This article is based on a speech given by our CEO Ronnie Hagin to the Indian Textile magazine about the consequences of the COVID emergency on the future of textile industry.
Datatex has many offices in the world, so we had a global point of view on the COVID crisis.
It had a huge impact on our business, but it is important to underline that we didn’t let one person go. We were running a hiring campaign before this pandemic, which we decided to slow down. In this way we could preserve all our staff who had full access to their offices remotely and were able to do what is called “smart working” from home. In fact, our solution NOW is completely web based and thanks to this we could continue all our activities almost without interruptions.
During this period, we turned the challenge of physical distance into an opportunity starting a NEW REMOTE IMPLEMENTATION methodology. We worked with a customer to implement a new ERP system completely remotely, and even though we had to face many difficulties due to the COVID restrictions, this experience went really well and we had the chance of learning a lot about these new ways of working. As said before, NOW is a completely web – based software suite and because of this feature our customers can still open tickets if they require assistance and our skilled development team can still support them. Hence, we can say that as far as supporting is concerned Datatex is at the same level as before. In addition to this, it is also important to underline that we received local support from the governments, especially in USA and Switzerland where the reduced bureaucracy allowed us to receive loans and financial support in a short time.
A phenomenon which is worth mentioning is the industrial transformation of some of our Customers, from apparel or industrial textiles into PPE markets (of face masks and protective wear). They had to go thru fast turnarounds with a very short notice to face the emergency situation, having to consider costing, production and scheduling in order to successfully convert their plants and remain profitable.
Datatex could support this transformation with its software NOW, because of its high level of Flexibility which allows the change of products, production process and methods easily without changing the database or processes. In fact, our consultant could set up their ERP remotely and enable these companies to process huge orders, coming mainly from Governments in a short time. NOW can manage this new type of industry because it allows a company to change its business processes faster than the required change of machinery, simulating processes before they happen. Datatex modules can help the customer in few ways during these processes, using mobile devices on shop floor or for preventive maintenance, quality assurance or production tracking. NOW supports to the company whenever it decides to change its market while managing related cost cutting activities. In fact, over time the cost of maintaining and upgrading an ERP system can get seriously out of hand, but with Datatex all those costs are shared across the entire customer base – providing value for each individual user.
The main changes we will witness as a result of this crisis is in the paradigm of customer service with reduced lead times and lower stock levels required to reduce risks. Hence, industries will have to deal with smaller orders and faster delivery times. Another main change that may occur is related to FAST FASHION, becoming slower, with less seasonal changes, more stable and easier to control collections.
By the way of conclusion, the new economy after the COVID 19 emergency, will need more DIGITAL SYSTEMS, because companies will have to rely less on people to people contact and more on technology in order to be able to manage orders, produce and deliver even during crisis periods, when human contacts are to be minimized and movements restricted.