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Sourcing Journal Podcast: Episode 2 Data Dilemma

Many in the apparel industry are looking to data as a panacea, but most lack a full understanding of how to analyze all of the information they’re amassing and even fewer have the ability to react to their findings.

In this week’s episode, Sourcing Journal outlines concrete ways data can help brands predict demand, produce the right goods and prevent assortment issues.

Click here to listen to the full episode.

Below is a sampling from our discussion with two guests who have seen the benefits from data analytics firsthand.

Guido Campello, CEO of the Cosabella intimates brand, on why instinct is important but data drives which sizes, cuts and colors go into production:

“We didn’t have a merchandising/planning team that was data driven until 4 or 5 years ago and then adding some technology and seeing some direct ROI. Data allowed us to speed up decisions to either add or remove things. And that required us to work backward when we’re sourcing to make sure we’re finding things that fall into these buckets. Price sensitivity, demographics and distribution channels—those are all things sensitive to even minute information and having access and being able to react quickly is one of our strengths.”

Jose Chan, a former buyer/planner and current vice president of business development at data analytics firm Celect, on why it’s time to move past the spreadsheet:

“Decisions today are being made with spreadsheets. That’s not uncommon. We are optimizing against this… so we’re helping in predicting future demand, which allows the stock to not have an overstock which results in a markdown and margin erosion ultimately and we’re able to reduce stock outs or lost sales. I spent 23 years on the retail side in planning and buying… with that spreadsheet, I was taking bets and hoping that my big bets for the buys for the future season would offset the bets that I took that weren’t so great. Now there’s technology, like ours, to minimize the risks and maximize the return.”

Subscribe to the Sourcing Journal Podcast on Apple iTunesGoogle Play and Tune In.

This podcast episode is made possible by Cotton Incorporated, a not-for-profit company funded by U.S. cotton producers and importers, and whose mission is to increase the demand and profitability of cotton. Discover What Cotton Can Do.