With this survey, Datatex wanted to involve textile managers and businessmen, from all over the world, to better understand the future goals, intentions, hopes, and feelings of the sector players.
The survey, translated in several languages, has been sent to businessmen and managers from the most important textile companies in the world and obtained more than 1.000 answers, which built up a very interesting picture of the current situation of the industry.
1) ECO SUSTAINABILITY AND PRODUCT INNOVATION
To the question, among the changes that the textile sector is going through, which one is the most revolutionary, the answers that got the higher number of votes are:
– Sustainability – ecology – green economy (answer chosen by the 24% of the interviewed)
– Product innovation, new fibers, new fabrics (answer chosen by the 20 % of the interviewed)
Considering that nowadays, within product innovation the search for new yarns and more ecological fabrics, plays a strategic role, all in all, the results confirmed that the theme of eco-sustainability and reduction of the environmental impact is the keyword in the textile world, and it is a fundamental element for those working in the sector.
2) ASIA and AFRICA
To the question in which geographical area do you think the textile sector will grow the most, the most successful answers were:
– Asia (45% of the interviewed)
– Africa (26% of the interviewed)
The textile business is mainly done in Asia, and the textile operators believe that this trend will continue unchanged also in the medium-long term, while Africa is perceived as an area of growing interest for possible textile investments, much more appealing – according to the interviewed – than South America (8%) and Central America (3%), despite the rapid growth of the textile industry in this area during the last few years. North America (chosen by the 7 % of interviewed ) and Europe (8%), despite the high number of qualitative excellence in the field, are however considered peripherical areas in terms of textile big figures and volumes.
3) DYEING & FINISHING – PRINTING
To the question of which of the textile sectors has today the greatest potential and will develop most in the coming years the answers were:
– Dyeing and finishing (29 % of the interviewed)
– Printing (20% of the interviewed)
The growing technologic innovation, in the field of dyeing, finishing (a field where today there is a growing need for eco firiendly products), and textile printing (a field where the digital component is ever more important), leads us to believe that in this regard new opportunities and changes will be central for many more years to come, with important business occasions that textile company will need to seize.
4) IT MANAGEMENT IN THE TEXTILE COMPANY
It is noteworthy that, in this case, the answers are highly fragmented, with no clear hierarchy.
The most strategic area, from an IT point of view, to manage a textile company, is planning for 19% of the interviewed, the supply chain management for the 17%, costing for the 17%, tracking for the 16%, e-commerce and web marketing for the 14%, web integration with customers and suppliers for the 13%.
This variety of replies has a clear meaning to us: from an IT point of view, there is no one area that is more strategic than others. All areas are important, all areas have to be well organized to let a textile industry run smoothly and each company has different needs that emerge from time to time in the constant dialogue with the reference software house.
5) COSTS REDUCTION
To the question on which, among all the cost items, is it possible to act today by making cuts, the answers with the greater number of votes are:
– Energy (17% of the interviewed)
– Waste (17% of the interviewed)
Both these answers are tied to the central theme of Eco sustainability and the green economy. Investing in the energetic efficiency of a textile company, in the recycling and reuse of textile waste, means to get positive outcomes in the medium term, both from the point of view of cost reduction and environmental protection.
6) WHAT TO INVEST IN OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS?
To the question on which, among the different investment areas in the next two years, could be the area on which to invest more, the answers that got the highest number of votes are:
– Research & Development (20% of the interviewed)
– Reorganization of the work and of the company (18% of the interviewed)
The strategic importance of R&D, and of the investments for product innovation, has already emerged in the first question; it is a major theme, and it is a fundamental issue for every textile company that wants to be competitive in this increasingly difficult and competitive context.
But today it is also compulsory to reorganize the company and the workplace, in a context where Covid emergency is creating important problems to transfers, imposing new management of spaces and offices, and is forcing everyone to use at least partially smart working solutions. It is the difficult situation linked to the pandemic to cause – at least for now – a freeze of all the projects related to the “opening of new branches”, answer chosen by the 0% of the interviewed.
Of course, we are talking about the short-term investment outlooks (the next two years), while the textile sector all over the world is waiting for a big restart, as soon as the pandemic emergency is over.