Interview with Chris Nicolaes

Chris Nicolaes
Chris Nicolaes
Lectra - Germany and Eastern Europe
Lectra - Germany and Eastern Europe

You have worked as a management consultant before. Keeping that experience in mind, how do you find the management in textile companies of Europe? How is it different from the management of Asia or America?

It's hard to tell as every region has its companies and every business is run by people.

What are the current trends in sourcing? Can you elaborate a bit on this?

For the textile and fashion industry, I would say that there are two main aspects - there are brands, retailers and manufacturers, and what we notice is that more and more retailers as well as manufacturers start creating their own brands. So, many companies now follow a hybrid model which off-course influences their sourcing pattern. Another trend is towards nearshoring or reshoring. That means, due to increasing wages in China, but also the influence of fast-fashion, fewer companies source in Asia, but rather come back to Eastern Europe to be more flexible and reactive to the demand at acceptable manufacturing cost.

I would like to quote one of the earlier statements from Lectra CEO - "Our customers in these markets are undergoing far-reaching structural changes. Thanks to its worldwide network, Lectra understands the mechanisms of these changes and goes far beyond providing just a technology…" said Daniel Harari, Lectra CEO. What are the far reaching structural changes noticed in Germany and Eastern Europe?

The structural changes would be the shifting of brands from sheer designing and eventually manufacturing companies into the retailing business and retailers and manufacturers developing their own brands; so it becomes a world of hybrid companies. At Lectra we support our customers in this change process by providing business consultancy and PLM solutions, enabling better-controlled product development and integration from design to manufacturing, resulting in increased efficiency and shorter time-to-market without losing the competitive edge.

How would you describe Asia as a market for ERP and PLM software?

As the labor costs are rising, also Asian market players feel the need to introduce more automation. Their whole supply chain needs to be managed efficiently, which calls for integrated PLM solutions. With our subsidiaries throughout Asia - five alone in China - we are firmly established and can help our customers to enhance their business processes.

How do you see Russia as a market for software solutions? Its expertise lies in technical textiles, isn't it? May be, integrated technical solutions for technical textiles would work the best in Russian market.

The Russian market definitely has a lot of potential. Lectra's team in Moscow is in that market for many years, and we have many customers in fashion and technical textiles who we will further support in their growth in a changing environment.
Published on: 02/10/2014

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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