Earlier in July, ASL’s Asia Pacific and global procurement teams welcomed over 200 suppliers from across China to their offices in Shenzhen and Shanghai. Over two days, ASL’s buyers and merchandisers discussed the latest trends and ideas with their key suppliers. Sustainability was the hot topic with some interesting new products on display, including sand-free towels made from bamboo, amplifier tables and VIP speakers.
Alec Pettigrew, ASL’s CEO, commented on this year’s conference “Every year we get together with our top suppliers to exchange ideas and look ahead to the upcoming 12 months. It’s an important opportunity for our teams to take time out from the day-to-day, collaborate with colleagues and gain valuable insights into the latest ideas & innovations coming into the marketplace”.
He continued “We’ve found these supplier conferences to be very beneficial in recent years. Marketing services is a fast-moving space and we have many new suppliers coming on board, especially from markets outside China. These suppliers can offer completely new products & ideas, so it’s important that our buyers understand what’s possible and can take back practical ideas and solutions which help to make our clients’ campaigns more effective”.
It was also an opportunity to discuss operational procedures and agree best practice ways of working. Guy Williams, ASL’s Chief Operating Officer, explains “As a business, we source an extremely diverse range of marketing products and services which can make for very complex operational procedures. Spending time with our major suppliers to discuss how we engage and work with them really helps to draw out ideas for best practice frameworks, improved compliance and helps to create smoother, more efficient workflows”.
Supplier feedback was very positive, as vendors took the opportunity to develop their working relationships with ASL’s global buying teams. Further supplier conference events in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam are planned throughout 2019.
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