Interview with Dastaquir Ismail

Face2Face
Dastaquir Ismail
Dastaquir Ismail
Vice President - Supplier Solutions
GT Nexus
GT Nexus

Today, companies compete on supply chains as well

GT Nexus provides a cloud-based collaboration platform that every sector relies on to automate hundreds of supply chain processes on a global scale and across entire trade communities. Dastaquir Ismail, vice president - supplier solutions, GT Nexus, explains the growing importance of cloud network in the times of testing economic and trade environments.

Why is it important for textile and apparel companies to automate their trade and logistics operations? What benefit do they get in terms of time and cost savings?

Automation of trade and logistics is vital in today's rapidly changing world. By embracing technology solutions, forward-thinking apparel and footwear companies are fashioning tight, visible, integrated supply chains-and reaping the rewards. In a hypercompetitive environment full of challenges and uncertainties, visibility is a key aspect. It's no longer just price, today companies compete on their supply chains as well.

Retail businesses have turned omnichannel. How has his affected/changed supply chain?

Omni-channel retailing involves seamlessly integrating the customer experience across all channels - in store, on the web, and on mobile devices. As customers use almost every available buying channel, companies need to be omni-present. The buying process is no longer predictable. It is dynamic, driven by increasing internet and mobile use, and it has more "touch points" than ever which requires retail supply chains to be geared to handle this.

Delivering to today's online customer requires collaborative systems and processes to orchestrate events and activities across the multi-party end to end supply chain. The omni channel customer mandate implies "order from anywhere, and return to anywhere". They desire a seamless experience from order to delivery. The impacts are global and extend to the long tail of the supply chain from inbound source to pay and outbound from order to fulfil/deliver.

Demand, supply, finance and shipment. Which of these four words do you think are important and why?

I believe all four of them are equally important. They all work hand-in-hand and are interlinked. In order to supply you need to have demand for a product. To manufacture you need to have the required finance. Ensuring your goods are shipped on time so it reaches the stores at the right time.

How old is the cloud platform technology used by GT Nexus. What new improvements can your customers expect in near future?

GT Nexus is a pioneer in doing business in the cloud. We were in the cloud, before the term cloud came into existence, more than 15 years ago.

We recently became a part of Infor, a company that places a strong emphasis on beautiful software and technical innovation. The most noticeable improvement customers are seeing today is the new user interfaces that have been developed by Hook & Loop, an in-house design agency that builds some of the sexiest UI in the world. Infor also takes pride in its Dynamic Science labs, developing new innovation around things like analytics, which will have a significant impact on the GT Nexus platform in the future. It's all about capturing and using your data effectively. Resources such as Hook & Loop and the Dynamic Science Labs give us major firepower to innovate into the future.

What are the challenges in terms of security for cloud technology? How are these being addressed?

Security is key for all of the companies. Operating on a cloud network is safer and more secure than traditional methods of transacting, where emails and spreadsheets and documents are sent freely to outside parties. GT Nexus's security system is built upon five tenets of data security: authentication, authorisation, confidentiality, integrity and non-repudiation. These building blocks work together to provide a comprehensive data security infrastructure.

How is cloud platform expected to change the way textile and apparel industry works over the next two years?

Innovation is taking the apparel industry into new heights with some trendsetting changes taking place. The cloud is a game changing phase of IT that is not only impacting the way computing services are delivered, but also the way in which users will use IT and collaborate with business networks. 

With continuously changing customer demands and speed to market being key, the apparel industry is going through a transformation that requires technology such as a cloud platform to assist brands in giving them visibility across the supply chain and enabling them to manage by exception. Collaboration across multiple partners and tiers in the apparel supply chain is necessary to help brands and retailers meet demands and maintain profitability.

Published on: 13/10/2016

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 Fibre2Fashion.com.

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