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Sourcing Outlook: Experts Predict What to Expect in 2016

If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that sourcing goes well beyond FOB costs. Whether it’s fluctuating commodity prices, currency swings, the influx of omnichannel or weather that just won’t cooperate, managing a supply chain has become an increasingly complex job.

Here’s a look at what the industry’s leading sourcing experts learned in 2015 and what they see on the horizon for 2016.

W.E. Connor, chief executive officer of William E. Connor & Associates

Major lessons learned in 2015

“The growth and deflationary impact of omnichannel retailing in general, and e-commerce in particular, underscores the need for more differentiated, higher-margin private label merchandise.

While e-commerce is currently the single greatest disrupting factor in retail, procuring complex, fashion-driven merchandise demands ‘boots on the ground’ supervision of remote factories and raw materials suppliers to ensure product quality, delivery and social compliance.”

Predictions for 2016

“We will witness increased consumer demand for retailers to address sustainability, corporate governance and social compliance issues in their supply chains.

Supplier margins will continue to be squeezed by rising costs and customer demand to hold down pricing.”