Reflection, renewal and rewarding work

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As 2017 draws to a close we wanted to pick up on some of the key messages that we’ve been discussing as a team and how (as we’ve been learning more about where this journey is taking us) we will be shaping next years path. To kick off  we were very excited to watch the latest video from The Sourcing Journal:

 This quick video from Sourcing Journal talks about the State of the Apparel Supply Chain, featuring some of our favourite leaders, from John Thorbeck to the very talented Marleen Vogelaar:

One of the questions that Sourcing Journal put to the panel is one very close to our heart:

What’s the biggest Speed to Market hurdle?

This is one of the key reasons that RangeRoom actually exists today – we saw a real and urgent need in the market to change the way that, with the digital native consumer hot of the heels of new trends and hungry for newness, we worked as an industry. The supply chain was coming under increasing pressure, especially as retailers and brands tighten their resources belts, often ‘going direct’. We saw this pressure wasn’t being eased anywhere through digital innovation. So in order to improve speed to market, transparency, communication and ultimately culture, RangeRoom was created.

Mark Burstein, President & Chief Strategy Officer, NGC, was incredibly articulate in stating that the single biggest hurdle to speed to market is “the analogue supply chain, using e-mail and x-cel”. This is something we talk about all the time at RangeRoom – the once ‘helpful’ technologies have become another way of removing teams from the visual product, we talk about this in our piece “Keeping Product in Full Focus”

Joseph Mellaci, VP of Business Development Americas, Impactiva, answers with the focus on “brand and retailer’s alignment with their supply chain” – and again we couldn’t agree more. With communication and the ability of teams to stay close during the product development process more important than ever in a time-poor environment – articulated by Marleen Vogelaar, Founder & CEO, Ziel who sees ” the ability to quickly iterate on product development and the last minute orders required by large manufacturers” as one of the biggest hurdles.

RangeRoom allows suppliers to showcase newness and iterate product live on RangeRoom, made even easier than ever due to the new Chat feature that we’ve developed. The ease of communication that we’ve come to expect from smart devices that we use every day inform this need and we’ve had a great response to how much easier it makes the iteration and decision-making process.

John Thorbeck, Chairman, Chainge Capital, LLC who we’ve had the pleasure of working with, very succinctly summed up the key challenge in one word “culture” – again this is a subject that we are passionate about, as we explore in our piece “Collaboration – How it impacts Work Cultures”  

We recently asked John Thorbeck about his thoughts on what we do and so his response has been very much aligned with the messages that this Sourcing Journal series of interviews touch on:

“What attracted me to RangeRoom when I first heard about it is the challenge around the mismatch of digital consumers to an analogue supply chain. RangeRoom is a bridge to create a single seamless collaboration. The platform gives designers, buyers and product developers leadership of the process, while also providing a window to design further up the supply chain. The days of “we create, you fulfil” are over.

RangeRoom is about how to manage risk, balancing cost, speed and flexibility. The front end digital tools will eventually match up to the back end of the business. While we all love fresh, new and frequent fashion, and the creativity of our industry, RangeRoom understands that money to be made is in the management of risk and responsiveness.”

Another integral subject that this piece touches on is Sustainability. One of the RangeRoom pillars that we talk about is that RangeRoom wants to be part of “Challenging the status quo by offering an aspirational yet attainable alternative to deliver the fashion practices and culture of the future” and we understand how crucial sustainability is to the necessary vision and actions of a future-proof industry.

It’s with this passionate belief that we very early on found how aligned Libby (our wonderful sustainability expert) and the team were and we knew that this had to be part of the crucial conversations on RangeRoom. Her recent piece about the need for transparency in fashion reflects perfectly our own core belief in the urgent need for us all to come together. Not only to openly discuss the challenge ourselves on how the outdated practices of the past need to change. But also how we can support each other to make those vital changes, instead of silencing and so possibly stigmatizing the discussion around real change and progress.

When we talk about sustainability that absolutely includes not only environmental impact issues but also the urgent need for transparent practices – from working conditions right through to wider issues affecting communities working in the industry. Groups like  Goesansar who work with retailers and manufacturers to provide comprehensive financial inclusion allowing a radical social change in areas where the working, urban poor and the migrants don’t have any opportunity to formal banking and financial services which are the basis for growth and we’re proud to champion. RangeRoom is excited to continue connecting with sustainability groups from established teams such as MadeBy through to start-ups like Two Guys in Rags, who are offering a real alternative to landfill, because as a platform that is building a meaningful, active community that is part of who we are and the future we want to see.

 The question is if 2018 is the year of “redefining retail”, “executing the digital supply chain” and the year that we see “the implementation of real changes in supply chain optimisation” then how does this look for your team?

Have you booked a demo with us to see just how RangeRoom can help you implement real change across your product development process? We’d also love to hear how you are finding new ways of implementing real changes.

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Title photo by Loic Djim & hangers photo by Christian Fregnan on Unsplash
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