Thursday, February 15, 2024
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How the Apparel Supply Chain is Evolving

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In this session, recorded at the PI Apparel Supply Chain Forum in New York in 2022, Alex Thomas, the VP Global Quality at GAP shares his perspective on the supply chain disruption experienced in the last few years, what this means for GAP and what the future holds.

  1. Global Presence and Brand Portfolio: Alex Thomas introduces Gap Inc. as a $16 billion holding umbrella with four key brands: Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta. These brands collectively serve over 55 million customers across Asia, Europe, and the US.
  2. Massive Scale of Production and Supply Chain: He outlines the vast scale of Gap Inc.’s operations, including producing 156 million tees, 73 million denim bottoms, and sourcing from 25 countries annually. This highlights the extensive global supply chain and production capabilities of the company.
  3. Supply Chain Challenges and Adaptations: Thomas discusses the significant disruptions faced in recent years, such as factory and port disruptions, geopolitical trade factors, and fluctuating raw material costs. He emphasizes the need for agility and resilience in the supply chain, including strategies like regionalization and vertical integration.
  4. Shift to Omnichannel and Sustainability Focus: The presentation covers the shift towards omnichannel retail in response to the pandemic and consumer trends, as well as the importance of sustainability, transparency, and customer centricity in their operations.
  5. Leveraging Industry 4.0 and Predictive Analytics: Alex highlights Gap Inc.’s focus on leveraging Industry 4.0 technologies and predictive analytics to improve efficiency and decision-making in their supply chain.
  6. Voice of the Customer and Continuous Improvement: He emphasizes the importance of customer feedback in shaping product development and continuous improvement, using specific examples of how customer data influences changes in product design and quality.
  7. Company Culture and Future Direction: The talk concludes with insights into Gap Inc.’s company culture, focusing on innovation, agility, sustainability, and the importance of partnerships in the supply chain. Thomas also discusses the future direction of the industry, with an emphasis on technological advancements and digital transformation.

A full transcript of this session can be found here.

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