Up Close is Sourcing Journal’s regular check-in with industry executives to get their take on topics ranging from personal style to their company’s latest moves. In this Q&A, Marci Yamasaki, strategic business development at supply chain software firm Texbase, reflects on lessons in pandemic preparedness and the “silver lining” in COVID-19.
Name: Marci Yamasaki
Title: strategic business development
Which other industry has the best handle on the supply chain? What can apparel learn?
I don’t know that any particular industry really has a handle on the supply chain; I think we’re all trying. The apparel industry is doing a pretty good job trying to create transparency in the supply chain. I think we can learn from the current environment to put tools into place to allow us to be more agile so that a pandemic like we’re all experiencing now will cause less disruption. How we do that is a bigger question and is unique to each of our organizations.
How would you describe yourself as a consumer?
I’m a fairly conservative consumer. I wouldn’t say I’m frugal, but I definitely wait to purchase most things until I’ve done some research or it’s a true necessity. I usually look for Made in the USA, and sustainable features. I don’t always buy organic but try to when possible.
As a consumer, what does it take to win your loyalty?
Excellent customer service and quality products that have longevity.
What’s your typical uniform?
Montana business casual when at the office, and multi-functional casual clothing when working from home (workout, jump on a call, work from home, run to kid’s baseball game).
What’s the best decision your company has made in the last year?
Diversification of customer channels.
How would you describe your corporate culture?
Committed, professional, yet casual and fun.
What can companies learn from COVID-19?
Healthier living in general, the ability for success with a remote team.
What should be the apparel industry’s top priority now?
How to bounce back and effectively build our businesses back up while keeping the pandemic in check.
What keeps you up at night?
What makes you most optimistic?
There is a silver lining that exists in everything. There is a positive to what we are all experiencing, and we need to seek it out!
Tell us about your company’s latest product introduction/service:
Texbase has offered a digital fabric library for years, but recent events have created a new demand for it. Our Global Fabric Library is the most effective way to jump-start the selling process for textiles when travel isn’t possible. It’s a lead generation tool that boosts sales and marketing efforts by providing an online fabric library of digitized materials that work for you 24/7. Connect with and educate both current and future customers on the properties of the materials that you or your partners are producing. It’s the next best thing to being there.