Interview with Kurt Cavano

Kurt Cavano
Kurt Cavano
Founder & President
GT Nexus
GT Nexus

Tell us about your collaboration with HSBC and how will it simplify finances for customers.

Financing capabilities from HSBC are integrated directly into the platform, easing the access to funds along the line and helping companies to free up working capital. While supply chain finance is an area where HSBC sees a big potential for growth, the bank is also looking to offer pre-shipment finance through the platform. Operating via a cloud-based solution means services can quite easily be added as market needs continue to evolve. With the opportunity to leverage the data of the platform, HSBC is also investigating how to develop other products to the benefit of its clients.

How is the supply chain situation among textiles and garment manufacturers in Asia?

Digital supply chain transformation and advanced automation is going to continue to expand and increasingly will become a core part of any supply chain. Textile and garment manufacturers must continue to evolve, or they will lose out to more IT-fortified competitors. The good news is that the technology has become much easier to attain over the past several years as solutions become more cloud and mobile enabled. Companies can now get supply chain automation technologies that would have been out of reach just a few years ago.

What solutions would you propose MSMEs that dominate the textiles industry in India for better supply chain efficiencies?

Digital transformation will affect all levels of supply chains. By digitising their processes, large organisations are aiming to improve assurance of supply and increase agility. Digital supply networks will help align supply and demand, enable postponement strategies, orchestrate supplier packing & shipping, and reduce processing and lead times. By embracing the digital transformation, MSMEs can align themselves with these ambitions. With administrative obstacles removed from the business process and with increased visibility and cash flow certainty, organisations have the opportunity to continue to grow while maintaining a stabile cost base. This provides a competitive advantage for any organisation that has started or completed its digital transformation journey.

What are the latest features added in the cloud software at GT Nexus to monitor the state of supply chain affairs?

Where one or more 3PLs are in use with inbound supply chains, our transportation management system is uniquely designed to centralise shipment planning visibility across logistics service providers (LSPs) and carriers alike to spot inefficiencies, remove more uncertainty from lengthy, crossgeography transit times and costs, and improve fulfillment agility along with LSP performance management. Our GPS shipment tracking (IoT) and artificial intelligence-based Predictive ETA can work in tandem for greater precision and accuracy in delivery projections to improve receiving and fulfillment activities. With customer focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing, it's more important than ever to ensure goods are produced at authorised factories, and that these factories are meeting buyers' ethical sourcing requirements. Factory location certainty, electronically monitors and establishes processes check points to help ensure goods are produced and shipped from the factory you designate and authorise. Our multi-enterprise cloud network provides the ideal mechanism to enforce this, and also to maintain vendor requirement checklists and processes.

Which major political factors have a major influence on the global supply chain? What has been the impact of Brexit and Trump's emphasis on 'Make in USA' on the global supply chain?

If you look at the world economy today, globalisation is ubiquitous, but it's also changing. The free trade values of the early 1990s-2000s are giving way to policies favouring protectionism, greater domestic production, ethical and sustainable production, and personalised supply chains. You can indeed see emblems of this new cultural shift through the proposed renegotiation of NAFTA, the quandary over trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and border adjustment taxes. Whether it's Brexit or something else, countries are reevaluating trade on a massive scale. No matter what the uncertainty is around specific policies and decisions, the more important question becomes: how do you, as a business, navigate the dynamic complexity of international supply chains? By viewing global trade management as an ongoing practice, businesses stand a much better chance of figuring out the tools and processes that work best for them, finding value by synergising their transportation, compliance, duty optimisation, and finance strategies.

Do you see major re-shore manufacturing happening in western countries?

The market economy will ultimately be the deciding factor for where manufacturing will take place. While access to raw material, cost of labour and shipping cost are all large contributing factors to the final cost of goods, other opportunities exist around supply chain visibility, agility and velocity. By digitising the supply chain practices, organisations are able to get better visibility into additional efficiency gains related to duty optimisation, selection of shipping lanes and reduced complexity around order accuracy. Business will follow the path of least resistance which can be affected by trade agreements and protectionism, but ultimately it is the sum of all supply chain obstacles.

What would be your top three predictions for the future of supply chain in the textiles and apparel sector?

  • The pace of automation is going to increase, and buyers are going to lean heavily on their suppliers to be active, smart participants in their IT initiatives.   
  • The sector is going to develop in geographies which will put pressure on the 'core' regions in Asia. New markets and sourcing regions are getting closer all the time, due in large part to advancements in supply chain orchestration and mature technologies.  
  • Sustainability will continue to be a critical aspect of apparel brands, who will continue to pressure their suppliers around how they source raw materials, how they treat the environment and how they treat their employees.  

What are the challenges facing today's manufacturing supply chains?

There's a lot of pressure on supply chains to perform at a high level. This is being driven largely by Amazon, which is resetting consumer expectations on product assortment, availability and delivery. This is no longer just a challenge for bricks and mortar retail. Technology is evolving so quickly in the supply chain, which puts pressure on manufacturers to evolve rapidly. As new innovations hit the market, there's always pressure deciding what is real, what is hype and what is going to make a difference. One thing is clear, the future is a digital.(HO)
Published on: 13/02/2018

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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