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Opinion » Seaward

Andy Seaward

Not putting your eggs in one basket
The Seaward column
Published:  11 August, 2016

Article first published in ILM July-August 2016 edition. I have learned a lot in the past 18 months since I became independent from a large brand. Indeed, although I have been consulting during this time, I may well have learned more than the information I have given out. 

Andy Seaward

Make what we can sell
Seaward column
Published:  03 August, 2016

First published in ILM May-June 2016 edition. I am not a great reader of management books and perhaps this is reflected in the way I used to manage. I am also not a great lover of company mission statements. Ask any factory shop floor worker what their company mission statement is? 

Fairs - a leather buyer’s guide
Seaward Column - first published in the March/April 2016 edition of ILM
Published:  23 May, 2016

Returning from Lineapelle in Milan and after reading several articles from a tanner’s perspective, which reflected on the show and the current price levels, I thought it would be interesting to look at both subjects from a buyer’s perspective as I suspect all buyers have slightly different takes on how they approach a fair, depending on the needs of the brand and on their own personalities. My feeling is, and after talking to many, that the approach is similar.

Andy Seaward

Tanners are poor communicators
Seaward Column - first published in the Jan-Feb 2016 edition of ILM
Published:  14 March, 2016

Recently, I have had some friendly digs at brands about their lack of leather knowledge and lack of training in ILM. Now, I want to look at communication and emails, in particular at tanners. Both brands and tanners have much to learn, and I must admit that I am no expert in the area of communication, but my main concern is the tanner.

Andy Seaward

Price negotiation time
Seaward Column - First published in the Nov-Dec 2015 edition of ILM
Published:  14 March, 2016

As I write this column, the fair season is coming to an end and I am visiting tanners and brands. After discussing trends and specifications for Autumn/Winter 2017, it always amuses me that, as the trade fair season winds down, all the major brands are already specifying the following season... but that is a whole column for another day.

Andy Seaward

Greater supply chain dialogue is required
Seaward Column - First published in the Sep-Oct 2015 edition of ILM
Published:  14 March, 2016

I have been thinking, believe it or not, about leather recently and the latest downward price fluctuations in the market. When "they" (raw material prices) are up 'they are really up' and when "they" are down 'they are really down', it would seem. 

Andy Seaward

Setting standards between tanner and buyer
Seaward Column - first published in the July/Aug 2015 edition of ILM
Published:  02 February, 2016

As a leather buyer for over 25 years, I was always interested in systems and methods employed by different companies when sourcing leather because I wanted to see how we could improve or learn something different. Sometimes it was difficult to elicit information although I must say that, in my experience, one of the best parts of the shoe and leather trade is people’s openness to discuss aspects of their business in an effort to help one another. However, since those days, I have been better able to observe different approaches employed. One area that comes to mind is standard setting and control which I believe is paramount to good control of leather supplied to the factory and being used in shoe manufacturing.

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