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Sourcing Journal Podcast: Episode 1 Speed Bump

Speed is the fashion industry’s chief preoccupation lately. But how to deliver—let alone capitalize—on it is still elusive for most.

In this week’s episode, Sourcing Journal talks with three industry executives to separate speed to market fact from fast fashion fiction. The discussion centered on how to execute on total transformation of the supply chain, one that requires a cultural shift aided by technology.

Click here to listen to the full episode.

Read a few key takeaways from our panel below, then listen to the entire episode for more.

Robert D’Loren, chairman and CEO of Xcel Brands, maker of Isaac Mizrahi, C Wonder and H Halston labels, on how to assess the need for speed:

“Speed isn’t the answer to the whole process. There’s a discovery process that each and every retailer is going to have to go through to implement faster supply chains. There isn’t currently consumer demand or expectation that in the average department store they can expect newness every week so there’s a consumer education process that we all need to do. Then you need to understand what is that right flow. You can start shipping goods in every week but you will very quickly get backed up on inventory for sure.”

John Thorbeck, CEO and founder of Chainge Capital, which focuses on helping companies improve the first, middle and last mile, on the obstacles hindering progress:

“The obstacle is that [speed] is being treated as an operational issue and not a strategic issue. There’s focus on the backend, treating it like a supply chain and support issue when I think it’s a front-end decision-making issue. It’s not about faster factories but has to do with speed to market in decision making. The industry has been still too reliant on buyer power, forcing factories into taking price and risks that are difficult to swallow. That needs to change to more of an end-to-end approach for collaboration between factories and retailers. The obstacle is we haven’t moved away from an existing system. We’re just trying to make it operate faster.”

Mark Burstein, president of sales and development and chief strategy officer of NGC Software, an apparel ERP, PLM, SCM and global software solutions company, on technology’s role:

“The goal is to get everyone in the supply chain digitally connected. Once they have access to the mission critical data they need to do their job, the next step is to enable every participant to focus on a single goal; Quickly provide a quality product to the consumer who wants to buy it. Once this transformation occurs, tremendous success certainly follows.”

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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.