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Please check out our new Fashion and Technology Blog at http://info.bmsystems.com/blog/.

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May 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Product Safety Regulations Raise Ire of Garment Makers

By JW Yates

New York City, New York

Many fashion industry groups are up in arms over the US Consumer Products Safety Commission’s recent adoption of lead testing requirements which were set to take effect in August 2011. There was such a vocal backlash from leading manufacturing groups, such as the American Apparel & Footwear Association and the National Association of Manufacturers, that the CPSC voted 4-1 to extend the deadline for implementation and enforcement until Dec. 31, 2011. This will give manufacturers of children’s clothing and their representatives time to make a case that the new guidelines are both ineffective and unfair to certain types of garment makers.

In a letter sent to the CPSC, industry groups claim that the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008 is vaguely constructed and lacks the kind of clarity necessary for regulations of this sort. Many clothing producers and importers are left wondering how best to comply with the lead testing guidelines. Many are concerned that compliance for some small-scale garment companies may be all but impossible. This letter asserts that, “Small businesses remain at a real disadvantage, being unable to harness scale to reduce their costs and lacking the resources to fully absorb and implement all the complex new rules and regulations.” http://www.apparelnews.net/features/industry_issues/110325-Lead-Content-Remains-Issue-for-CPSIA-Compliance/print

Besides the obvious monetary cost of these tests, garment makers are concerned about the practicality and efficacy of the testing procedures. They say that the limited number of accredited laboratories approved by the CPSC to carry out the tests, as well as the scope of materials and components that must be tested, make the law ineffective and an unfair burden on the makers and importers of children’s products. They say that the CPSC’s vague directions on testing and certification requirements are leading to a chaotic regulatory atmosphere.

The issue is so high on the industry’s radar that the AAFA has decided to host a product safety and chemical management seminar on May 25 at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. The seminar will provide a CPSIA regulatory update.

To help our partners and clients in the sewn goods and garment industry make sense of this and other regulatory issues, BMS has put together a very informative and timely web seminar titled Product Safety: Strategies for the Garment Industry to take place on Tuesday April 19th at 11:00 AM EST. This brief discussion, lead by industry expert Myles McPartland, will cover many topics relating to the effects of the CSPIA on manufacturing and the garment supply chain. Please check out the BMS website for more details on how to register or attend this free web event.

April 1, 2011

Business Management Systems

330 West 38th Street

Suite 705

New York, NY 10018

(800) 266-4046

info@bmsystems.com

http://www.bmsystems.com

April 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm Leave a comment

Gadgetwear May Be the Next Wave in Fashion Technology

JW Yates

New York City, New York

A new wave of garments embedded with technological gadgets is on the way to market, and it remains unclear how this will affect the way some products are produced and marketed. As garment makers around the globe keep focused on the next big revolution in textile technology, they may want to consider the upcoming impact of gadget-wear on their supply chain, and on their product management methods.

In the near future consumers will see a great variety of clothes, accessories and other goods which contain some high-tech elements built in. For instance deviantART has recently unveiled the new DA Decibel Collection as part of their deviantWEAR line of low-brow art-inspired urban gear. The Decibel Collection features a set of tech-wired hoodies embedded with built in headphones and audio jack designed for use with an iPod, iPhone or other mp3 audio playing device. http://news.deviantart.com/article/147106/

In addition to clothing, footwear is taking the leap into garment/technology integration. A new line of motorized shoes, designed for use by the elderly, are about to hit the shelves. The shoes, being sold under the brand name Re-Step, were created by researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scottland, and the Israel-based medical company Step of Mind Ltd. Their unique motorized design is intended to help seniors learn to walk again after serious stroke, accidents or other ailments that affect locomotion. http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/re-step

Not only are gadgets working their way into actual garments, but they are also making an impact on how clothing is sold at retailers. Check out the new HelloTag from Moonhwan Lee. This new breed of RFID clothing tag was created to assist elderly consumers make choices while shopping the racks. The HelloTag enables users to check required information of a product—such as size, price, material, etc.—through sound data stored in the RFID tag. By pressing the button on the main device, someone who is unable to read can easily find the detailed particulars of a product.  http://www.tuvie.com/hellotag-lets-elderly-and-handicapped-people-shop-conveniently/

With so many sectors of the garment industry integrating products with electronic components, it is clear that manufacturers of clothing, footwear and accessories must be able to adapt quickly to supply needs. Even if your company has been in business for years, the details of your supply chain may be rapidly expanding to include raw materials and technologies that you are totally unfamiliar with. Now, instead of tracking stocks of raw cotton or printed polyester, you may also have to keep track of audio cables, micro-speakers, RFID tags, mini-motors, wire harnesses, battery packs and countless other gadget components.

In order to maintain a firm handle on all of this product information, it may be necessary for your company to implement a Product Lifecycle Management system, or a Supply Chain Management software tool. As the variety of products in your supply chain increases, it becomes ever more important to oversee every step of your process, from design to delivery. And, as nontraditional components find their way into your supply chain, it is increasingly necessary to cut down on waste and redundancy during product development.

To help you reign in the chaos of today’s ever-changing supply chain, consider investing in a PLM or SCM system like the VerTex system from BMS. Our scalable, customizable PLM toolboxes are designed to handle as many components and changes as the market can throw at you. Tackle unforeseen supply chain challenges with confidence by using a field-tested, industry-specific data management system.

To take a free test drive of the VerTex system, or to find out how BMS can help you overcome your resource management hurdles, please contact us on the web, or at our offices in Manhattan.

March 31, 2011

Business Management Systems

330 West 38th Street

Suite 705

New York, NY 10018

(800) 266-4046

info@bmsystems.com

http://www.bmsystems.com

March 31, 2011 at 7:48 pm 1 comment

Red Wing Shoes Reveals Supply Chain Basics on YouTube

JW Yates

New York City, New York

Red Wing Shoes has been manufacturing some of the highest-quality work-boots and footwear in the United States since 1905, and this Minnesota-based company wants everyone to know about their ongoing commitment to the “made in USA” label.

 

In a series of recently produced promotional videos, Red Wing has gone inside their manufacturing plant and talked with the people who actually cut, sew and glue their notoriously rugged boots and shoes. The result is an unexpected YouTube viral marketing hit.

It appears that folks on the web are fascinated by the ins and outs of supply chain, and have a certain fascination with the antiquated methods of today’s factory cobblers. Perhaps the videos are so popular because it is exceedingly rare these days to see someone repairing old boots, or shaping leather by hand in an economy that is increasingly based on high-tech IT jobs.

The lush and vivid videos were produced by the Minneapolis-based advertising company Brew Creative, and serve as a primer on modern shoe manufacturing. They give a brief glimpse into the complexity of a factory supply chain in action. Anyone interested in learning how basic raw materials get fashioned into shelf-ready boots should take a look at Red Wing’s new promos. Not only do the American-based workers seem intent on bringing quality footwear to market, but they also seem committed to carrying on the long tradition of taking pride in American-made products.

With so much competition coming from overseas manufacturing, and so much pressure to cut the bottom line, it is encouraging to see a stalwart American-based corporation making a commitment to US production. We only hope that their newest promotional efforts inspire a new generation of workers who seek to make the “made in USA” label mean something substantial in the new economy.

http://www.youtube.com/user/RedWingShoeCompany

So, we at BMS say, “Right on Red Wing!” Thanks for making your supply chain such a visible part of your corporate identity, and thanks for taking pride in the sourcing of your materials and labor.

March 30, 2011

Business Management Systems

330 West 38th Street

Suite 705

New York, NY 10018

(800) 266-4046

info@bmsystems.com

http://www.bmsystems.com

March 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment

Supply Chain Disruption Hits Automakers Following Japan Quake

JW Yates

New York City, NY

According to recent reports circulating on the web, the ongoing auto parts shortage in Japan may lead to a sharp decrease in worldwide car production throughout 2011. European, Asian and American car makers rely heavily on auto parts produced in Japan, and, as with most modern manufacturing systems, they rely on just-in-time delivery to maintain rigorous production schedules. Even a temporary delay in supply delivery can have lingering effects on output.

One analyst’s report, cited in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, predicts that auto production may be cut by 15% to 30% in the next year. This estimate would suggest that 20 million fewer vehicles will roll out of factories than expected before the recent quake tragedy and nuclear crisis in Japan.

http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2011/03/29/could-shortages-cut-car-production-by-30/?mod=e2tw

Many industry watchers say that US auto producers will likely experience a lesser impact than their Asian counterparts who rely more heavily on Japanese parts. Still yet, there are fears that, as the supply chain disruption continues, consumers will start seeing fewer choices of vehicles, longer waits and higher prices in the short-term.

The BBC reports that Toyota Motors will curb its North American production due to parts scarcity, and General Motors as well recently announced suspension of production at one its US plants due to parts shortages.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/12858580

If the situation in Japan worsens, or becomes more protracted, there is little doubt that assembly lines across the world will face further slow-downs as a result. Auto manufacturers are not the only businesses reeling from this month’s record-breaking quake and tsunami. Already big-time electronics players like Toshiba have experienced supply chain disruptions since the crisis began. Industry watchers here and in Asia are scrambling to make predictions about what’s to come.

The true toll of Japan’s disaster may not be seen for some time, as manufacturers rely on stock parts and supplies that were already in transit when the quake struck. Once supplies on hand run out, further shutdowns are imminent.

One thing is for certain: if Japan continues to struggle with its ability to generate electricity nationwide, there is little hope for restoring auto parts production to pre-quake levels. In addition, the human toll, and the scope of the social tragedy in the wake of the disaster, may have inestimable effects on Japan’s productivity in the near future.

These various factors have compounded to make Japan’s manufacturing future unpredictable at best. This most recent example of supply chain disruption serves as a reminder that, no matter what industry you are in, it is essential that you keep as close an eye as possible on every aspect of your supply chain. In a world of interdependent production models, every industry must be able to react quickly to supply chain problems. That is why so many modern manufacturers rely on Supply Chain Management Software and Product Lifecycle Management tools to help oversee and control their supply chain.

If you are concerned about supply chain oversight, or would like to find out how a PLM system could help you weather the storm of supply disruption, please get in touch with us here at BMS. Our VerTex software system could be the management tool you need to prepare for the next global supply chain crunch.

Business Management Systems

330 West 38th Street

Suite 705

New York, NY 10018

(800) 266-4046

info@bmsystems.com

http://www.bmsystems.com

March 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm Leave a comment

Elizabeth Taylor—The Business of Glamour

 

As word spread this week of Elizabeth Taylor’s death at age 79, the fashion and style world displayed an outpouring of lamentations generally reserved for royalty. Indeed, one of the most iconic figures in style and entertainment from the last century, Miss Taylor was a legend of unrivaled stature. Her elegant past as a Hollywood starlet, her influential role in modern fashion, and her compassionate use of celebrity to further social causes—all of this and more will be remembered for years to come by generations of fans and followers.

Miss Taylor stands out among the superstar entertainers of the 20th Century for many reasons. Not only was she a stunning beauty with talent to match, but her business acumen and charitable work proved that she was a unique woman of unusual depth and character.

After starring in some of the most beloved films of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, (National Velvet, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra) Miss Taylor went on to distinguish herself as one of the trendsetters and tastemakers in worldwide fashion. Notorious for opulent diamonds, historic pearls, and larger-than-life outfits, she set the stage for generations of aspiring superstars.

In the 80’s Elizabeth Taylor stepped into the fashion world as an entrepreneur, releasing a line of fragrances, starting with Passion in 1987, and followed by White Diamonds in 1991, which went on to become the highest-selling celebrity perfume of all time. Her line of perfumes is still a top seller nearly 25 years later, with White Diamonds seeing $70 million in sales last year.

As an activist and philanthropist Miss Taylor raised the standard for celebrity involvement. One of the first celebrities to champion the cause of AIDS awareness, she founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and amfAR. Recent reports have stated that the actress willed the bulk of her estate, estimated to be at least $600 million, to these charities.

Unlike many celebrities who become super-famous at a young age, Miss Taylor was able to make wise investments and sound business decisions over the decades. Besides fragrances, the actress diversified her branding to include a line of costume jewelry for Avon, a line that continues to be Avon’s most sought after jewelry. Despite her glamorous reputation, Miss Taylor was considered a “savvy, steely-eyed business woman” according to ABC News. She is expected to be listed along with Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson on Forbe’s annual Top-Earning Dead Celebrities rankings.

We here at BMS would like to salute Elizabeth Taylor for leading a truly glamorous life and for proving that style and business can be a successful combination. We hope her commitment to charity and humanity will be an example for everyone else involved in fashion, glamour and style.

To make a donation to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation follow this link:

http://www.elizabethtayloraidsfoundation.org/how-you-can-help

JW Yates

New York City, New York

March 25th, 2011

 

Business Management Systems

330 West 38th Street

Suite 705

New York, NY 10018

(800) 266-4046

info@bmsystems.com

http://www.bmsystems.com

March 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

Japan Quake and the Delicate Nature of Supply Chain

For those who keep a close eye on the global economy, recent events in Japan have highlighted the complexity of the world’s supply chains and the great interdependencies in global production systems. With the economic shockwaves of this month’s quake and tsunami being felt in many sectors, it is easy to see how our modern, tech-dependent way of doing business is constantly dangling from a tenuous thread.

As Willy C. Shih, of the Harvard Business School said in a recent blog post, “The world’s supply chains are complex and highly optimized to deliver products efficiently at the lowest cost. They are characterized by a sequential mode of production where goods are produced in a series of stages in different countries by vertical specialists who pass them across borders to the next firm in the value chain. Shocks like this ripple through the chain, and test the robustness of their design. With lean inventories and just in time deliveries, there is not a lot of slack in the system to act as a buffer. This disaster promises to be quite a test.”                                                                                           

Shih also points out some interesting statistics about Japan’s role in the global tech supply chain. He notes that Shin-Etsu Handotai, one of the world’s primary producers of silicone wafers, has shut down its Shirakawa plant for lack of electric power. This plant was producing 22% of the world’s supply of silicon wafers.

One lynchpin product, anisotropic conductive film, is a key material used in the manufacture of LCD flat panel displays in TV sets, notebook computers, smartphones, and tablets. Japan is home to 70% of the world’s supply, and as of March 16th, suppliers have stopped taking orders.

Japanese powerhouse Toshiba makes 35% of the flash memory in the world, but has not disclosed how the earthquake will affect its business. But, according to Shih’s Harvard Business Review blog post, other memory chip makers, like Samsung and Hynix in Korea, have already stopped quoting prices until they can assess the impact of the earthquake on their supply chains. A report in the Korea Herald tries to downplay the immediate effect of Japan’s temporarily shattered infrastructure on the supply chain, but manufacturers in Korea admit that the long term impact is still unpredictable. http://m.koreaherald.com/detail.jsp?newsId=20110314000919&menu=news&categoryId=02&page=1


There is no doubt that Japan’s tech sector will bounce back, and, in fact, there is some historical evidence to suggest that it may come back stronger and more quickly than many would anticipate. A recent New Yorker article considers the possibility that the “Jacuzzi Effect” may take hold in Japan. Past examples of similar scenarios, including the Kobe earthquake of 1995, and the Northridge quake of 1994, show that mass devastation of this type is often followed by a rebuilding boom that replaces less efficient, worn out systems with more modern, more profitable infrastructure.  http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2011/03/28/110328ta_talk_surowiecki

Yet, there is little doubt to those who rely on Japanese goods that the recent disaster has thrown chaos into an already beguiling global supply chain system. As every sector of the economy becomes increasingly interdependent, and reliant on intercontinental trade, the threat of global events on resource planning cannot be ignored. Any company, whether or not they directly source their materials or labor overseas, can be affected by supply chain disturbances. In the modern economy every manufacturer or retailer has to keep a constant eye on their supply chain, and there is no better way to do this than by using a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) or Supply Chain Management (SCM) system. When properly designed and implemented, supply chain software can give a company the transparency and oversight to make quick decisions in the event of a global supply chain disturbance. Being able to communicate your needs and make changes instantly to all of your suppliers, contractors and partners will allow your company to weather unexpected economic storms, and to minimize the impact whenever possible.

To find out more about how a SCM or PLM system can help your company take the chaos out of the global supply chain, please contact Business Management Systems online at www.bmsystems.com, or at our offices in Manhattan.

JW Yates

New York City, New York

March 23, 2011

Business Management Systems

330 West 38th Street

Suite 705

New York, NY 10018

(800) 266-4046

info@bmsystems.com

http://www.bmsystems.com

March 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm Leave a comment

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Business Management Systems (BMS) has been a leading provider of product lifecycle management software solutions to the apparel & textiles industry for 15 years, delivering VerTex Toolboxes--an easy-to-use modular system uniquely configured to meet every company's specific needs.

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