Mr. Robert McKee
Global Fashion Industry Strategy Director Infor
Which software packages are available for the textile retail sector?
Retail typically requires a range of software spanning logistics elements such as warehouse or stock management, workforce management, customer relationship management (often in very immediate terms), financial management, supplier management, performance analytics, procurement and demand planning.
It is worth bearing in mind that textile retail will differ drastically from other areas of retail such as fresh produce or electronics: Infor has over 2,600 retail customers across 67 countries and within fashion this spans names such as Tommy Hilfiger, GAP, JC Penney, Macy’s.com and Billabong. As you can imagine these brands will have different processes as well so it is more a case of supporting the individual business processes rather than applying a blanket software package. We call this being “specialized by industry”.
Till now, how has your experience been with the Indian textile and apparel industry? Has the poor infrastructure in the country affected your business plans in any way?
Infrastructure in India remains notoriously unreliable, especially for volumetric goods such as fashion that may take up a lot of space but do not necessarily weigh a great deal. It is usually the case that India has the space to manufacture and store these goods, but lacks the infrastructure to move them.
Where do you see Infor in the Indian textile and apparel industry five years down the line? What changes do you suppose will Infor bring in the Indian textile industry?
There are four main technological factors driving change and innovation: social business, cloud, mobility and analytics. Applied to the Indian textile business, we see a likely profound impact from social business and mobility, especially as mobile phone and smart phone penetration continues to increase throughout the region.
We have already begun developing workforce management (WFM) and Business Intelligence (BI) mobile apps, social media interaction for our CRM products and increased analytics components throughout our financial management applications.
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