Role of IT in textile sector is key to success – Mr Subramanyan
The first day of the two day “Texcellence '09”, the conference with a focus on textile and allied sectors had an array of distinguished speakers along with a wide spectrum of interesting subjects which they broached upon. One interesting topic; “Influence of Technology and Automation in Textile-Apparel Industry”, which has utmost importance to the optimal and holistic growth of the textile and apparel sector, was presented by Mr Venkat Subramanyan.
Mr Subramanyan is the Executive Director of www.fibre2fashion.com, which is an online B2B portal for the textile, apparel and fashion sector. He began the presentation by outlining the trends in the industry, namely, Geographical shifts, Transnational Corporations, Lean retailing and Speed-to-market.
He next delved on the “Need of Information Communication Technology” in the textile and allied sectors, which can help in easy exchange of information exchange, synchronized planning, better workflow coordination, help in synchronizing supplier – buyer relation and most of all facilitate integration of order management activities. The other big valuable assistance it provides is in access, process and sharing of real time information globally.
He then shared with the rapt and attentive audience the attributes of the internet, which is emerging as a valuable information source. He listed out; Better reach; Ability to target; Better Interactivity; Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action cycle (A.I.D.A.) and Response driven among the qualities of the medium.
He then informed the participants about the features of a B2B website from the perspective of a buyer as well as the seller. According to Mr Subramanyan, the buyer can search new suppliers, post buying requests, search new goods and keep himself updated on new trends. From the seller's point of view, he is able to find new buyers, offer products for sale, search through tender databases and gather market information about competitors.
Among other excellent features which the internet and a B2B portal offers to the textile and apparel sector is the means of communication at reduced costs, he said. He drew the attention of the audience to a new medium of hosting online trade fairs and virtual meetings with which real-time interactions over the internet using features such as audio and video and application sharing is possible, along with which it has a global reach and large audience and is also a easy way to bring remote people to a common platform without the time and expense of travel in real time and is also easy and simple to learn and integrate.
He also shared the obstacles in implementation of information technology like; Lack of knowledge about available technologies; Low awareness of the expectations of business partners; Non willingness to access capital to fund the necessary investment; Shortcomings in the wider business environment; Low levels of existing IT equipment or incompatible systems and cultural barriers to information sharing.