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MBA students and retailers get the lowdown on fashion supply chains at industry panel event

Date: October 30, 2017

Category: Industry news

GS1 UK and The London College of Fashion recently teamed up to host an interactive panel discussion exploring visibility within the supply chain and its impact on businesses and consumers.

Around 50 retailers and post-graduate students from the London College of Fashion attended GS1 UK’s headquarters in the heart of the City of London to listen to some of the leading authorities on supply chain management in the fashion industry.

GS1 UK was represented by Jacky Broomhead, Market Development Manager for Apparel, and on the night, she was joined by Joanna Israel, Supply Chain Process Development Manager for Jack Wills, Devinder Chana, Director of Five Rivers Consultancy, and Vanessa Podmore of Podmore Consulting.

Chaired by James Clark, Course Leader for the London College of Fashion’s Executive MBA (Fashion) programme, the four speakers explored how efficient supply chains have brought business partners closer together for greater collaboration, while also debating what effective supply chain visibility looks like within an omni-channel trading environment.

The panel also looked at whether GS1 Standards in the supply chain are a real source of benefit or an administrative burden.

Joanna Israel added: “Adopting standards enables fashion retailers to be far more efficient in our business activities and opens up opportunities for growth.”

“Many companies are looking to expand through international markets, which is driving an increased need for collaboration and a unified approach to areas like labelling and product identification.”

After the event, James Clark said: “The discussion highlighted the collaborative nature of the supply chains and the alignment of business interests to maximise the undoubted benefits of transparency within them.

It is clear supply chain professionals have a vital role to play within the further development of the fashion eco-system.”

James Clark, London College of Fashion

With a fashion retail background, Jacky Broomhead, spoke about her first-hand experiences of supply chains having worked across product development, sourcing, buying and merchandising.

“Fashion used to be all about product, trends and price,” said Jacky Broomhead. “But the introduction of new channels, diversified sourcing, the growing speed of product life cycles and rise of sustainability are placing greater significance on the role of supply chain in fashion.

“How you get a product to the customer is increasingly as important as the product itself and with supply chains predicted to be the new battlefield for where retailers will win customers it is vital that students going into fashion retail understand its role in the market”.

She added: “This was the first time we have taken part in a panel discussion with the London College of Fashion and overall, it was a great success.

“With a significant number of members across fashion, we’re in a unique position to bring the industry together to discuss the important issues of the day and I hope there will be many more of these panel discussions to come.”


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