The Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide recently contacted Hayley Brooks, Managing Director of Dimensions to discuss the implications of COVID-19 over the next 12 months.
What do you think will happen over the next 12 months? What major shifts / changes can we expect?
It is no doubt that the pace with which COVID-19 appeared has challenged even the most resilient businesses as they have had to adapt and respond to a rapidly changing marketplace. The next 12 months will inevitably require organisations to adopt a more agile workplace; utilising technology and digital platforms to conduct the basics of business and relationship management.
Textile and Apparel supply chains have felt a demand shockwave that will undoubtedly be felt for a significant period of time. From fabric production to garment manufacture, some factories have ceased production completely whilst others have seen huge spikes in demand.
The need to provide reliable, quality products will continue to be a focused requirement, but linked to the stringent environmental and ethical standards that cannot be compromised. There can be no doubt that the management of the supply chain, to ensure appropriate compliance and certification, is essential for brand management.
Forward looking organisations will be building on the strong teams that have helped navigate through this pandemic, pushing forward their brand presence as they see their weaker competitors flounder.
COVID-19 is likely to test the ability of every CEO in every sector. What attributes do you think will be important in regard to your own ability to manage your organisation through COVID-19 in 2021/22?
We are a strong, trusted and resilient brand that has demonstrated its ability to react and move with pace in this crisis without compromising any of our due diligence or attention to detail.
The culture within the business is what I believe delivers its inherent strength and this unique quality shines throughout the organisation. My role is to listen to my clients, staff, suppliers and shareholders and be open minded to adapt and change with their needs. I am hugely passionate about not only my business but also the market place that we operate in. We will navigate our way through the coming period with clarity and purpose that will support the future plans for all my clients.
What do we need to do differently as sector to ensure we maximise the health of the sector over the course of 2021/2022?
We have to be clear about the important part the corporate clothing world plays in almost every brands’ existence. From the clear identification of employees to each other and consumers, to the protective elements corporate clothing incorporates, a ‘uniform’ is a critical building block in many businesses strategy.
The industry has to collaborate to ensure that the value of environmental and ethical suppliers, the agile supply chain and the detailed analysis that goes into providing corporate wear garments is recognised and appropriately valued. There are no corners to be ‘cut’ in supplying good quality, ethically sourced, corporate clothing that protects and enhances the wearer.
The decision cannot be made on the price! Moving forward from COVID-19 there will be a requirement for specification changes, there will be a need to ensure that wearers are appropriately dressed and have sufficient garments to enable them to rotate, clean and manage a working wardrobe.
The sector will benefit from maximising the use of innovative IT solutions in the service offer. As the process to purchase garments within retail changes to be compliant with the new environment, then so will the service elements offered in the corporate clothing world; what employees see in retail will be expected in their corporate clothing program.