Prime Source Forum 2012: Quote/unquote - day 2
Industry issues tackled on the second day of this year's Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong included the globalisation of retail and its impact on the supply chain, the internet and social networking, and a call for more effort to train and promote talent. Here is a roundup of comments from some of the speakers at the event.
Global sourcing has changed based upon the globalisation of retail. And it going to change even more, and faster, as the BRICS accelerate, with China [for example] having over 120 cities of over 1m people, as we dive into the second and third tier. And by saying this, your greatest risk is by not truly understanding your customer" - Jeff Streader, operating partner, Marlin Equity Partners.
"Going global is not necessarily cheaper or better - so you have to have a very efficient business, and run your business efficiently, to resist the cost pressures of going global. Going global as a retailer involves global sourcing, and this has its own challenges as well. It can mean you have different products in different locations, you've got multiple locations, and it's very important to know what stock you've got and that your data is accurate. So regional data integrity is something that retailers are very involved in" - James Stafford, head of European market development, RFID adoption, Retail Branding and Information Solutions, Avery Dennison.
"Asia seems set to leapfrog the rest of the world when it comes to new [mobile] technologies. Asia is now starting to transform the way we buy. There is now more mobile activity on this side of the world than the US and EU" - Egidio Zarrella, senior partner, advisory, KPMG.
"Social media and social networks are the next evolutionary step of the internet. Social media now brings about a new way of finding a product. Before, there was no emotional connection: we looked for a product, found it and bought it. Now there's an emotional connection too" - Thibault Villet, co-founder and CEO, Glamour Sales China.
"Social media is essential to deliver the right information to the right people, and is an essential element of your marketing. In China it is one of our best marketing tools" - Anthony Chow, CEO, Otto Group China.
"Thanks to social media there is a need to improve the overall customer experience, because if you don't do it, people share very quickly the news that you're not up to standard. It's facilitating information flow, it's getting more people informed of your products, but it's [also] something to manage carefully" - Thibault Villet, co-founder and CEO, Glamour Sales China.
"There is a big knowledge gap coming in the next five to ten years as baby boomers retire and a lot of knowledge will be lost. We need continuous learning to capture and exchange this knowledge through mentoring, building knowledge platforms, fostering innovation and learning from other industries to help our own" - Professor Lee Wing-bun, chair professor of the Department Of Industrial and Systems Engineering and director of the Knowledge Management and Innovation Research Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
"As industries go, retail, fashion and apparel have regressed in the past 20 years when it comes to training and education of the next generation of talent. Universities are doing their best to educate and train new generations, but they can't do it alone, which is why industry partnerships are so important" - Janice Wang-Millard, co-founder and CEO, Alvanon Inc.
"Technical know-how is a key to employability. We as an industry have to put more effort into fostering and supporting the next generation coming through into our industry. A question I'd like to put to the industry is where and how is this next generation of talent being developed, and where and how should this next generation of talent be developed?" - Janice Wang-Millard, co-founder and CEO, Alvanon Inc.
An interactive databank with intelligence on the major apparel sourcing countries
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