Interview with Mr Frédéric Champalbert

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

Head quartered in Minnesota, US, for more than a quarter of a century, Lawson has delivered business management solutions that offer performance, reliability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. The Company has been on the forefront of technology – offering packaged software solutions in the 1970s, embracing open systems technology in the 1980s, and introducing web-enabled business software in the 1990s. Today, Lawson continues to break new ground with a wide variety of software, services, and support opportunities to help clients save time and money. Lawson provides enterprise software and service solutions in the manufacturing, distribution, maintenance, and service industries. Lawson’s Fashion business arm enables companies with complex, global supply chains, to synchronize supply and demand in real time. It delivers industry-specific solutions for companies that source, distribute, retail or manufacture apparel, footwear, home textiles and fashion accessories. With sales revenue of $854M (2008), Lawson marks presence in more than 40 countries across the globe, 4500 customers and over 100 partners internationally. Mr Frédéric Champalbert, is the General Manager Fashion, Lawson since June 2009. He joined the company in 2002 and most recently was Vice President of Sales for Central and Southern US, and country manager for France. He is responsible not only for delivering software solutions but also for delivering services and the long-term solution road map for the fashion industry. Mr Champalbert is leading a team of sales, services and product development executives with strong expertise and a long history in the fashion industry. Prior to Lawson he has spent his entire career in the IT sector with more than four years at SAP as a Global Account Manager for key accounts and as a Business Development Manager for Small & Medium Enterprises with responsibility for selection and sales enablement of SME partners. In a colloquy with Face2Face team, Mr Frederic Champalbert throws light on the present state of global textile and fashion industry, and development in business solutions market in this sector.

It is a pleasure for Face2Face to host you Mr Champalbert! It would be a great idea to begin with a word from you on Lawson as you see it today established in the vertical of textiles & fashion industry?

Today, Lawson focuses on a handful of industry verticals as we realize we cannot deliver a superior customer experience to say twenty or thirty verticals. We signed our first Lawson fashion customer in 1992 and since then we have been increasing our focus and investment in Fashion. I worked with various large and small fashion companies over the years and am delighted to be General Manager for the Fashion Business Unit.

Today, Lawson continues to invest heavily in industry-specific functionality, industry knowledge and in delivering a superior customer experience. I and my team are continually meeting with fashion companies to learn about their businesses and requirements today and in the future.

That’s really a smart effort. We would also like to know your stance on present state of global textile industry.

As we all know the global financial markets went into crisis in September 2008 and virtually every country and industry is facing some level of economic downturn. Many companies in the apparel and textiles industry have set their sights on simply surviving.

In this climate, it seems counterintuitive to think of investing in technology. Yet history has shown that the smart investor buys when the market is down. Profits in the textiles industry exploded in the early 1990s, during a recession, largely due to the increased efficiencies that textile manufacturers realized from capital investment in machinery. In the same period, Liz Claiborne broke the mold for fashion designers and seized leadership in the retail arena by diversifying and investing while others were worrying about the recession.

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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