I’ll share three methods we use to manage our yarn and fiber procurement and inventory costs.
As a large scale user of polyester, nylon, polypropylene and other yarns, Service Thread monitors and negotiates pricing through our global supply chain. Coordinating and keeping up to date on changing market conditions can be challenging. The following three methods have helped tremendously:
1. Onsite Supplier Visits
This is one of the more expensive options, but the very best way to develop business relationships and gain direct insight to what is happening in the yarn industry. We visit suppliers in China, India, Taiwan, Mexico and of course the U.S. regularly to discuss current and new opportunities and improve products and partnership with key suppliers.
2. Global Trade Fairs & Industry Conferences
Attending trade shows can be a more affordable way to meet suppliers from around the globe in one location.
Here are three options:
- Techtextil (International): The most comprehensive by far is Techtextil – the International Trade Fair for Technical Textiles and Nonwovens. This international expo is held every other year in Frankfurt, Germany, and is scheduled for June 11 through 13, 2013. For customers who purchase truckload quantities, this show is worth the travel expense to develop a global supply chain.
- Techtextil (US): A lower-cost US-based option is the related Techtextil North America Trade Show , scheduled for March 19 through 21, 2013 in Anaheim, Calif.
- IFAI (US): Other U.S. trade shows include the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Expo scheduled for November 7 through 9 in Boston, Mass. and others targeted to a specific niche, e.g., geotextiles.
- Textileworld.com also offers a fairly comprehensive list of upcoming textile events worldwide.
3. Online Information Sources
In my next post, I’ll share some websites that I use to stay current on yarn and fiber pricing. What tools do you use to keep your finger on the pulse of yarn and fiber price changes? Any that I didn’t mention?