Interview with Mr Frédéric Champalbert

Face2Face
Mr Frédéric Champalbert
Mr Frédéric Champalbert
General Manager Fashion
Lawson
Lawson

So considering above state of industry, how would you explain the role of ERP Solutions for betterment of efficiency in terms of yield and better control on manufacturing business operations?

In the current climate it is more important than ever for manufacturing companies to deliver on time and to ensure customer satisfaction to secure repeat business. There is even more pressure on margins than normal, so managing costs, monitoring margins and utilizing your resources effectively are critical. Fashion companies tend to have complex and global supply chains, so they need good visibility and control of their supply operations. Being efficient and managing your inventories effectively is not enough in the current climate, you also need the agility to quickly respond to the changes in customer demands.

A slowdown is actually a good time to invest in technology-driven process improvements if you want to get ahead when the market picks up. Well-chosen process improvements can quickly make a difference in bottom-line performance, both in the short term and as your business starts to grow again.

It makes sense. Now, regarding Fashion industry- where trends are ever changing and no trait is permanent, how do you read the transition it has been through over the years? How has software solutions evolved along to be the fittest to survive?

The fashion industry is a very dynamic and brand-driven industry where business models evolve rapidly. New companies can enter the market and grow within a decade to become large brands with revenues of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Over the past two decades many companies that used to manufacture have evolved into design, source and distribute companies. Today, many of these brands are now moving from a wholesale model to a multi-channel sales model where they might own retail stores, operate an e-commerce website, run stores within department stores and many other channels to market. At the same time, traditional retailers have developed their own private brands which they design and source then sell through their own stores.

Some software vendors have focused on supporting one business model. At Lawson, we believe we are in a strong position as we have a flexible and scalable solution that can support a company as it evolves from being a manufacturer through a design, source and distribute company to a multi-channel sales organization.

Interesting. And which all regions would you tick as potential regions for your industry?

People need clothes and aspire to own luxury goods. So wherever you go in the world there are textile and garment businesses. Today, most of the manufacturing has moved to regions such as Asia, Eastern Europe and Central America. However, in countries like China, we see an increasing number of manufacturers developing their own brands and verticalizing into retail.

We have Lawson Fashion clients across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The type of business we support in each region can vary, but all are important to us and since it is such a global business we often find our customers in the US and Europe sourcing from our customers in Asia.

In the face of economic turmoil, when operations budgets are too stringent, how do Lawson’s solutions and services go preferred over other myriad local players?

One of our main differentiators is our Lawson QuickStep for Fashion solution. Mid-sized fashion companies, whether brand owners that design, source and distribute, or manufacturers, face the same challenges as large, multinational companies: They handle high order volumes, manage a wide variety of product lines and use complex supply chains. But mid-sized companies do not have the same resources as the larger companies to implement sophisticated IT solutions.

Lawson QuickStep is a solution specially designed and preconfigured to provide features and functions mid-sized fashion companies need, and can address the different requirements of brand owners that design, source, and distribute, and manufacturers including multi-language and country-specific functionality.

QuickStep offers the functionality you need to get up and running quickly, without it being a ‘lite’ version of the Lawson M3 solution. It can reduce and streamline the steps required for implementation, saving a company time and money. By reducing the internal effort and complexity of deploying the Lawson M3 Enterprise Management solution, QuickStep reduces risk and shortens the time to benefit.

Published on: 05/10/2009

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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