Interview with Mr. Daniel Harari

Face2Face
Mr. Daniel Harari
Mr. Daniel Harari
Director & Chief Executive Officer
Lectra
Lectra

Please apprise us about your Kaledo design software.

Both textile and fashion designers are now expected to produce profitable and technically feasible collections more frequently, while at the same time displaying more creativity. To meet this challenge, they must not only be able to count on powerful tools but also on the know-how of other professionals within the company. Close collaboration involves more specialists early on in the process and enables designers to create collections that are more coherent and better adapted to the demands of the market. Even those involved in creative activities are now being put under pressure to show more productivity. With Kaledo, fashion companies can develop new models and collections using existing elements, capitalizing on their creative assets season after season, while taking new trends into account. They can thus respond to a request for designs or modifications in just a few hours, all the while ensuring the quality of their styles and limiting their costs. Kaledo also provides designers with fashion specific tools to develop and transform creative ideas into production-ready specifications for fashion but also for print, knit, and woven fabrics. Kaledo helps streamline the creative design process. Designers end up with fewer manual tasks - comparative tests have proved that Kaledo enables them to halve the time they spend on repetitive tasks – and - and have more time to design. This translates into reduced sampling costs and shorter lead times for fashion companies. But technology is only half the battle. Knowledge and experience provide the rest and our Professional Services teams step in to make sure that the process is solid first, and then that technology is fully leveraged.

With increasing focus towards sustainable business practices, how do your technologies support the inclusion of sustainability requirements?

Our cutting solutions integrate an energy saver so that the system is automatically put on a low level of electricity consumption when not cutting. Additional control systems about to be implemented will lower energy consumption even further. In addition, our solutions are well-known for reaching the best results for material savings, be it fabric, leather, or industrial textiles. These material savings also represent a significant reduction in CO2 emissions when applied to annual mass volumes of production — both the energy required to produce the material not used and the energy needed to dispose of scraps. Concerning leather, we can’t forget that the fewer hides used, the less waste produced by chemical treatment, which has it’s a huge positive impact for the environment. Moreover, our expertise in lean manufacturing allow our customers to reduce the non necessary tasks, the level of work-in-progress stocks / finished goods stocks, the through put time, etc. so that at the end, the reduction in CO2 emissions is considerable. Regarding our software solutions, Lectra Fashion PLM helps our customers to reduce costs and avoid waste-generating errors, with our PLM calendaring and workflow functionalities. This allows the users to track individual product tasks and milestones in real time as compared to the scheduled dates of hand-offs and approvals. Lectra Fashion PLM can also address the challenges of sourcing by simulating costs based on manufacturers, freight, ordering costs, to help select optimal production locations, delivery times, and pricing. The result is high-level visibility of individual product development progress as well as delivery deadlines to ensure the integrity of entire collections. The Design and Product Data Management modules of Lectra Fashion PLM support the first steps to sustainable clothing. A product that doesn’t fit quite right or is poorly constructed will be less likely to stay in the wardrobe and out of the trash than one that fits well, has seams that stay together, and whose buttons don’t fall off after just a few uses. Knowledge communication is central to good quality construction. Creating a library of approved construction methods with corresponding diagrams is something that our customers can manage in our PLM system. This information provides a failsafe method of sharing construction information with factories. The result is a better garment built in a more sustainable way. Last but not least, we integrate spectral color technology within our design and PLM solutions which can help companies reduce their carbon footprint while saving time and money in the color validation process for fabrics, trims, and other components. Color standards are measured physically but are communicated and compared digitally. Lectra is a partner with X-Rite who offer color management systems and measurement devices that enable accurate color scanning and monitor calibration. Lectra Fashion PLM supports the X-Rite ColorMunki spectrophotometer which can sample any object to find the closest Pantone match thus eliminating lengthy lab-dip validation processes.

Finally, what is your outlook for 2012-13 in terms of topline and bottomline?

Lectra has recently published its Y2011 financial results. Revenues — $287 million — were up 10% like-for-like, compared to 2010. In 2010, they had already risen 20%, following sharp falls in 2008 and 2009. Given the Worse-than-Expected Macroeconomic Environment, our 2011 performance is all the more remarkable. The rebound in activity led to record financial results in 2011 for Lectra and enabled us to enter 2012 with stronger key operating ratios and a radically transformed balance sheet. The year 2011 ended with a tougher economic, financial, and monetary environment, of unknown scale and duration, in addition to downward revisions of growth forecasts for 2012 and 2013 for most countries. The alternation of good news and bad news, the lack of visibility, and the growing concerns of companies so long as there are still no signs of a sustainable improvement in the economy will weigh heavily on those companies’ investment decisions. Our clear and ambitious 2010-2012 strategic roadmap, formulated at the end of 2009, amply demonstrated its pertinence in 2010 and in 2011. In addition, Lectra has continued to invest in R&D, and we have renewed and expanded our technology offer. Today, overriding objectives of the company remain unchanged and we have decided to continue to focus on our long-term strategy. Our first established priority is to bolster our roadmap for accelerating our growth and our capacity to create value for our customers. The strengthening of Lectra’s sales and marketing teams and the continuation of our steadfast investment in R&D constitute the keys to accelerating the company’s full-scale transformation plan over the next 24 months, so as to enable us, as soon as the economic crisis ends, to fully realize our growth potential in our most promising geographic markets and market sectors. Bolstered by its performance in 2011 and with the pertinence of its 2012 action plan, Lectra is confident in the strength of its business model and its growth prospects for the medium term.

It was a pleasure talking to you Mr. Harari. Thank you for your time and consideration.

You are welcome.

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Published on: 19/03/2012

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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