The changes that retailers need to make to their sourcing strategies in this recessionary climate are among the topics that will be discussed at a seminar on 'Global Sourcing Skills and Supply Chains' taking place in London next month.

The opening presentation by Sue Butler, senior manager at Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA), will draw on research from KSA's latest sourcing guide.

"Until recently, the primary focus of sourcing has been on increasing the mix of direct imported products to enhance margins," Butler explains.

"Advanced retailers, however, are now concentrating on the next level of costs: cutting spending on buying offices, optimising the mix of source countries and standardising processes and fabrics/materials."

"This requires a shift towards a more holistic supply chain-orientated approach.

"However, to achieve this necessitates a greater exchange of information between retailers, brands and manufacturers, as well as appropriate technologies, a shift in mindset and an incentive system that can influence the behaviour of all the supply chain partners."

The seminar will also incorporate workshops, led by Ken Watson of Industry Forum Services and Liz Leffman of Clothesource.

Among the topics tackled will be new trade rules, the economies of developing countries that are shaping the apparel trade, and critical factors in developing effective supply chains.

Interactive activities, designed to challenge sourcing decisions, complete the programme.

Further information is available on or email The event will be held at 5 Portland Place, London W1B 1PW on 19 November.