Transparency in retail is another trend to accelerate in 2020, as consumers demand to know more about the products they’re spending their money on. However, newly-proposed U.S. legislation, against shipments containing cotton from specific entities in China, has also raised the stakes of supply chain visibility and documentation. A new partnership between NGC and Logility aims to address this need.
United States Customs and Border Protection recently announced it would detain shipments at all U.S. ports that contain cotton and cotton products originating from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) and its subordinate and affiliated entities. This comes in response to allegations about forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.
The announcement is likely to impact a large number of brands and retailers that source cotton products from China, as the proposed law would require these companies to demonstrate that their products do not contain any input from the region – material or otherwise. In order to achieve this, fashion companies must be able to provide certified visibility of their entire production supply chain. The new digital traceability solution from NGC and Logility is one way to do so.
“The apparel industry will do what it takes to eliminate the use of forced labor in the supply chain,” said Mark Burstein, president and chief strategy officer at NGC. “NGC’s expertise in sourcing, quality and compliance, combined with Logility’s expertise in visibility and planning, allowed us to quickly work with brand owners and retailers to ensure visibility across the entire digital thread at this critical time.”
The traceability initiative is designed for fashion companies that operate multi-tier supply networks and are invested in transparency, for both consumers, partners and government entities. By using NGC’s Cloud Digital Supply Chain platform, users can access private blockchain technology to track the chain of custody of every product, from source to sale.
The platform provides a centralised database to store supplier information, including certifications and evaluations of each partner. All materials can be verified for origin, supplier and consumption, within each product prior to shipment. This data can then be collected and analyzed in order to generate a compliance document, which can be included with each shipment’s paperwork for border approval.
“Our industry expertise and collaboration with both Logility and NGC customers allowed our innovation team to quickly identify the need and deliver a solution to confidently trace and certify the origin of products for brand owners and retailers that import products from China,” said Allan Dow, CEO & president of American Software. “In addition, we see broad applicability across many industries as consumers demand greater visibility and understanding of where products are sourced and manufactured.”
While this specific piece of legislation may have spurred the rollout of the traceability solution, it will continue to operate and provide use even outside of that application. The system itself supports visibility over all kinds of supply chains, material uses and geographical locations, making it a viable long-term solution for any company looking to embrace transparency across the board.