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When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing

When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing

The apparel supply chain is a complex ecosystem with multiple, interactive moving parts. Despite the best-laid schemes of mice, men and sourcing professionals, things will go wrong, ranging from speed bumps, blips and blunders to unqualified disasters. It may turn out that some production problems, such as quality claims, delivery delays and compliance violations, could, in hindsight, have been predicted and prevented. But how can you prepare for the unknown?

This practical guide from an ex-Sourcing VP explains how to fix sourcing issues whilst protecting your people, relationships and brand.

Extract: “Natural disasters and civil unrest can blindside even the most conscientious “i-dotters and t-crossers” to cause destruction and disruption. Previously reliable people, production and procedures can be sabotaged by human fallibility and subverted by the forces of nature and history... The sourcing team’s objective is to ensure that buyers receive what they ordered, when it was promised.”

This 34-page report sets out how to approach four common areas of conflict:

  • Resolving quality claims
  • Dealing with delayed shipments
  • Correcting compliance violations
  • Reacting to natural disasters and civil unrest

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, provides a highly practical guide to handling some of the biggest challenges that sourcing teams can face. This report also features a checklist of common ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to refer to when problems arise.

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Introduction
Things Will Go Wrong: Hope For The Best, But Be Prepared For The Worst
The Stakeholders: The Buyer/Seller Equation

Part one: Fundamentals

Evaluate the impact

Protect The Stakeholders’ Priorities: Respect What’s Important
Protect Your People: Safety First
Protect Your Brand Name: Reputation Is Everything
Protect Your Product: Design Integrity
Protect Your Business: Profit Is The Point
Protect Your Relationships: Fair’s Fair

Deliver the bad news
Accept Responsibility: Control The Message
Speed, Clarity, Honesty: The Cover-Up Is Worse Than The Crime
Assess The Problem: Calibrate, Investigate, Communicate

Fix the problem
Options, Quantified: Time AND Money
Negotiation And Settlement: A Balancing Act
The Corrective Action Plan: Trust But Verify

Learn from the experience
Identify Weak Links: What Went Wrong?
Make Changes: People, Production, Procedures

Part two: Common problems

Resolving quality claims
What Can Go Wrong? Answer: Plenty!
Evaluate The Impact: People, Brand Name, Profitability, Design Integrity, Relationships
Deliver The Bad News: If It’s Not Right, It’s Wrong
Fix The Problem: Seek A Settlement
Learn From The Experience: People, Production and Procedures

Dealing with delayed shipments
What Can Go Wrong? Answer: Plenty!
Evaluate The Impact: People, Brand Name, Profitability, Design Integrity, Relationships
Deliver The Bad News: The Point Of No Return
Fix The Problem: Options Weighed And Delivered
Learn From The Experience: See Something, Say Something

Correcting compliance violations
What Can Go Wrong? Answer: Plenty
! Evaluate The Impact: People, Brand Name, Profitability, Design Integrity, Relationships
Deliver Bad News: The Internet Is Watching
Fix The Problem: Corrective Actions
Learn From The Experience: Reality Check

Reacting to natural disasters and civil unrest
What Can Go Wrong? Answer: Plenty!
Evaluate The Impact: People, Brand Name, Profitability, Design Integrity, Relationships
Deliver The Bad News: The Cable News Effect
Fix The Problem: React Proportionately
Learn From The Experience: Expect The Unexpected

Conclusion
Dos and don’ts
About the author

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