DALLAS — Mercado Labs has announced the release of Mercado Plan, a transformative technology designed to increase supply chain transparency by seamlessly connecting importers with their suppliers and partners to track, measure, and meet business-critical compliance and regulatory standards.
The launch of the new product (which is to sit alongside Mercado’s existing first mile suite that includes Mercado Buy for buying, finance, and supplier networks and Mercado Move aimed at logistics functions) is set to radically shift the way importing brands build relationships around external partners who are involved in the planning, buying, and moving of their products.
“Arguably the biggest issue facing importers today is the lack of visibility and transparency into their supply-side networks,” said Keith Katz, Mercado Labs Vice President of Product. “You don’t have to dig very deep to find countless examples of brands being exposed by convoluted, multi-tier supplier structures, all of which contributes to the fragility we’ve seen in the global supply chain over the past couple of years. Mercado Plan is designed to bring greater visibility, transparency, and trust to the ways in which businesses work and engage with their third-party partners.”
In a time where consumers and stakeholders are becoming increasingly vocal about how brands impact people and the planet, the spotlight is now on businesses to proactively manage the supply-side of the global importing equation and focus on the areas that impact their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards—a market that is expected to exceed $1.3 billion this year.
“If the impetus from customers and investors wasn’t enough, we’re also seeing governmental regulation starting to shape the future of the importing world,” Katz said.
Although it is certainly not alone in its notoriously poor supply chain practices, the fashion industry has regularly been exposed by the media. This has led most notably to a crack-down on poor factory conditions (both at home and in the countries products are manufactured) and the introduction of protection for minority worker, including the recent Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) which is set to enter into force on June 21, 2022.
To tackle this directly, Mercado Plan is launching a range of complementary, pre-built courses to help businesses get started straight away. Most notably a UFLPA course that will directly address the new act and provide importers with a foundation to upskill and train their suppliers on what is required to meet the legal requirements.
It’s not just about tighter supply chain regulation, however. Mercado Plan is also set up to help importers go beyond supplier verification, with courses to support further education on the latest supply chain topics as well as communicate important updates across the entire supply network.
“In a time of great uncertainty, importers are being asked to catch-up on years’ worth of regulation in a matter of months,” said Mercado Labs CEO Rob Garrison. “We believe Mercado Plan will help give brands the confidence they need to build trust back into their partner relationships. We couldn’t be more excited to help shape the future of one of the world’s most critical industries.”
Businesses can find out more about how Mercado Plan can help their supply network by heading over to mercadolabs.com/plan.
About Mercado Labs
Mercado Labs is an Import Order Management System (iOMS) that connects you to the people who make and move your products by creating a digital order. The platform automates your supply chain to create efficiency and remarkable outcomes. So you can plan, buy, and move your products online with ease.