In the second of our exclusive interviews from Texprocess Britta Riedl, Director of Marketing at Koppermann Computersysteme GbmH, answers our Editor’s questions.
Lydia Hanson: Firstly, how do you view Texprocess? Do you see the show as regional, or international?
Britta Riedl: Texprocess has changed a lot over the years. Initially, our main contacts came from our local region. However, the event already started to show more international influences as early as 2011. The fair has in particular become more and more important for clients and business partners from other European countries and we were also again able to record increasing international demand for our solutions this year.
LH: So, with regards to the German market in general: do you find that customers here see PLM as a platform and, furthermore, are investing in it?
BR: The topic of PLM has increasingly become the focus of interest in the industry over the past few years. One of the priorities is dealing with classical, model-related topics as well as the expanded global networking of the individual business sectors. A seamless product monitoring is the prime factor here. For some years, we have noted a constantly increasing willingness of our business partners to invest in this area. There is also widespread sensitization and demand with respect to process analysis and optimization. For, particularly in times of fluctuating sales, a streamlined and exact collection calculation and generation forms the basis for the economic success of a company.
LH: Of course, a big part of a presence at any trade fair is uniqueness – offering something special – so what do you think sets you apart from the other vendors that prospective customers are going to be looking at on the show floor?
BR: The Koppermann PLM solution, TEX-DEFINE™, has been further developed and perfected hand in hand with our business partners for more than 20 years. We deliberately do not define any rigid or inflexible processes or dictate them to the industry, but rather analyze individual worksteps and provide tailored PLM systems so that we and our partners are always up to date and have our fingers on the pulse. This is not least the reason why global players such as Gerry Weber or Calzedonia have been working successfully with TEX-DEFINE™ for more than 10 years. Our PLM solution offers the latest technology and unique flexibility and particularly appeals to our partners thanks to our direct and personal service from in-house developers and service staff.
This close connection with our partners produced an evolution of the product lifecycle management up to 3D visualization of the models on the floor space from a very early time. Because for Koppermann the product lifecycle never ends simply with the order, but continues seamlessly and efficiently into the planning of the future collection using the current floor space performance.
LH: And do your various solutions (TEX-DESIGN™, TEX-STORE™, & TEX-DEFINE™) share a common architecture and database? And does everything operate on one platform?
BR: All the components of the Koppermann solution can naturally be used as part of a single and also unique platform – from the first draft up to the final visualization on the floor. The linking of processes finally forms a central key element of the fast-changing fashion industry so that we consider insular solutions as not sustainable. This means that companies cannot only save substantial development times and investments by a consistent elimination of errors as part of a seamless data structure, but they can also provide information worldwide and in real time. We were quick to recognize this trend, especially in the field of global communication, and have focused our developments on a fast and uncomplicated WEB application of our solution for many years.
LH: How are global supply chain pressures affecting your solution enhancements?
BR: The global supply chain has increasingly become the focus of our customers over the last few years and we can see extremely high demand in this area. We concentrate on communication topics as well as on quality assurance here. Increasing raw material prices and production costs more and more require a streamlined patterning process in the fashion and clothing industry to maintain a position in the market. Even a small overpatterning can lead to substantial costs. We therefore offer our customers support in their product development by a structured data management and a transparent and efficient workflow; however, developing the collection with the floor space in mind has also become an indispensable part of the process. An early three-dimensional simulation of the desired collection image can save up to 50% of the patterning costs arising through planning errors.
LH: We have seen that the show this year is placing some emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility; there are at least two events exploring sustainability. How does your solution support CSR?
BR: Our PLM solution, TEX-DEFINE™, supports efficient quality management and also promotes effectiveness in active collection planning. We offer our customers both standardized test reports on production operations, fabrics and additionals and comprehensive analyses with comparison tools to present your supply chain with maximum transparency. We do not just look at the economic parameters, but also, for example, at the option of assessing the producing partners – using social and ecological standards – as well as their detailed evaluation and comparison.
LH: In terms of new enhancements, what do you see as emerging process developments to your software solution in the next twelve months?
BR: We are naturally in constant and direct communication with our clients and business partners to swap ideas and also keep a very close eye on the current market developments. We see the topics of global communication and workflow optimization as the biggest development area in the next 12 months. A seamless monitoring of the total supply chain of the textile process also represents a challenge for our clients. We focus here on full transparency, a uniform provision of information and effective quality management. But our creative users also have something to look forward to, because we are planning a cool facelift for the user interface.
LH: Great. Finally, at Texprocess we see a broad range of systems (2D, 3D, CAM, PLM etc.) that fall under the umbrella of ‘Core PLM & Extended PLM’; do you have plans in place to embrace and integrate other systems into your solution platform? Or, do you already partner with other solutions?
BR: The expansion of our portfolio to include further systems has, naturally, also been a constant topic at Koppermann; however, we have always chosen not to go down this road. One of the key competencies of the Koppermann solution comprises the seamless integration into the existing system landscape of a company to allow a perfect data transfer and a comprehensive networking. In this respect, it is not the system into which the transfer is to be made which is relevant to us. The highly developed Koppermann portal technology guarantees that this is always ensured irrespective of whether we are transferring data within our solution or to external systems. To achieve our goal of providing this seamless transfer to our clients at all times, we have for some years focused on strong partnerships with a large number of software providers and service providers.
*Keep watching for more in this series of interviews over the coming weeks.