Strategies for meeting retail requirements and reducing chargebacks will be among the topics of discussion at a Vendor Compliance Federation (VCF) conference May 14-16 in Newark, NJ.
The conference, which is open to both manufacturers and retailers, will focus on chargeback prevention, including identification and grass-roots discussion of "paths of least resistance" to meeting retailers' needs. "It's all about how to get paid in full," and how to turn "POs to cash" with a "reduced dilution of revenue," said Kim Zablocky, head of the 165-member VCF.
Part of the conference will feature a retailers-only "Retail Open Forum," setting the stage for retailers to discuss vendor evaluation strategies, such as vendor report cards, and other issues related to compliance with retail shipping, EDI, floor-ready merchandising and other standards.
In a recent interview with Apparel, Zablocky emphasized the importance of smoothing the supply chain for the benefit of the bottom lines of both vendors and retailers. Supply chain management can be more challenging for vendors than retailers because they must adjust their processes to meet the differing supply chain demands of multiple retail customers, he observed.
"You have to be at the top of your game and have the best technologies, controls and practices in place in today's environment, or you will get eaten alive," Zablocky said. "It's not going to get any easier. It's getting tougher."
Among the VCF's latest initiatives is the development of a Web site of best practices to help vendors meet different retailers' requirements, from advance ship notices to direct shipment from factories to the retail selling floor. The VCF also is developing an interactive "Q&A" online resource to help vendors obtain quick answers to compliance issues from their peers.
The registration fee for the conference, which will be held at the Newark Airport Marriott Hotel, is $395, and includes meals. Annual membership fees to join the VCF range from $2,200 to $4,200, depending on the size of the business.