By: Bruce S. Berton
By any definition, we
are in difficult times globally.
Nature, economic slowdowns, gloom and doom, terrorists, oil and food prices,
environmentalist attitudes I could go ON and ON! Please take the time to
"smell the roses". Take inventory of what is positive, and enjoy life. I am
not poet or anyone of great wisdom, but I see that the population of the
world growing. As far as the textile/apparel industries go, most of the
world's population is still wearing clothing so we are in a growing
industry and "the glass is half full!"
There is a story about
a large shoe manufacturer who sends their top sales representative to Africa
to sell their shoes. Immediately after arrival, the sales representative
tells the home office that he is coming home because most of the population
does not wear shoes.
manufacturer sends their newest, un-experienced sales representative to
Africa. He tells the home office to send a large inventory of shoes as soon
as possible, because there are more people to sell shoes to than they can
From which end of the
telescope are you planning to conduct your business
Are you able to see
the forest through the trees? True, you must look inward to your own
operations first, and review all aspects of your infrastructure. Please
careful not to cut off the so-called HEAD of the SNAKE, as SALES are the KEY
to SUCCESS. You may desire to change the methodology to create sales, or to
change the sales representatives themselves, but without sales and marketing
you will have nothing.
Look to your focused
market and see where it can be expanded in FASHION, NEW CONCEPTS, and
CREATIVITY. Playing it safe and being ultra conservative will usually result
in not staying the course. You must develop EXCITEMENT about your product at
all levels, so that you create a demand and become recognized in the
marketplace. Traditional methods may not be the answer.
Those of you private
label manufacturers now must source new ideas and new fashion product ideas
for your potential buyers to let them know you are up to date and are ready
to assist in the styling as well as the manufacturing of their ideas.
You must sell not
only your production capabilities but also your understanding of customer
service, your comprehension of the buyers needs, your labor compliance
programs, enhancing your relationships with the buyers directly, and
much more. You must review your financial capabilities in order for you to
be competitive in the global market.
We are now half way
through 2008, with most firms ready to show their lines for Spring 2009 this
August, September, and October for January, February, and March delivery.
Will you be part of this production cycle?
My understanding is
that the Indian government is allowing the importation of cotton, removing
high tariffs, and people that source are looking for alternatives to China
In my book, these are
all positives towards increasing India in textile/apparel export. Therefore,
I say "The Glass is Half Full".
Good luck, and may
your production be profitable.
Bruce S. Berton is a business and management consultant with Stonefield
Josephson, Inc., a leading regional consulting and accounting firm with
offices in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Mexico City.
The information in this column is of a general nature. Readers
inquiries are welcome; and may be sent to Bruce Berton, at Stonefield
Josephson, Inc., 2049 Century Park East Suite 400 Los Angeles,
California 90067 310-432-7437 Direct
866-225-4511 Toll Free
310-432-7519 Fax Los Angeles
Hong Kong, or send an e-mail to: