Whether you’re working within a fashion start up or a well-established fashion brand, or somewhere in between, it is necessary to develop an intelligent sourcing strategy that is tailored to the future goals of the business.
Elizabeth Formosa has over 20 years’ experience with some of Australia’s largest retailers and privately owned wholesalers, and she’s gained valuable industry experience working in senior roles in retail buying, product development, sourcing, sales, brand building, marketing, strategic planning and team management.
To avoid the key pitfalls and maximise the success of your brand, enlisting expert guidance is simply smart business.
What To Consider In Your Sourcing Partner Requirements
When starting out, start by working on your sourcing criteria. What exactly are you looking for in a manufacturer or supplier? Your criteria encapsulates your needs as a business. Some criteria you may be flexible on and others may be non-negotiables. You are then looking for the best match available to you.
Sourcing is one of the most crucial stages of establishing a successful business. Because without a sound strategy and a strong sourcing partner, let’s face it, we simply do not have a business.
– Elizabeth Formosa
Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing
Understanding your obligations when it comes to responsible, ethical sourcing is no longer just an option, it’s a non negotiable. Before you get started – you must have your sourcing strategy in place and gain clarity on what you need to build your ideal sourcing model. You could approach this in two key parts.
1. Responsible sourcing – could include:
- Transparency of supply chain
- Fair trade
- Code of conduct
- Audit requirements
2. Your circular economy + sustainability plan could include:
- Circular fashion design
- Using sustainable raw materials + processes
- Reducing the impact on environmental factors
- Minimising waste + the use of hazardous chemicals
Do Not Underestimate The Product Development Phase
Bringing your product to life is at the heart of any fashion business and if you don’t have expertise in this area then you should develop your concept and your vision as far as you can yourself and then we highly recommend you seek some professional assistance.
You must provide your supplier with accurate and professional information and documentation to achieve the best results. Just handing a supplier a sample you picked up at retail and saying, “Can you make this?”, is just not going to deliver optimal results.
Scalability Is Key To The Growth of Your Brand
A sound sourcing partner and solid supply chain can set a business up to be prepared to scale.
Simply put, scale means that your business has the potential to multiply revenue with minimal incremental cost.
Scalability will be highly dependent on:
- Your business model
- Your supply chain
- Your products
- Your brand strategy
- Your sales + marketing strategy
- Operations processes + procedures
- Funding – cash flow + profitability
Many businesses hit a challenge where they have invested heavily and to continue to grow they need to investing, keep adding staff and infrastructure.
So the the key is – can you find a way to multiply your revue with minimal incremental costs. Can you sell more – reach more customers – more markets – without overextending the costs in your business. It’s important to think about this now, in the early days.
Discover and BookDevelop Your Savvy Sourcing Strategy
Elizabeth Formosa, Founder of Fashion Equipped & Fashion Business Consultant
International Sourcing Expo Australia
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Wednesday 13th November
Cost: $40 + gst
This Masterclass has been designed for fashion business startups and fashion brands, both existing and emerging, to learn key skills that are essential to running a successful fashion business.
You will learn:
- How to find and choose the right manufacturer for your business.
- How to ensure your business is ‘source ready’.
- The sampling and tech side of fashion.
- The non-negotiables of responsible sourcing and transparency.
Tickets are now available for this Seminar, it is sure to be a popular session so book now to avoid disappointment. The free, trade-only Expo includes 700+ suppliers from around the globe, joining a Seminar is a fantastic way to gain access to fashion and sourcing industry experts and maximise your experience at the Expo.