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30/01/2015 — auf Deutsch lesen

Lectra: Three Questions for Chris Nicolaes

Chris Nicolaes Photo: Lectra

Chris Nicolaes Photo: Lectra

 

Chris Nicolaes: It is a very exciting task in an incredibly strong company. Lectra has more than 40 years experience in the fashion industry and has always worked closely with its customers to ensure it has a thorough understanding of the challenges they face. This collaboration gives rise to seminal solutions in product development and production. We attach much importance to consultation because we want to work with our customers in the long term. Many of Lectra`s staff have been with the company for 20/25 years. I suppose you could say they`ve grown up with our customers. They certainly have a wealth of experience that we like to share with our 23,000 customers worldwide. This enables us to exchange knowledge within a networked world.

Chris Nicolaes: The business is becoming more international and our target market more diverse. Our customers are undergoing far-reaching structural changes. Their product ranges now also include accessories that coordinate with the collections - be it sunglasses, bags or shoes. There`s also a far wider range of “body shapes” for our customers to cater for in terms of providing the right fits. Supply chains are becoming more complex, time frames shorter and competition much fiercer. Fashion companies can only keep abreast of these developments if they have their internal and external processes under control and remain as streamlined as possible. In future, the clothing market will rely more heavily on automated processes in product development. With tools such as 3D design and state-of-the-art pattern optimisation, fashion companies are gaining time-to-market whilst maintaining margins. The suppliers are also increasingly being included in the planning and optimisation chain.

Chris Nicolaes: I`d like us to strengthen our leading position still further. We`re expanding in Germany and in Poland, Romania and the Balkans. Increasing wages in China mean that more production contracts are being diverted to Eastern Europe. So, it only makes sense for us to expand our consultation operations accordingly. 2015 will be an exciting year of great change for many companies in the fashion industry. We are well prepared.

Mr Nicolaes, many thanks for the interview.

Born in Holland, Mr Nicolaes started his career in 1982 as a company consultant. He successfully founded and managed several IT companies such as JJM Germany, a supplier of ERP solutions. Three years later, he sold the company to Marcam, where he was appointed Director of EMEA. In the period from 2003 to 2007, he was Director Central and Eastern Europe for PLM developer Dassault Systèmes.

He has degrees in mechanical engineering and business management.

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