ELEVATE Vendor Seminar
21 March 2018 - New York

ELEVATE Vendor Seminar 21 March 2018 - New York

Preparing for Vendor Ownership - A Practical Guide to Achieving Competitive Advantage

ELEVATE Vendor Seminar

Preparing for Vendor Ownership -
A Practical Guide to Achieving Competitive Advantage

ELEVATE launches its first major event targeted exclusively at vendors, agents and licensees to help you know your retailer customers, pursue your own responsible sourcing programs, and understand issues looming on the horizon.

Convening in New York City on March 21, 2018, the ELEVATE Vendor Seminar gives an up to date overview of Supplier Ownership initiatives and moves participants proactively through practical steps to plan and execute cost-effective programs.

We have created eight sessions to help vendors achieve competitive advantage in an increasingly volatile market:

A detailed agenda can be found here.

Session descriptions:

Session 1: What Drives Your Retailer Customer?

With the markets changing so rapidly, online retailing, new uncertainty with trade rules, pressure on factory liquidity, retailer bankruptcies and store closings, it’s a real challenge for retailers and their suppliers to stay aligned. Retailer supply chains are large and diverse, spread across many countries, and are often managed by small teams. This makes effective supplier management a real challenge. Add to this the ever-present threat of public naming and shaming and the increasing activism of institutional investors, being a retailer is not so easy. This session will explore the various challenges faced by your customers and how it shapes their approach to the supply chain.

  • Speaker: Mark Jones, ELEVATE

Session 2: What do Retailers Really Want from their Vendors?

Vendors do not always find it easy to determine what their retailer customer really wants.  Vendors struggle with contrary customer demands for lower prices while pushing high-cost initiatives, wonder about investments in factory improvements while customers may aim to go direct, and question overall which requirements are most important for each customer. Vendors’ margins are being constantly squeezed and it is difficult to balance these investment decisions. In this session, we will explore how to decipher retailer social responsibility priorities and how best to position your company to respond to them.

  • Panel: Panelists TBD
  • Facilitated by: Margot Sfeir, ELEVATE

Session 3: Cost-effective Approaches to Managing Social Responsibility Requirements

No company, retailer, brand or vendor wants to grow headcount in this current environment. Yet, there is constant pressure to do a better job of managing social responsibility.  Who’s supposed to do this?  The quality team, a junior sourcing analyst? How can this best work and how should you structure it? Are there better approaches? ELEVATE will explore the topic with a number of key vendors who have faced the issue and then synthesized ideas into actionable budgets.

  • Panelists: Josh Cherin - GMPC, Nathan Fleisig - Outer Stuff, Yuki Khurana – United Legwear
  • Moderator:  Mark Jones, ELEVATE

Session 4: The Emergence of Supplier Ownership Programs

Many retailers are actively exploring the introduction of structured, incentive based, supplier ownership programs. Similarly, there has been an uptick in the number of vendors actively seeking to build programs or, at a minimum, become more proactive in how they manage social responsibility within their supply chains. This session will explore and help answer a number of important questions. What are the retailers’ programs likely to look like? What sort of incentives? Who do they apply to? What are the “graduation” requirements?

  • Speakers: Jennifer Caruso, ELEVATE

Session 5: Leveraging Technology to Improve Efficiency

Use your supply chain data to work for you, beyond a pass/fail report. The right technology can boost the efficiency of your responsible sourcing program goals and lend insights to help you make better supply chain decisions. There are technology platforms designed to help you manage your compliance information, track factory improvement, and centralize what is often a global effort across many departments. Learn how you can apply best practice in data management in a few cost-effective steps.

  • Speakers: Peter Burrows, Executive Director, Fair Factories Clearinghouse and TBD

Session 6: Preparing for Vendor Performance Measurement

Audits, surveys, and self-assessments are all part of a familiar set of mechanisms used by your retailer and brand customers to measure factory compliance.  However, looming on the horizon are a new set of vendor performance measurement tools. Vendors may be familiar with scorecards, but may not have encountered the next wave of measurement tools. Vendor audits – whether baseline reviews, graduation assessments, or post-graduation reviews – will present vendors with a new set of issues. The session will explore the new vendor assessments, the types of questions that will be asked and what you should do to prepare for them.

  • Speakers: Jennifer Caruso, ELEVATE

Session 7: Getting Factories to Comply


One of the key missing elements in most vendor efforts are the processes around factory remediation. These include how to achieve transparency, develop preventive action plans, build proper project plans, monitor and drive factory progress, and ultimately how to get factories to comply.  Since fixing non-compliances tends to cost money, how do you get a factory to comply without taking shortcuts? This session will help develop a practical, but proactive approach to factory remediation and getting to compliance and ownership.

  • Speakers: TBD


Session 8: Customer Views on the Next Three Years

North Korean workers, UK Modern Slavery, unauthorized? sub-contracting, the sunsetting of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety are some of the higher profile social responsibility topics today.  Learn from this panel of retailers and brands about other issues looming on the horizon and how they want their vendors to prepare for them.

  • Panelists: Adrian Sherman – The Children’s Place, Additional panelists TBD
  • Moderator: Mark Jones, ELEVATE

Registration coming soon

ELEVATE Vendor Seminar

21 March 2018

92 Days



Mark Jones

Mark Jones

Senior Vice President, Customer, ELEVATE
Jennifer Clarke Caruso

Jennifer Caruso

Director, Supplier Ownership, ELEVATE
Andrew Savini

Andrew Savini

Director, Business Development, Global, ELEVATE
Margot Sfeir

Margot Sfeir

Director, Strategic Accounts, ELEVATE
Todd Nash

Todd Nash

Director of Social and Environmental Responsibility, The Home Depot
Todd Nash

Michelle Tarry

Corporate Social Responsibility, American Eagle Outfitters
Kelsey Keene

Kelsey Keene

Director of Licensing & CSR, Colosseum


Address Map

ELEVATE Vendor Seminar
21 March 2018 - New York

Venue: TKP New York Conference Center
109 W. 39th Street
New York, NY 10018