This issue of PERFECT SOURCING highlights the need for automation and its growing
importance in the apparel industry. While on the one hand, automation in the apparel
industry has become the need of hour, especially with increase in labour cost and less
availability of skilled labour, on the other it has become an extra burden on
manufacturers as most of the automatic technology available is expensive and getting
a return on investment for the same is not an easy task.
In this issue we have highlighted areas of automation and their usefulness in saving time, money and resources. Alongside, we spoke to many production experts on how automation has proved in terms of attaining results and the success rate in achieving desired results. While most technology suppliers assure us that it is one of the most reliable ways of reducing overheads, the users of this technology feel that complete automation has its own glitches, but with the increasing cost of labour, there is no option other than to rely on these automated technologies.
The article points out areas where automation is used these days and also how companies with specific capacities and product range can go for automation. One facet is quite clear: automation is not the ideal option for those dealing in small capacities. While there was a time when automation was considered fit only for garments that were basic with a standardised pattern and look, today automation is available for value addition also, like embroidery, stone attachment, bead work and many more such areas.
Also, in this issue you will see how garment exports to US from India are fluctuating and dropping at a fast pace. Countries like China and Vietnam are slowly moving up the ladder in exports to the US whereas India and Bangladesh are slipping down. The situation can become even more difficult now as subsides and exemptions that were given to India will soon fizzle out and then India will have to look at ways on how to still remain a seller to the US in a profitable manner.
The industry is still reeling under tough times as the market is not stable in terms of demand; over and above that, India‘s position as an apparel exporter is being affected when compared to other countries. It is now a wait and watch situation as we are yet to see how far the market will go down before finally rising again and giving a fresh lease of life to everyone.