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Why Relationship Maintenance is Key to Supply Chain Recovery

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Join Theory, Google, H&M, McKinsey, Foot Locker, Lafayette 148, LL Bean, the Retail Prophet and more at Sourcing Journal’s Virtual Sourcing Summit, R/Evolution: Overhauling Fashion’s Outmoded Supply Chain, Oct 14 & 15.

Connectivity and collaboration in the buyer-supplier relationship have traditionally been carried out manually, through emails, portals and Excel sheets. But this will no longer do—especially as a global pandemic places more stress on the supply chain than ever before. While brands, retailers and factories all have their own interests and means of weathering the current storm, they need to focus on maintaining their relationships so that they can more efficiently bounce back once things begin to normalize. The first step in that direction—adopting a modern approach.

In this video, Sourcing Journal founder and president Edward Hertzman talks with Infor president and head of Americas Rod Johnson, to explore how Infor customers are using a networked approach to improve collaboration and operate more flexibly. Connecting buyers with suppliers, finance and logistics providers can help all parties unlock the data and working capital they need.

One major global apparel brand was able to set up a “pay first and ship later” program to help the vendor community. It committed to pay on the original PO and terms at the time of production. The vendors were asked to hold goods until further notified, and then ship the goods later, once demand resurfaces, based on demand signals.

Another fashion brand adapted its payment approval workflows to ensure suppliers could get paid earlier. In this case, they temporarily removed a requirement for a third-party proof of delivery to allow a payment decision, adjusting the compliance and discrepancy rules to help their suppliers.

Lastly, Infor found that a few retailers and brands responded by implementing capital preservation initiatives that minimized impact to their suppliers. For example, one firm transitioned from early payment programs where the brand pays early, to a program funded by banks participating in the network, which allowed the brand to hold its cash longer while ensuring capital for suppliers.

Download the best practice guide for more information on how organizations can establish the digitization needed to improve supply-chain health for all parties involved.

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