Working towards a resilient supply chain

Posted Nov 24th, 2023

supply chain resiliency

Here at De Ronde we know that having secure and reliable supply chains is a necessity. In the wake of the pandemic supply chains buckled under the pressure of securing raw materials while keeping people safe. With recycled yarns going from a 4 week lead time to 8 months, many brands were forced to use whatever was available, even if it didn’t adhere to their values. Just to keep the lights on.

While we have all learnt a great deal from that unprecedented time. It demonstrated where our supply chains were weakest and what we needed to do in order to ensure they are as strong as possible. What we learnt was that having a relationship with your supplier matters. It’s not at all dissimilar to having any other form of relationship. 

Having the level of trust between brand and supplier, be it factory or fabric supplier, is essential. How often are suppliers being kept abreast of styles that are working, and styles that are not? Does the brand know when your downtimes are? Do you have an open enough relationship to tell the brand you’re working with you have a cancelled order? Even if it’s for quality problems that could be rectified. 

We talked in depth on the FESPA podcast (De Ronde and Fespa Podcast) about how trust can strengthen our supply chains. And how we have all had to become specialists in geopolitics. Something which has only come about in the last decade. Borders are now altered almost at will, think Brexit and Trump putting higher duties on steel made abroad. Policies of governments half way around the world can affect our supply chains. If we think back to the Indian farmers strike in 2020, that had repercussions across the whole region for crops, and effected organisations involved in certifying crops as demand outstripped supply.

Eventually it all evens out, but at the time it can be incredibly stressful for brands. But if you’re connected with your suppliers then it’s beneficial to be working to solutions together.