The differences between sourcing in Asia vs. the Americas
We know that in the fashion industry consumers are becoming the conscience of the industry and are demanding ethical sourcing compliance.
Executives who run ever-changing business models in the fashion/apparel/sewn goods industries share a set of core challenges. As consumers demand fast factory-direct options, our industry is transitioning from latitudinal cross-ocean supply chains to longitudinal north/south ones.
It was this shift in sourcing that led to the creation of the AAPN Asia/Americas Report Card. While it was used first to score the differences between the two regions across 31 questions, it quickly became an important tool to make supply chain relationships more successful. It is a way to evaluate your suppliers, yourselves, and even your customers—and give you a "score" you can use to get better every day.
On a high level the 31 questions fell under 8 major criteria including:
- Knowledge/experience in US markets
- Ease of doing business
- Product development
- Social compliance/sustainability
- Risk assessment
This industry perspective written by the team at AAPN will help you see how they have been helping the Americas come to grips with the longitudinal (north/south) supply chain and how companies have accomplished ethical sourcing compliance.
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About the Author
Mike Todaro is the Managing Director of the American Apparel Producers' Network (AAPN). Based in Atlanta, the AAPN is an international nonprofit trade network comprised of nearly 200 member organizations around the world that span the entire apparel industry supply chain. The AAPN brings networking and research opportunities to more than 600 executives, keeping them up-to-date on the industry's most pressing issues and developments. Todaro also currently serves as the President of the American Garment Council.
Prior to joining the AAPN in 1995, Todaro worked the first two years of the software firm, Manhattan Associates, after enjoying a 14-year career with IBM. He joined IBM's General Systems Division in 1978 and led the small systems marketing team on the Ford Motor Company account in Detroit. Todaro then moved to Atlanta creating the IBM Multiples Marketing Program then held a variety of positions including retail industry apparel manager.
Todaro began his career with the United States Air Force as a Telecommunications Officer, where he served active duty assignments in California, Nebraska, Mississippi, New York and two in Spain. Following active duty, he held the position of Commander of a Michigan Air National Guard communications unit and then as a Reservist at the Air Force's headquarters in the Pentagon. He is a retired LtCol.
Todaro has also served in a variety of leadership positions including executive committee member of the Caribbean Central American Action and the International Apparel Federation; president of the Atlanta Textile Club; and is a charter member of Georgians for Manufacturing and the American Apparel and Footwear Association's Supply Chain Leadership Committee.
Todaro is a contributing writer for a wide range of apparel, textile and business publications and a sought-after resource by journalists and authors for input on industry issues. He is the editor of Apparelpedia, the apparel industry's version of Wikipedia, and the AAPN Journal. He received a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from the Ohio State University, a Master's in Management from the University of Arkansas, and has also completed executive educational programs at various universities including the Wharton School, Duke University, GaTech, Colombia University and Cornell University.
Register to download this AAPN industry perspective.