future for the textile and clothing chain:
the impact of new information and communication technologies"
|ASCONTEX, the Italian Textiles Consortia Association, has organised the first edition of ITIT (Information Technologies in Textile and Clothing) within the framework of the "Incontri di Villa Erba" at Cernobbio (Como Lake Italy) on the 23rd and the 24th March 2000|
|With the support of
the European Commissions Information Society
Promotion Office (ISPO)
and the participation of EURATEX (The European Apparel and Textile Organisation)
The "Incontri di Villa Erba" focused on a crucial issue for the textile and clothing sectors future : how should Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) be efficiently integrated into a companys different functions and production processes ?
Indeed, quality, innovation, responsiveness, and improved time efficiency have progressively become essential competition criteria. From now on, the company must endeavour to strengthen its control over interactions between the different components of its value-added chain by improving the density and quality of exchanges.
However, the textile and clothing chain is one of the longest and most fragmented industrial production chains : reducing " time to market " is a major objective for the companies of the sector. With this in mind, the use of ICT and the development of applications offers a wealth of opportunities throughout the chain, from fibre production to marketing systems, including design, production and logistics : improving the quality of the entire customer-supplier-sub-contractor chain, identifying new market opportunities and partners, speeding up the design of products, production itself, increasing responsiveness and adaptability to changes in demand and markets, streamlining management techniques, making commercial and logistics procedures leaner through the use of business-to-business or business-to-consumer electronic commerce, introducing new synergies, etc.
Yet, despite progress over recent years, the issues at stake are still not sufficiently well identified by companies in the sector and it seems necessary to offer them key-solutions to turn concept into reality :
- Which methodological and technical tools should be implemented to introduce the technologies to the different functions of the firm in a successful and efficient way?
- Which concrete approach should be adopted and where should one start?
- What are the real benefits to be derived, and with what kind of investments?
- What are the advantages of developing e-business solutions?
- What are the necessary professional qualifications and which training schemes should be implemented?
- Which new managerial working methods should be developed?
- How can synchronisation with the other actors in the field such as suppliers, sub contractors, etc. be achieved?
Companies are faced with a number of choices that will very often force them to engage in a far-reaching process of reorganisation, encompassing working methods, qualifications, and relations with suppliers, subcontractors and partners.
Even though companies must acknowledge these challenges, they need not face them alone. Their technical and institutional partners, whether they are research bodies, professional associations, regional and local associations or national authorities, can act as vehicles for disseminating innovation and as catalysts for industrial development.
The European Commission provides help through its promotional campaigns and R&D programmes in the framework of its policy for the support and improvement of European industrial competitiveness.
Using first-hand evidence, expertise, demonstrations of operational solutions and presentations of best practice developed throughout the European Union, ITIT aimed to provide constructive solutions to these crucial questions and challenges. Besides operational aspects for companies, the objective of this initiative was to draw up concrete recommendations that should form the basis of an action programme for the textile and clothing sector at a European level and start an extensive Europe-wide debate and dialogue between actors, professionals and their technical and institutional partners in the textile and clothing sector.
The ITIT conference was organised by ASCONTEX, the Italian Association of Textiles consortia, within the framework of the "Incontri di Villa Erba". It has benefited from the support of the Information Society Promotion Office (ISPO) of the European Commission and the participation of EURATEX.
Proceedings are now available on this site
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