Interview with Chris Nicolaes

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

Many companies now follow a hybrid model which off-course influences their sourcing pattern.
Chris Nicolaes talks about the sourcing industry and the latest technological innovations with Mary Christine Joy. Synopsis: Lectra is a multi-national company employing thousands of employees. It provides integrated technology solutions to companies worldwide. In the apparel and fashion industry, they cover a broad area including collection, management, facilitating collaboration and enhancing the value of customer's brand equity. Chris began his career in 1982 as a management consultant with RND, a consultancy firm. He holds an MBA from Newport University, Utrecht, and degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from Eindhoven University of Technology, also in the Netherlands. He was recently appointed as the MD of Lectra for Germany and Eastern European regions. Excerpts:

Being newly appointed to this responsible position, what vision do you, Chris Nicolaes, have in mind for Lectra Germany and Eastern Europe?

In Germany, Eastern Europe and Russia, there is a growing competition because of financially strong international brands, which vehemently crowd into the market. Companies are forced to expand into new markets, to focus on retail activities and to increase their brand awareness. In the mean time Eastern European Manufacturers compete for the production orders of these brands. We want to help to bring both "worlds" together and support brands and manufacturers to find an optimal way of collaboration. To get there, Lectra offers more than products; we provide consulting to our customers and assist them to adapt their business model to make nearshoring as efficient as possible, reducing time-to-market and increasing margin.

What are your strengths that will help you in taking your vision forward?

I have been associated with various companies in the last 20 years of my professional life. I love to be in this dynamically developing market where you have to max the alignment of the company to the market needs. My experience helps.

If we ask in general, can you let us know of the latest technological innovations going on in fashion, textile and technical textiles industry?

3D technology is a real revolution in all fashion industries. With the concepts of a lean product development approach, Lectra's business consultants assists its customers in streamlining the whole product development process and all elements involved, to minimize time-to-market by reducing the need for physical samples drastically and at the same time boost the efficiency of the organization which off-course leads to increased margins.

Germany has always remained an ardent adapter of latest technologies. Do you agree? Please explain your stand?

I don't completely agree, as I believe that American companies are always trying to be on the leading edge. However it is true that German companies have always adapted latest technologies early.
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 Fibre2Fashion.com.

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