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CLIENT

  • Next Sourcing, Billion-dollar sourcing arm of UK fast-fashion E-commerce and Retail Company with 14 operational sites throughout Asia.

PROJECT

  • MD Next Sourcing was experiencing less than satisfactory results versus business goals from Next PLC UK footwear and accessory buying team. Engaged in consultancy to provide an unbiased appraisal of Asian operations headed up in Dongguan office. US$45 million division across 3 Asia Regional Offices with a team of 50.

ACTIONS

  • Assessed Asia sourcing operations team (product development, sourcing and procurement, and quality), practices and metrics to identify control breaks and quantify potential risks.
  • Audited up and downstream vendors, matching to CSR reports and export activity. Benchmarked pricing compared to the market.
  • Collaborated with the Next PLC buying team to address immediate short-term vulnerabilities of products, services, and process and implement a corrective action plan.

RESULTS

  • Within four weeks exposed fraudulent and unethical behaviour across nominated services, raw materials, and finished goods supplier. The degree of activity was extending down to the office driver designated as the nominated packing supplier, in turn, gratifying the merchandising manager.
  • Discovered US$5M stock that was not fit for market. In-stock was recalled, stock in transit and in-production was cancelled across two suppliers. Cancellation with vendor resulted in a heated encounter that took ten days of 24-hour negotiation to resolve.  Worked with the buying team to limit sales loss through procurement of replacement stock.
  • Resolved several additional issues discovered including tooling payment, falsified inspection reports resulting in goods being shipped that were not as ordered or were not completed.
  • Removed known and suspected employees from the organisation and restructured the business accordingly. Drove new sourcing campaign to source new vendors across all categories and requalify existing supply base.
  • Realising loss of trust from the UK buying team, and due to continued challenges found in remaining team and suppliers. Collaborating with MD and key stakeholders, the decision to close the Dongguan operation was made and transfer the business to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and HoChiMinh offices.

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