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Supply Chain Is Today’s Hot Button Issue


Navigating sourcing disruptions is a daunting task that has become even more stressful in 2022 with ongoing lockdowns in China, war in Ukraine and rampant price increases. Conversations with several textile execs in the past month solidify two key themes: Globalization is staying put, however, changes are in the wind, especially when it comes to production in China. And while local and regional sourcing is top of mind, whether today’s supply chain difficulties will accelerate near-shoring, remains to be seen. Overall, companies are focused on rigorous planning, mapping out ways to stay on top of inventory and customer relationships, while mitigating risk and remaining flexible. 

Here’s what Dan Sistrunk, VP Global Sourcing, Textile Division at Milliken & Company, had to say in response to Textile Insight’s questions regarding the state of globalization and supply chain uncertainties. 

“I don’t believe that globalization is dead, but I do believe it’s evolving. One of the key learnings from the pandemic and recent events is that there has to be a ‘balance’ to your supply chain strategy. While global expansion of supply will continue to be needed for a multitude of reasons there is also a need for a robust local, national, and regional supply chain. Many are also recognizing that by utilizing emerging technologies and digital platforms the local and regional supply chain can complement and ‘de-risk’ the offshore supply chain without significant cost penalties.

For many companies, their supply chains have become more complex and less predictable over the last several years. If you couple this with the fact that most supply chains are no longer local in nature, the need for end-to-end supplier knowledge and mapping of the value chain is becoming paramount to de-risk your enterprise. Within the Textile Division at Milliken & Company, one strategy we're investigating to tackle this opportunity is using a third-party monitoring service to help evaluate our suppliers and sub-supplier’s risk. By utilizing a focused service provider and their technology platforms we will be able to capitalize on the wealth of real-time data across the web, look for predictive flags with a supplier that could affect supply and all without further taxing internal resources."

The upcoming May/June issue of Textile Insight magazine will feature more executive feedback on supply chain strategies.