Interview with Mr Frédéric Champalbert

Mr Frédéric Champalbert
Mr Frédéric Champalbert
General Manager Fashion

It sounds great, especially, for our SMEs players! <br></br> Mr Champalbert, optimal fabric preparation for clothing production, automated garment manufacture, virtual garment prototyping, supply chain integration and mass customization, etc points up Europe's aim for technology breakthrough. What is your say on its prospects & benefits on your as well as textile industry?

As a significant proportion of European manufacturing has moved to Asia and Eastern Europe, we have seen many of the companies that remain focus on technical textiles and clothing technology in search of differentiation and a higher price point in order to compete. Many companies took a strategic decision to outsource the sewing or full garment manufacture. Part of this may be due to limited support from European governments for investment in new technology to automate labor-intensive processes.

I think many European companies have invested in supply chain integration for the sourcing and distribution of garments, and mass customization of garments still often takes place in Europe close to the point of demand.

If you look at many of the low cost destinations for apparel manufacturing ten or twenty years ago versus today, labor costs have gone up for them and other new low cost destinations have emerged. To remain competitive many companies in the more traditional outsourcing countries are investing in software technology and process improvements to broaden their offering to provide customers with a full supply chain solution for garments.

True. Developments in this particular sector are taking place at lightning speed and ‘Dreams Become Reality'. So what all the consumers can expect in the coming days?

Consumer demand is what drives the entire textile and apparel supply chain and the retailers are the channel masters who are continually trying to predict and react to consumers’ wishes. So at the end of the day it is the consumers that sets the expectations and determines the future of the entire industry.

At the lower price end of the fashion market, Fast Fashion is all the rage. Consumers do not want to turn up at a party or work to find everyone is wearing the same design, so collaborative Product Lifecycle Management and Supply Chain Management tools are going to become increasingly important for fashion manufacturers to cut time to market and deliver the breadth of variety that today’s consumers are demanding.

As many traditional bricks and mortar retailers have seen declining revenues, online e-commerce revenues have been growing rapidly in many countries. So many of the changes that consumers see in the coming days are likely to be around their desires and wishes in an online environment. I think that in the future we will see more use of 3D visualization and avatars online, so that people can try clothes on a model of themselves. To successfully manage an online business, requires a solid ERP foundation to track the inventory, display product availability and handle the sales transactions. You might remove the physical store real estate, but all the back office processes and data still need to be managed.

We see a vast number of opportunities and exciting developments going forward and will be working in partnership with our fashion customers to prioritize our investments wisely. Our vision is to support the core fashion business processes from concept to consumer and we will use a mix of in-house development, partnering and acquisitions as we work towards our vision.

We extend our best wishes for this, Mr Champalbert. Thanks a bunch for informative talk.

My pleasure.

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

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