On 30-31 May 2023 PI Apparel hosted its annual Supply Chain Forum conference in Amsterdam with the theme ‘Rethinking the Supply Chain for Flexibility and Speed,’ however by the end of the event it became clear flexibility and speed is not enough for a successful supply chain.
What can we learn from the PI Apparel Supply Chain Forum 2023?
Day one’s chair, Angelique Dietz, consultant, Apparel Innovation, Strategy, Digital Transformation, Spools and Bobbins wrapped up the first day by stating: “We are operating at such a unique and uncertain time – in this world there’s so many different dimensions but it’s with everyone’s expertise and passion that we’re making big changes within our industry.”
She explained we’re living in a time where there’s so many digital tools and applications on offer to improve the supply chain both in terms of flexibility and speed, and added: “This industry is an ancient and beautiful one – art and business is a good collaboration and if we apply the right tools we can make it a better one to work within.”
Meanwhile, Just Style’s managing editor Laura Husband was invited to chair the second day of the event and concluded the proceedings by telling the audience the variety of the sessions demonstrate it’s no longer good enough to simply be flexible and fast.
She said: “We need to stay on the pulse with the new types of technology and automation on offer such as AI and ChatGPT, and plan ahead with due diligence and finding ways to improve sustainability.
“But above all, it is about building true partnerships based on honesty and trust as well as monetary reward between brands, retailers and suppliers at every part of the supply chain that is the key to the industry’s ultimate success.”
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The two-day event featured expert speakers from fashion companies, including PVH, Timberland, Primark, and Asics, who shared their experiences and insights on topics such as managing inventory across multiple sales channels, navigating unpredictability and disruption in fashion supply chains, and the potential of e-commerce and omnichannel strategies.
The event also hosted a number of brands in the exhibition hall, including Inspectorio, which aims to help brands, retailers, vendors and factories to improve their quality, compliance and delivery operations through actionable insights and data-driven collaboration.
Inspectorio’s Antonio Leon de la Barra Rocha told Just Style: “We’re here because so many fashion brands and retailers are struggling to connect the dots of the different aspects of their sourcing – we can bring it altogether from a software technology perspective.”
Meanwhile, digital transformation consultant, Craig Crawford, explained cloud-based solution Pivot88 has the “know-how to help companies map how their journey should be by looking at the pain points and revealing how to solve them.” The solution aims to integrate all data in one place, in real-time to provide full supply chain transparency for brands, retailers, suppliers and factories.
French software company e-SCM was also exhibiting at the show and its business developer, Caroline Anziutti said: “We’re focused on visibility and helping to transform the supply chain in a more collaborative way.”
Finally, trend forecasting solution for fashion and lifestyle, Stylumia was also in attendance and sales director Chris Butterworth told Just Style: “We tracks tens of thousands of brands all over the world to help fashion designers see what’s selling now. It’s about giving designers an intelligent tool using actual data to look at the best selling items to help them recreate what sells and ultimately reduce fashion waste.”