Footwear Sourcing Partner
Security is a big issue in the global footwear industry. From terror threats to cyber threats and product counterfeiting, your footwear sourcing partner must take security seriously with these supply chain security measures.
#1) Mitigate Security Risks Within The Global Supply Chain
The bombing of two shipping and transportation hubs in Brussels, Belgium has reinforced the need to secure the global supply chain. This terrorist event not only impacted the people of Belgium, but it also wounded the country’s economy and supply chain in the wake of the tragedy.
Terrorism and other security breaches are modern-day concerns in trade and the global supply chain. That’s why it’s critical to find a footwear sourcing partner with a statement of principle regarding how it approaches confidentiality.
In terms of international manufacturing and shipping, your footwear sourcer should comply with C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism), a U.S. initiative to improve security when shipping goods into the country. Your sourcer should know how to follow and maintain C-TPAT best practices for all facilities, including its own.
The following are supply chain security activities:
- Credentialing supply chain participants
- Screening and validating cargo contents being shipped
- Providing advance notification of content to its destination
- Ensuring locks and tamper-proof seals while cargo is in transit
- Inspecting cargo upon entry into the destination country
Your footwear sourcer should also have vetted, trusted supply chain partners to ensure it’s not doing business within a risky supply chain in the first place.
#2) Cyber Security For Corporate Protection
It’s also critical that your footwear sourcing partner institute its own business security measures relative to corporate records and data to guard against online breaches. This is a real and growing threat borne of a complex and deep cybercrime ecosystem.
Before partnering with a footwear sourcer, ask what measures it has taken to secure its data centers via anti-virus software and firewalls. Ideally, it should have IT solutions that identify risks and anomalies before they become a problem.
Your partner should also have extra controls to protect sensitive data from modification, deletion or download. These measures ensure that your creative briefs, drawings and mechanical engineering files are going into a secure, high level of modern security for electronic records.
#3) Countering The Counterfeit Market And IP Infringement
As reported in September by CIPS, Los Angeles port customs officials seized nearly 8,000 pairs of counterfeit Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. This shipment was valued at $4.3 million in potential street value.
Whether it’s false labeling of products, fake materials or other design components, or misuse of a company trademark, the high cost of the counterfeit market could damage your footwear brand. That’s why some manufacturers and brands are embedding RFID microchips into shoes to track them and ensure product authenticity.
Also, some footwear manufacturers have been known to produce overrun footwear and sell it in the local counterfeit markets. The type of oversight necessary to account for everything manufactured, warehoused and shelved requires numerical control of exactly what’s being made and when.
You need a partner that willingly drills down deep into the supply chain process: systems are protected with permissions, incoming materials and pieced goods are closely monitored, and materials are counted to ensure there’s enough to fulfill customer orders. With a detailed process for keeping track of the supply chain, you are protected against hackers and even disloyal employees looking to lift shoes and sell them elsewhere.
Because the footwear industry is a complex global marketplace, security measures must be tight. Ask any potential footwear sourcing partner how it controls or mitigates the risk of terror threats, cyber threats and counterfeiting.
With the right supply chain security measures in place, you’ll have peace of mind that your footwear sourcer is working to help protect your brand and business.
Ready to find a trustworthy footwear sourcing partner?