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2021 New York Sourcing Summit Companion Report

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To say that supply chains are under pressure would be an understatement. As apparel retail undergoes a revival after the slowdown of 2020, it’s become trickier and costlier to keep up with consumer demand.

Raw material prices are rising, as are freight rates. Transportation shortages are also expanding the time frame to get finished goods to their final destination. And even with vaccines, rolling Covid-19 outbreaks have temporarily halted operations at factories and ports around the world.

To tackle these disruptions, Sourcing Journal brought together more than 30 speakers from around the globe for our 2021 New York Sourcing Summit on Oct. 19. Through presentations and discussions, these thought leaders provided both on-the-ground insight into what is happening and ideas for navigating through this challenging period. This Sourcing Summit Companion Report captures the salient point of these panels, plus continues the discussion with additional Q&As.

“These are unprecedented times that require very candid, hard conversations,” said Sourcing Journal founder and president Edward Hertzman during a panel discussion with upstream suppliers on supply chain upheaval.

The theme for the day was Inflection Point, focusing on this pivotal moment in the business. In many ways, the trials of the health crisis have pushed companies in the right direction. Among the lessons companies learned were the importance of preventing overstocks and markdowns, using technology for visibility and streamlining processes, and ramping up sustainability efforts. As the fashion industry stands at the precipice of pandemic recovery, will companies stay the course or backslide into old habits?

Our AlixPartners + Sourcing Journal Fashion in Focus: Investing in a Future Forged by Adversity survey report—launched during the Summit, took the pulse on where companies are headed more than a year into the health crisis. Two of the consultancy’s managing directors also joined us for a presentation that provided an inside look at the findings.

According to keynote speaker Russell Raath, founder of The Ambition Company, firms’ responses to crucial moments like the present one can make or break a business. His prescription for success? Bold action and a keen focus on the desired end goal.

Download the Sourcing Summit Companion Report to see:

• How Primark and Zalando are scaling circularity with a focus on affordability
• What to expect in logistics, and how firms are handling rising costs, port congestion and customs regulations
• How American Eagle Outfitters and PVH are approaching inventory management
• Where U.S.-China trade relations are headed, and why this remains a trade partnership
• The results of live audience polling on topics like omnichannel services and on-demand production
• Photos from our cocktail reception in New York

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