By Laurent Aucouturier
Partner/Gherzi Textil Organisation AG
Laurent AucouturierQuality – A Generic Term?
Through numerous consulting assignments spanning more than eight decades, Gherzi Textil Organisation has been able to monitor profound changes in the textile industry related to the textile purchasing process. And one specific phenomenon is progressively altering the relationship among different stakeholders of this fragmented value-added chain. Basic textile knowledge is indeed more and more absent among important players at the brand and distribution level.
I have to deal with purchasers who do not understand textile processes. They want quality, but they only focus on prices and delivery times. This is a very common complaint heard from Gherzi’s clients not only in Asia but also in Europe and North America.
Suffering from this incapacity to articulate technical aspects, textile manufacturers find it challenging to: (1) showcase the value of their innovations and (2) elucidate their understanding of quality. Their capacity to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack is further weakened.
Producing a quality shirt could involve more than 20 different machines from yarn forming, weaving preparation, weaving, dyeing/finishing and apparel assembly. Each production step demands experience and expertise, requiring operational best practices and specific maintenance procedures that could be improved through dedicated and constant innovation introduced by textile equipment suppliers.
This complexity of the textile production value-added chain with its related technical jargon has become a serious source of misunderstanding between sellers and buyers. The correlative question could be: How can I be sure to buy the right product if I do not know how it has been manufactured?
Facing this technical complexity, brands, distributors and consumers need clear marketing communication. Using and selling a good cotton – or any kind of natural, artifical or synthetic fiber – will remain an important factor at all levels of the textile value chain.