Bamboo Rose Blog | Retail News

Introduction to Julie Chao, senior vice president APAC

What are your main responsibilities at Bamboo Rose?

As the senior vice president for Asia Pacific (APAC), I will be an ambassador to Bamboo Rose customers in the Asia region. One of the company’s focuses moving forward is further expansion into Asia to transform how retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers create, manage and bring products to market. Suppliers have so much industry experience and insight they can contribute to improve the product lifecycle processes, and one of my responsibilities is to help them share that knowledge with the larger retail community.


What attracted you to Bamboo Rose?

Bamboo Rose brings the passion and creativity back into retail, and isn’t that why we all started out in this industry in the first place? The company’s product innovation platform connects the B2B retail community throughout the whole product lifecycle, from design and development to delivery. We help retailers communicate more easily with other industry players to truly create great products, faster and at higher margins.


What expertise or previous experiences do you think will be most helpful at Bamboo Rose?

I previously worked at Li & Fung, where I worked closely with many of the world’s largest retailers and suppliers. I led one of the company’s ready-to-wear (RTW) divisions and developed a direct sourcing organization that helped build the business to over $100 million within five years.


What is your view of the international retail industry today?

As the world becomes more digitally connected, retailers need to adapt to keep up with changing consumer demands and suppliers need make sure they prove their value. The international retail industry is full of opportunity, but industry players need to make smart decisions when considering growth. We’ve had multiple customers grow their revenue, supplier base, physical locations and merchandise database by using one unified system to streamline the product lifecycle and involve other industry players from the very start to produce quality results. Companies who approach growth and the international industry similarly will be better prepared for any scenario.


What are some of the challenges facing retail suppliers today?

Retail is tough for suppliers right now, and it’s only going to get worse. The number one challenge for suppliers is growing or sustaining their business. They don’t need fancy operations, but need to keep factories running while more and more retail customers go under. Their main objective is the find and retain new customers, while also growing current business.


The second challenge is saving costs. Because they are losing customers and struggling to find new ones, suppliers are very conscious of where they can cut costs and how their budget is allocated. As part of the same challenge, suppliers are always looking to hire quality talent. The challenge to find millennials who are attracted to the traditional roles that suppliers offer is becoming increasingly difficult: What millennials value in a career today may be completely different from what my generation values. Suppliers need to account for this when evolving their processes and capabilities to meet the needs of the changing market.


Is personalization a factor in the supply chain?

Personalization and the increasing need for a variety of products to meet individual demands are changing the supply chain. Consumers with global access and rapidly changing tastes are demanding more unique and value-oriented products than ever. This trend is becoming the “new normal” in retail as retailers and suppliers alike will need to account for evolving tastes moving forward.


What can suppliers gain from using Bamboo Rose?

Bamboo Rose allows suppliers to engage with new buyers in a larger retail community. They can increase business opportunities by opening up a new world of buyers. The marketplace platform also lowers costs by reducing necessary manpower and lowering sampling and travel expenses. By providing a digital workplace to employees, suppliers are also more likely to attract quality millennial talent to help them move their business forward.


With Bamboo Rose, suppliers can invest more in their growth and nurture programs, bringing in new customers while also attending to existing customers to grow their business. With trend research, suppliers can also help their retail customers stay on trend, making them more competitive and relevant to potential customers. Suppliers would also gain more accurate insight into invoices and sourcing logistics with the platform’s global trade management and purchase to pay capabilities. This allows them to get invoices paid accurately and on time using a five-way match, which benefits both suppliers and retailers in the long run.