined world of fashion, information has a tendency to lag behind calendar. Being prepared as a negotiator can mean coping with being unprepared as a sourcing manager.
Extract: “Because of the breadth and complexity of the individual negotiations that take place in a single season, negotiating apparel is different from buying a house or settling a remuneration package. During the period designated as line finalisation, time is not on your side. A good deal of preparation will need to take place long before you sit down at the negotiating table.”
The author, Margie Bross, Sourcing Consultant, previously Country Manager Indonesia for Eralda/Talbots and Sourcing Manager in the U.S. and Asia for various well-known brands, sets out the ten tactics essential to a successful apparel sourcing price negotiation:
Know what you’re buying Establish targets Focus on value Enlist your local team Get organised Stay positive Set priorities Explore alternatives Leverage your relationship Perfecting your wrap up
Complete with a sample Costing Worksheet and Negotiation Checklist, the information in this highly-practical report provides the perfect starting point for your next negotiation. In addition, to help you become familiar with the terms most often used in negotiation, the report includes a Glossary of the most used Costing Terms.
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