2nd Annual “Global Private Label Supply Chain Transparency Report” – TraceOne

Globe2Boston-based private label product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions provider Trace One, announced yesterday the results of its “Global Private Label Supply Chain Transparency” survey. The research finds that 83% of global private label supply chain executives say supply chain transparency impacts productivity and overall consumer confidence. However, it also found that 43% of organizations are still using offline methods, like Excel documents and the telephone, to communicate with supply chain partners.

Trace One conducted the proprietary research in October of 2014 by surveying executives of global companies that serve as private label retailers, manufacturers and suppliers in countries like the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Canada. In addition to inquiring about communication and collaboration tools, the survey examined their supply chain transparency barriers, key management concerns and how greater stakeholder visibility improves business and product operations, as well as customer loyalty. Overall the respondents, representing Fortune 500 companies, confirm the value in collaboration and found a direct correlation between transparency, productivity and consumer spending.

“It’s clear that organizations continue to struggle to achieve real-time communication and access to their supply chain partners,” said Jerome Malavoy, founder and CEO of Trace One. “To succeed in the private label industry, organizations need to have full transparency through the use of online tools in order to have access to all partner documentation, sourcing information, audits and more so they can react to potential crises and ensure product quality and improve productivity.”

Key findings of the survey include:

  • More than half of the respondents attribute transparency to improved customer sales and loyalty with 83% saying transparency impacts consumer confidence and buying behavior
  • Overall, 81% said their organizations are more productive because of their ability to collaborate
  • A majority of offline users reported a lack of communication as a top collaboration challenge and 43% of respondents said their organization uses offline tools, such as spreadsheets and the telephone, as their primary form of communication
  • Overall, 49% of respondents reported that their organization primarily uses basic online tools like Dropbox or Google Docs, and 8% primarily use online tools created specifically for the product lifecycle process
  • The top three PLM development challenges listed were: a lack of communication (47%), multiple technologies, tools and software (44%), and speed to market (41%)
  • 38% said they cannot identify or collaborate with their direct supplier network and about one in four rated their collaboration as “fair” or “poor”
  • “Cost control” is a key business concern followed by reduced product risk/increased safety (50%) and regulation and compliance (45%)


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.