As Seen In Textile Insight Magazine, July - August 2011
Cindy Fay Stangl
Our main mission is to help our customers sell shoes. To be successful, we looked at these five strategic areas to improve or develop further this year:
1. Faster speed to market. "Just in time" is now "Just in mind." A designer might say to us: "I have an idea or concept in mind for a new fabric. Here it is. Can you bring me finished fabrics based on this concept in the next two weeks?" It's not easy, but in most instances we can do it thanks in part to technical advances in printing and production.
2. Developing technical and/or, fashion fabrics cooperatively with our customers. Not many of our customers want what the others want so we now work with brand design and development teams to
create custom fabrics for both the fashion and performance sides of their business.
3. Limiting our sku count to those fabrics that give us greater volume, thus minimizing pricing pressures. It's no secret that higher volumes give greater efficiencies so, while we have been judicious keeping customer favorites in the line, we also have eliminated about 25 percent of our skus.
4. Focusing our marketing message on the importance of the inner components of a shoe.
5. While we have cut our sku count considerably, we also have dedicated more resources to research and development, and formed additional business partnerships to create exciting new fabrics.