Resilience During the Pandemic and Digitization Potential Beyond, the IT perspective

The way forward in the words of our GM-IT Mrs. Rashmi Sharma. In this blog post Rashmi explains what happened from an IT perspective during the Pandemic and how its ongoing disruptions affect the future of our industry and practices.

The COVID-19 Pandemic hit the entire world without a warning and extremely troubled times followed, almost every aspect of ‘normal’ daily life and business were disrupted. In India and Bangladesh, where we have our own manufacturing units, lockdowns were imposed in March and April, with the intent of slowing down the spread of the virus. For us as a company, this meant continuing to serve our customers during lockdown, so that business interactions remain seamless. This is where the challenge also was, we were tasked with an organization wide secure migration of work-stations, across city and state boundaries, which was supposed to happen swiftly and securely, enabling our staff to work in an environment which restricted movement and yet deliver the world-class service that we are known for.

During pandemic times resilience, agility and to continue supply chain was the need, and we decided to pursue the challenges ahead with our full might, with the sole purpose of keeping our organization at optimum operability even during complete lockdown.

The entire organization and the board was looking at me & my team to deliver, and I was dealing with multiple aspects from an IT infrastructure perspective simultaneously, to enable remote working, disable cyber security threats, meet the exploding demand of internet bandwidth & server loads etc. Believe me I am not exaggerating when I say, we woke up every day with a new unforeseen challenge standing in front of us, this was the new normal for us and for a period of almost three to four months, with our marketing and operations teams working remotely even after formal lockdowns were lifted by the government.

Operational model across multiple dimensions to name a few, the process technology, IT governance, people management, service delivery, performance insight and data were needed to be set-up from scratch for this new way of working, where teams works closer, for longer hours, but entirely remotely. Luckily for us we were working on refining these model months before the Pandemic hit, to enable our global team to work with our manufacturing plants in India and Bangladesh, as we employ people around the world for business development and operations consulting, this readiness helped us scale faster and with positive intent, to enable remote working at scale, which we managed in flat two weeks’ time.

 Our activities during and post-lockdown even as the pandemic rages on, resulted in digital enablement plans and underwent solutions of digital transformation for organization which in terms resulted in breathing space during this time and created a future of further digitization, where I strongly believe the global Apparel industry is moving.

Our working model delivers and focuses on below point

Super charged customer experience

Streamlined workflow and operations

Faster time to market and

Accurate insight and foresight for better decisions

Customer behaviour too has shifted radically during the Pandemic towards adoption of digital channels, this is something I believe has been expedited by the Pandemic, buyers and brands around the world are looking to digitize their supply chain to unleash the much needed resilience and agility across their value chains.

Post pandemic era of business will undergo a large scale transition, which will affect all suppliers, primary, secondary and even tertiary level, our industry of apparel trims, labelling and packaging will need to keep up with these digitization requirements in order to survive. Manohar Filaments and I have vowed to push the envelope towards further digitization and investment in cutting edge IT infrastructure along with collaboration tools to support location independent, agile service delivery models and borderless workspace through embracing technology, automation, mobility trends with digital security, which will take us where we need to be to meet expectations placed upon us by our valued business partners thereby making compatible enough to face new normal & digitization will be our goal for the next couple of years.

We are committed towards end to end applications, infra and scale digital services as part of the client digital transformation strategy with secure IT platform. Our goal is to partner with the top brands and buyers of the world to enable 3-D design and modelling technologies, revolutionizing the way our industry operates, eliminating the cost and time required to develop and physically approve samples and bulk for quality and functionality.

Our goal is to create an all pervasive digital infrastructure, which reduces our partners TTM and impact on the environment. And while I believe that the Pandemic has been a tragic and devastating incident, we as leaders, have the opportunity to leverage this into business improvements and create lasting business models, focused on digitization and Industry 4.0 best practices, thereby creating a more resilient value chain, which will remain unaffected in case such events ever occur in the future.

The lesson we have learnt during this Pandemic is that digitization is here to stay and that resilience and speed of action might just be the difference between winners and losers in the new Post-COVID era.

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