Case study – A note from the diary of a global apparel sourcing professional.
Sam is a sourcing professional in an apparel buying office. He joined this company a few years ago. A smart professional he has a habit of journaling his day’s work. This is what his diary notes for a day look like.
Inbox storage is full again. Reason – five emails from new vendors wanting to do business with our brand. Company profiles, product profiles – all in PDF attachments! Why can’t they just give website links instead of overloading the inbox! Anyways, I do need to look through their profiles to see if they make a good match for us, or whether they are ‘CSR’ and ‘Sustainability’ Compliant or not. Those are the new buzzwords with all our buyers.
And these new night-dress sets – samples lying on my table. Poly Silk – Top and shorts. How are we supposed to classify them? As separates? Or Co-coordinates? What HTS category? What duty%? I don’t seem to have done this kind of shipment in the past. Who to ask? Who can I turn to? Would the shipping department know? And how am I supposed to figure out the freight?
I do need to work on the costings for the new season styles. What targets to give to my suppliers? Should I just give them ten-twenty cents lower than last season? The styles and fabrics look similar. What changes in how much it costs to make the garment from one season to the other? Why we have to do go through this cycle again every time? I wish we could settle the prices once and for all on an annual basis. It is killing to work costings every season for 100 – 150 styles. What cannot be eliminated must be endured! I remember someone telling me there is a formula to work out the target FOB form the Retail Price itself! I better find out soon.
This fabric test report is showing a failure on color-fastness to light. But the fabric is already ordered and in-works. How are we going to fix this problem? Why did the factory even order the fabric when it was not meeting the test performance requirement? Now, what are they going to do to fix this? I better chase that supplier to stop fabric production. Another messy day of arguing back and forth. Avoidable I say! Don’t you think?
Here is the ‘classic’ one. The buyer wants to produce 3000 pcs in 6 colorways. That works out to 500 pcs per color. The factory is crying foul at not meeting the minimums. They have hiked up the price quote like crazy. It’s like saying a big ‘NO’ to the order. But we cannot say not to our buyer, for we are their buying office. Sometimes, I wish I was on the other side of the table. For us folks, the buyer is always right! Deal with it, dude!
After this training, Sam will Learn:
- How to find the right supplier sources for buyer sourcing needs from trims, fabrics, and garments?
- How to evaluate the suppliers thoroughly before signing them on?
- How to select ‘sustainability’ and ‘CSR’ compliant sources?
- How to figure out HTS classifications and duty rates applicable for importing different products?
- How to calculate freight costs based on ‘fold size’ and ‘carton dimensions’?
- How to work out estimated Target FOB from Retail Price? How to Calculate ELCs from FOB and vice versa?
- How to prevent ‘sourcing’ bloopers by learning preventive techniques and knowledge about MOQs, lead-times, fabric and trims testing performance criterion etc. ?
- Make smart decisions about what styles to place with which suppliers based on a proper evaluation of their specific strengths.
- What formats, checklists, and SOPs to follow and apply to ensure a smooth sailing of sourcing business?
Apparel Sourcing in the Digital Era. It’s a new world!
An interactive discussion on the current fashion industry landscape is changing rapidly in the digital era. Who are the top game changers and what are they doing differently?
To Source or not to Source. That my dear is the question?
A deep dive into the art and science of vendor evaluations. Making decisions about which vendors to place your business with would be easier from this point onwards.
Back to the Sourcing Basics
One can never go wrong by going back to the sourcing basics. In our journey to smarten up, we do forget the basics we started from. A helpful refresher on MOQs, lead-times, testing parameters, conversions and the entire gamut of lingo that we apparel sourcing folks need to learn and know
Navigating the international sourcing maze! Ready, Set, Go!
Incoterms, LDP, ELC, FOB, CIF, CnF, DDP, HTS, Duty, Freight, FCL, LCL, CBM! What’s all this jargon? Let’s understand the game and the rules of the game to navigate this maze!
From FOB to ELC to Retail Price. Quite a journey! Are you ready?
Learn how to calculate ELC from FOB. Work out target FOB from Retail price and vice versa. We will make you a pro at it! Our promise.
Time for Test!
It is not enough to just know things. It is equally important to apply all that learning in your actual job. So we will make sure that you apply all that practical skill set to real-time job scenarios. We will put you to test through case studies and exercises. Are you game? We will make sure to train you to not just pass but ace the test! No worries!