Dealing with Parking Violation

Parking becomes very sensitive issue these days. The limited parking space couldn’t compensate the increasing vehicle population and not to mention parking rate is getting more and more expensive. Many people are irresponsible park their vehicle such as using other’s parking slot or even worse, parking blocking the driveway. That’s violating the parking regulation and a deprivation of other people’s right.

When you become the victim of irresponsible parking or you find such violation in your neighborhood, you can report it and request for parking enforcement. Commonly, local authority will respond this kind of report and removed the vehicle from your area. But with limited resources, the respond may not as fast as you expected. But you don’t need to worry about it. There’s one trusted name to help you with this issue. Towing Salt Lake City is always ready to help. This company is the leading provider of roadside assistances and services covering Salt Lake City and greater area. Among the services provided is parking enforcement services. It covers different aspects of parking issues ranging from providing paring sign to removal of car violating parking regulations. You just need to call and whatever parking issue you currently have, you can consider it done.

Anytime you are wondering about Towing near me, this company is the real answer. It offers 24/7 emergency towing service for Salt Lake City Area. Their team will come within few minutes after your call, depending on your location. Not only towing the car, they can assist on different problems including changing or repairing flat tire, jump start vehicle, locksmith service, and more. You can learn more about their services from the websites and it is highly recommended to save its contact number. It will be very useful when you need roadside assistance in this area.

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A New Place to Call Home for the Cowboys – Arlington, Texas

The NFL Dallas Cowboys have been at the forefront of the League for more than forty years. They have consistently been a force on the field and are considered to be the most valuable sports franchise in North America. The Cowboys joined the league as an expansion team in 1960 and called the Cotton Bowl home for the following decade. Since 1971 the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have called Texas Stadium, a purpose built stadium, in Irving, Texas, home. All that will change in 2009 when Cowboys football moves to a new stadium in the city of Arlington, Texas. The city of Arlington founded in 1875, was named after General Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House, Arlington County, Virginia. In 1876 the railroad arrived and in 1884 the city was incorporated. Thriving as a result of cotton gins and farming, by 1910 Arlington was a city that boasted water, electricity natural gas, a telephone system and a public school system. Prior to World War II the population of Arlington was over four thousand. Post World War II the city underwent a major boom starting in 1954 with the arrival of a General Motors assembly plant. From 1950 through to 1990 the automotive and aerospace development lead to a major population growth in Arlington

Arlington, Texas, located in Tarrant County within the metropolitan area of Dallas-Fort Worth has a population today of over 350,000 and is the seventh largest city in Dallas.

Besides the automotive and aerospace industry, Arlington became home to the Six Flags Over Texas Theme Park in 1961, the oldest park of the Six Flags amusement parks and theme parks chain. Arlington is also home to three post-secondary institutions: the University of Texas at Arlington (the third largest institution of the University of Texas System), the Southeast Campus of Tarrant County College and Arlington Baptist College. Arlington is a sports oriented city. In 1972 the Washington Senators baseball team relocated to Arlington where they play as the Texas Rangers. And, of course, 2009 will mark the Dallas Cowboys move to Arlington and the opening of the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium. As well, like the rest of Texas, Friday night high school football in Arlington is an obsession with five high schools in the city keeping the fans entertained on Friday nights. The future home of the Cowboys in Arlington was cemented in November 2004 when city residents voted to approve a tax increase to fund the $325 million public funding portion of the stadium project. In 2005, the final site for the stadium in Arlington was chosen and in 2006 excavation at the site began. The original cost of the stadium was estimated at $650 million. Today the estimated cost is in excess of $1 billion potentially making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever to be built. The city of Arlington has been prosperous over the year’s thanks in large part to its automotive and aerospace industry. The city will no doubt continue to prosper and will no doubt be forever changed in 2009 with the arrival of, arguably its most famous occupants to date, the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and all the team’s future football card players. Arlington, Texas can now claim a piece of Dallas Cowboys history.

Rick Bedard loves the Dallas Cowboys and he welcome’s all of you to his new store devoted to America’s Team.

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Top 10 Effective Promotional Products Given by Automotive Sales Departments

1) Promotional Apparel – custom t-shirts and hats are the most popular. Gives your dealership a great deal of exposure as customers tend to wear this at the local gym and on the weekends.

2) Writing Instruments – People hang on to pens they like – they throw away pens that do not write. Always, ask for a sample. It is well worth!

3) Bags – Today more than ever, customers are shopping with “green” bags with logos on them. Other popular bags are drawstring backpacks and insulated grocery bags..

4) Desk Accessories – ANYTHING people will keep on their desk. Stress balls are always popular, as are ball hoops with a logo’s backboard for the trash can.

5) Drink ware – From mugs to water bottles to custom label water – these are a winner and there are so many to choose from inexpensively.

6) Calendars – Be there first – studies show over 50% of people who received calendars did business with that dealership.

7) Magnets – Added with the “to do” list or memo pad – these are very effective. You customers usually look at these every day.

8) Computer Accessories – custom USB flash drives, MP3 players are items almost every consumer wants and will hold on to. Be careful not to go too small on the USB storage.

9) Automotive Accessories – From tire gauges to ice scrapers and even the automotive emergency kits, automotive organizers and car blankets – these items are always a hit.

10) Sporting Goods – Balls of all sorts, sun umbrellas, and outdoor chairs are very handy. Have a selection and let your customer choose what they want according to their lifestyle.

My name is Rhonda Lindsay and automotive dealerships are my expertise. I come with 14 years of automotive experience as well as owing and operating a premier point of purchase merchandising adviser and suppler, RD Distributing, Boise, ID.

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From Le Mans to Vintage Racing Apparel – Tony A2Z Has Covered the Distance

The time period spanning from the late 1960s and into the very early 1970s can be considered one of the most pivotal and evolutionary time periods in the history of motor sport. Innovative technologies were being developed and tested in road racing daily and the world itself seemed to be enthralled by these marvelous, sleek new machines that would arrive at the worlds greatest racing venues to display these new found technologies and take both man and machine to new thresholds each time they turned a wheel. The Le Mans 24 Hour Race held in the French country side each summer has long been the race for such men and machines to display their newest talent and technology. The 1971 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours was to represent the high water mark of this empirical era in motor racing as no other race could come to do.

The FIA had created several new sporting groups for race cars through out the 1960s and their efforts set the stage for what would become a tuetonic showdown of epic proportions that would set two companies, Porsche and Ferrari, in an all time clash of the titans type battle with two of the greatest sports racing machines to ever roar down the Mulsanne Straight. Porsche’s weapon of choice would be the 917K, a tubular space frame chassis car with a 580 horsepower flat twelve engine mounted mid-ship in the frame and weighing in at 800kg. The great Enzo Ferrari was undaunted by this German marvel of speed and engineering; and responded by building the Ferrari 512M, a sleek red warhorse from the Italian heartland with a mighty 620 horsepower V-12 engine mounted longitudinally behind the driver’s cockpit and weighing in at 930kg. Not since the days when Norse Gods roamed the earth had the world seen such incredible weapons forged to enter a form of combat like no other.

Ferrari would be well represented for the 1971 French classic, as some eight 512M models would arrive to take the grid against seven Porsche 917s of which three were prepared by the J.W. Automotive squad with Porsche factory support. Maranello rose to the occasion, with a strong effort coming from their customer squad in North America known as NART (North American Race Team). NART was headed by the North American Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti, and for the 1971 race, no less than three 512Ms would be prepared by the young North American team.

One of the drivers selected to drive for NART for the Le Mans effort that year was a young Tony Adamowicz. Tony, also known as Tony A2Z, was a talented young American driver with a Trans Am title in the less than 2.0L class and a Formula 5000 title under his belt. With his sights set on winning the world’s toughest endurance race, Tony headed to France in the summer of 1971 fulfilling a dream to not only drive at Le Mans, but to also pilot a Ferrari sports prototype. Tony’s team mate in the #12 Ferrari 512M would be another young American driver with a strong road racing background, Mr. Sam Posey.

Together, Tony and Sam would pilot their racing red with white and blue stripe Ferrari 512M to a 3rd place podium finish that cool and dry weekend in June of 1971. After the disastrous race Ferrari endured in 1970, the efforts and achievement of a podium finish by the two young American drivers was something that was greatly applauded by Ferrari, and Ferrari fans across the world. This was very fitting, as this would be the last Le Mans race to see the thunderous 5 liter cars take to the track. The FIA would announce a new displacement cap of no more than 3.0 liters for 1972, thus ending the days when true lightweight titans ruled the world’s road circuits.

Today, thirty-eight years after Tony’s summer journey to the French country side, he offers the world of motor sports enthusiasts the chance to reconnect with history through his company, A2ZRacerGear (www.a2zracergear.com). New to the company’s fantastic line up of vintage racing apparel are the new A2ZRacerGear Performance Driving Shoes. This new line of 21st century designed footwear is meant to supply the racing enthusiast with not only pure performance, but also to provide superb fit and a high level of comfort. These shoes offer several features such as a skid resistant flared and rolled heel with a vulcanized rubber sole and heavy duty outer protection that make them perfect for heel-toe shifting and high performance driving. The sturdy leather and suede upper construction will provide years worth of wear and the inner sole is completely removable so the enthusiast can install their own comfort insoles of choice. Designed by Tony A2Z personally with both performance and comfort in mind, these shoes are sure to provide the enthusiast a superb piece of footwear that is suited to both track day driving or long strolls around your favorite paddock, where ever it may be. Tony A2Z has made reconnecting with one of the most iconic times in motor racing as easy as tying your shoes.

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Textiles Applications in Automotive Industry

With the rising level of automobile production and its corresponding worldwide stocks based on the rapid industrialisation in Asia, Africa and Latin America plus the rising demand in Eastern Europe, the proportion of textiles in a motor car is increasing in response to more stringent comfort and safety needs in industrialised countries like the USA, Japan and Western Europe.

Automobile textiles, which are non apparel textiles, are widely used in vehicles like cars, trains, buses, aircraft and marine vehicles. Hence, the term automobile textile means all type of textile components e.g. fibers, filaments, yarns and the fabric used in automobiles.

Nearly two third of the automobile textiles are for interior trim, i.e. seat cover, carpets and roof and door liners. The rest is utilized to reinforce tyres, hoses, safety belts, air bags, etc.

It is projected that nearly 45 square meters of textile material is utilized in a car for interior trim (seating area, headlines, side panel, carpet and trunk). According to a survey, the percentage of textile in a motor car amounts to 2 per cent of the overall weight of a car. Apart from this, visible textile components, eliminating hidden components such as in tyres and composites, hoses and filters; amount to 10-11 kg per vehicle in absolute terms. Industrial textiles are largely utilized in vehicles and systems including cars, buses, trains, air crafts and marine vehicles. In automobile textile industry, four types of fabrics are used, namely:

. Air bag fabrics

. Fabric used as a basis for reduction in weight of body parts

. Tyre cord fabrics

. Automotive upholstery and other textile fabrics used inside the vehicle

The airbag and seat belts used as safety measures are one of the latest types of textiles in automobiles and have a potential market for technical textiles that has a considerable scope for growth and development. Because of government legislation and consumer interest, the applications have been extremely successful over the last ten to fifteen years.

In the last decade, airbags or inflatable restraints have received noteworthy significance as a safeguard for the driver and the passengers in case of an accident. Initially, the bags were made for head-on collision, but now, there are many other safety devices like side impact bags, knee bolsters, side curtain, etc, available for safety in any type of crash. Because frontal collisions are a main reason of accidental deaths, airbags are being presented as a standard product in vehicles by legislation, which has given the quick increment of airbags business in the last decade. NHTSA and HHS report that airbag systems have played an important role in saving thousands of lives since 1985. In 2002 alone, due to the airbag system a 20 per cent reduction in fatalities resulting from fatal collisions has been observed.

In 1999, there were 55 million vehicles with 81 million airbags. In 2004, the number of frontal airbag units was nearly 100 million and the number of side-impact airbags nearly 65 million. In the same year, nearly 23 per cent of the new vehicles in North America had side airbags for chest protection and 17 per cent had side airbags for head protection. By 2005, this has increased to 180 million airbags and 65 million vehicles.

Fabric application demand has increased to 325 million square meters in 2005, and 83 tons of fibre, mostly nylon has been used.

The world airbag market is estimated to rise from 66 million units in 1996 to over 200 million units in 2006, a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent. Over this decade, Europe will put in 60 million units, Asia-Pacific 30 million units and North America 24 million units.

While North American and Western European markets are growing, considerable development is also seen in the international market. As new applications are developing for airbags, including rear seat bags, inflatable seat belts and an outside airbag system for pedestrians, new fabrics and combinations are being applied. The front and passenger bags have different requirements because of the distance from the occupant, but they both have rapid increment and deflation in a very short time span.

Rollover bags must remain inflated for five seconds. In addition to new uses, expected trends include lighter fabric for use with newer “cold inflators,” blended with materials like fabric and film, new coating polymers (Silicone now dominates having replaced neoprene).

Growth of safety devices in the car interior

Increasing electronics and safety devices require more space in the interior together with new concepts for arrangement.

Worldwide market for PA airbag yarns

The fibre manufacturer Accordis Industrial Fibres BV, Arnhem/ Netherlands reported that the global market for PA airbag was 84,000 tons in 2005.

Airbags

Airbags were first introduced in the late 1960s, but it is only in the 1990s that their use increased amazingly and it is set to grow further. This validates the research and development still being made on design, deployment and base fabric material.

The prospects for the textile and making-up indus¬tries are huge in the area of airbag production. This is due to its large requirement particularly in view of the legislation, which is already imposed by many countries.

Around 1.42 meter2 of fabric is required to produce driver¬ side airbags on light trucks. This estimation gives the idea that the airbag market is of great importance for the use of technical textiles. Airbags are normally made by coated or uncoated fabrics of PA 6.6 yarns with lesser air permeability.

A fabric cushion is included as a part of textile ingredient for an airbag, which is folded into the center of the steering wheel (for the driver) or in the glove compartment (for the front seat passenger). Generally, the bag is woven by nylon 6, 6 filament yarns, which are in demand in huge quantities because of their high strength-to-weight ratio, favorable elongation, adequate thermal properties and relatively low cost of production. Other properties required are high tear strength, high anti-seam slippage, controlled air permeability and be capable for being folded into confined places for over ten years without deterioration.

Function

A triggering device sets-off explosive chemicals when it senses an accident above 35 km/h is about to occur. These chemicals hold back and cushion the car occupant from collision with harder objects. The fabric from which the bag is made must be competent for withstanding the strength of the propellant chemicals. More over, the hot gases must not penetrate the fabric and burn the skin of the car occupant.

For airbags to perform their protective function, each function in the system must work with reliability and predictability. In frontal airbag initiation, the cushion begins to deploy within 20 ms after collision and is fully set up in 50 ms. Within this period of time, the bag has to spread through the plastic cover, blown up and fill the space between the dashboard and occupant.

Material applications

Airbags are generally made from high tenacity multifilament nylon 6, 6 in yarn quality fineness from 210, 420 to 840 denier, although some polyester and even some nylon 6 is utilized. As Nylon 6 is softer, it is used to lessen skin abrasion. Airbag fabric is not dyed, but has to be scoured to eliminate impure substances, which could encourage mildew or other problems. Airbags are created in compact size, plain woven fabrics.

The amount of fabric required to make an airbag depends on its location in the car and the market it serves. The fabrics utilized to produce a driver’s and a passenger’s airbag are quiet different. Most drivers’ side airbags are coated by using lower denier yarns that give strong and light-weight fabrics. The looser weave has been permitted by stronger nylon 6, 6 yarns that create fabrics with lighter weight, less stiffness and better packagabiIity.

The fabric which is used to produce passenger airbags is generally uncoated. These kinds of passenger bags are larger so they create lower gas pressures, have longer inflation times, and possess gas which is cooler. The constituent yarns are of relatively heavy denier. Normally, airbag fabrics are made by rapier weaving machines or air jet looms with electronic dobbies.

Airbag fabrics varieties

The earliest airbags were Neoprene coated and woven Nylon 6, 6, but later lighter and thinner silicone coated versions followed. Afterwards, though, uncoated fabrics have emerged. The majority of these fabrics are coated with an elastomeric material such as neoprene or silicone. The long lasting popularity of coated materials for airbags has been seen because of its capability to work as a heat shield and the comparative ease that design engineers can expect wider performance in their use.

Though, there are some intrinsic problems with coated airbags, which cover their large thickness, incapability to be folded into small spaces and inclination of decay over time. Coated fab¬rics are simple to cut and sew and the air porosity can be well managed.

The drawbacks linked with coated airbags and their subsequent substitution with uncoated materials has warranted significant developments from two sectors of the industry. The uncoated airbags can be recycled in a simple manner. The first development has come from the yarn and fabric producers, who have concurrently developed the performance of the fabrics. Their gas permeability has fallen under specific scrutiny since the way an uncoated fabric discharges gas and establishes the capability of an airbag to resist impact. The second development has gained from the inflator producers, who have started to substitute the original inflators, which release air, with devices that emit air like argon and helium. This is greatly helpful because these gases are equally as effective at lower temperatures and discharge less hot particles.

Finishing procedure of airbag fabrics

After weaving, the airbag fabric is scouring to reduce size. To gain accurate air permeability, the airbag fabric can be calendered. Apart from influencing the air permeability by weaving and finishing, accurate permeability control can be achieved by coating. When the airbag material has been finished, it is sewn together; the best practice is by using it with a laser.

Airbags are sewn with Nylon 6, 6, polyester, and Kevlar aramid yarns, the sewing patterns and densities being selected to maximize performance. When a bag is sewn it is folded inside its cover. Packing should permit for tethers connected to the bag to manage operation. Finally, a cover can be set up over the bag to safeguard it from abrasion.

Airbag sizes

Airbags are available in various sizes and configurations depending on the type of car and steering. Moreover, the driver’s side airbag is smaller than the front passengers by about 65 liters capacity upwards.

Suppliers

In airbag systems, there are mainly five suppliers of the airbag module itself, representing 32 per cent of the value of the airbag system. The key airbag control unit has four suppliers representing 24 per cent of the value, and the seat belt portion of the system has two suppliers with a 31 per cent contribution. Yet, the remaining part with only 13 per cent of the value of the airbag system has over 40 suppliers.

Two years back INVISTA, formerly DuPont Textiles & Interiors, had expanded nylon 6, 6 fiber production capacity, totaling 7.5 kilotons (kt.) at two facilities; one in Qing Dao, China, and the second in Gloucester, UK.

A wide range of highly specialized polyamide 6.6 airbag yarns, Enka Nylon, are made by Polymide High Performance at its Obernburg (Germany) and Scottsboro (Alabama/USA) plants.

Zapata Corporation in December, 2005 announced that it completed the sale of all of its 4,162,394 shares of Safety Components International, Inc. to private equity investor Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. for nearly $51.2 million. Zapata’s stake stands for nearly 77.3 per cent of Safety Components’ total outstanding common stock. Safety Components is an independent producer of air bags and the company’s fabrics are largely utilized for automobile safety air bags and in niche industrial and commercial applications. Safety Components headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, has plants situated in North America, Europe, China and South Africa.

Takata is a manufacturer of automotive seatbelts. Takata started researching seatbelt technologies in 1952. After eight years of research and development Takata became the first safety company to offer seatbelts as standard equipment to the Japan market in 1960. In the early 1970′s, Takata worked with NHTSA to satisfy new high speed crash test requirements and supplied the first energy absorbing seat belt system to pass a 30 mph crash test. Irvin Automotive is another company within the Takata Corporation. Irvin makes armrests, cargo covers, molded consoles, seat covers and sun visors.

Narricot Industries, LP, located in Southampton, Pennsylvania, is a producer of woven narrow fabrics in North America. With manufacturing facilities in Boykins and South Hill, Virginia, Narricot is the number one supplier of seatbelt webbing to the North American automotive industry.

Autoliv is a manufacturer of airbag, seatbelts and other automotive safety devices. Autoliv has nearly 80 wholly or partially owned manufacturing facilities in 30 vehicle-producing countries. Autoliv and its joint ventures and licensees make over 80 million seat belt systems annually.

Toray Industries, Inc, that makes nylon 6, 6 fiber and textile for use in automobile air bags, plans to start manufacturing base fabric for automotive airbags at its Czech textile subsidiary in January 2006. The company plans to invest in the necessary equipment to its subsidiary Toray Textiles Central Europe. The production output is projected at 600,000 meters in 2006 and 4 million meters in 2010. At present, Toray makes the fabric in Japan, Thailand and China mainly for airbags used in Japanese cars.

Performance tests and standards

Many individual tests carried out with airbag yarns and fabrics is said to number over 50. The ASTM, the SAE and the Automotive Occupant Res¬traint Council (AORC) have established various standards that express appropriate tests for airbags.

Seat belts

The seat belt is an energy absorbing device that is designed to keep the load imposed on a victim’s body during a crash down to survivable limits. Basically, it is designed to offer non recoverable extension to decrease the deceleration forces that the body comes across in a crash. Non recoverable extension is significant to prevent the occupants from being restrained into their seats and sustaining whiplash injuries right away after a collision. To prevent more webbing from paying out after an accident, the automatic belt has a locking device known as inertia reel. An efficient seat belt will only permit its wearer to move forward a maximum of about 30 cm to avoid contact with any fixed parts of the car.

It is believed that the seat belts were invented concurrently in America as well as Sweden. The only difference was that the American belt was a strap to encircle the waist and the Swedish belt was a diagonal band made to defend the upper body. Now, a blend of the two designs is a most prevalent arrangement and is called the 3-point belt, which is secured by two fittings on the floor and a third on the sidewall or pillar. Racing drivers wear other patterns, particularly two shoulder straps and a lap belt. The earliest automotive seat belts were set up and were adjustable so that they could fit the wearer manually. The automatic belt superseded this pattern by providing the wearer more space to move.

Seat belts are available in multiple layers and are woven in narrow fabrics in twill or satin fabrication from high tenacity polyester yarns, generally 320 ends of 1100 dtex or 260 ends of 1670 dtex yarn. These structures permit highest yarn packing within a given area for highest strength and the trend is to utilize coarser yarns for good abrasion resistance. For ease they require to be softer and more flexible along the length, but rigidity is needed along the width to facilitate them to slide easily between buckles and retract smoothly into housings. Edges require being scuff resistant, but not disagreeably rigid and the fabric must be resistant to microorganisms. Nylon was utilized in some early seat belts, but due to of its higher UV degradation resistance; polyester is now widely used worldwide.

Performance standards

Normally, the performance standards require a seat belt to restrain a passenger weighing 90 kg involved in a collision at 50 km/h (about 30 mph) into a fixed object. Straight pull tensile strength should be at least 30 KN/50 mm. Other tests include accelerated ageing and in the made-up form, resistance to fastening and unfastening 10,000 times. The seat belt must be long lasting without any significant deterioration. In many cars, after ensuring the inclusion of the airbag, efforts have been made to link the function of the two devices (seat belt and airbag).

Conclusion

No doubt that the airbags help to save lives, but at times they can also be a source of serious injury. The search for a uniform smart airbag, which can perceive the size of the passenger or whether the seat is empty and react in that manner, is in progress. Such a ‘smart’ airbag will incorporate sensors to judge the weight, size and location of the car passengers and hence deploy more appropriately.

In addition, incorporated safety devices associated with the seat belt along with other safety items, particularly for child passengers, are under development. The trend towards uncoated fabrics is anticipated to continue and so is the improved trend towards more airbags per car and fuII-size bags. There is also a technical challenge of producing the bag by using more rational techniques and related specifications made by the automotive industry.

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Strategic Planning and Technology for Apparel and Textile Mfg – Developing a Competitive Advantage

In my 25 years of experience as a Management and Technology Consultant, I have found one common denominator among apparel and textile companies’ and that is that they have major weaknesses when it comes to their ability to plan strategically and apply the use of technology.

The apparel and textile industries have long suffered from loss of market share, U.S. manufacturing capability and jobs, ability to respond to cost management and the overall ability to consistently generate a profit.

Effective strategic planning provides a blueprint for developing capabilities which can keep companies ahead of the curve, more profitable and competitive. A complete evaluation of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats along with providing apparel and textile executives with the tools and understanding to implement and follow a strategic action plan is a key component to staying healthy and in business.

During many of my strategic engagements, I find that executives and managers are inexperienced at thinking outside of the box and understanding how to direct their teams to move in the direction of strategic thinking.

As a strategic coach, I teach owners and managers how to create a solid strategic plan and evaluate major issues, roadblocks and opportunities, as well as, create ideas for future improvement. It is important to determine what the future idealistic state of the business will be and develop action plans to move toward those goals.

The area of use of technology by apparel and textile companies has long been a major roadblock to these firms being able to quickly respond to market influences, reduce the cost of operations and provide meaningful real- time event management and reporting that aids in making correct on-the-spot decisions.

As we look back on the demise of the American textile industry, we are reminded of companies like Burlington Industries, Cone Mills, Cannon Mills and many others who could not see the impact that technology could have on their businesses and would not spend important dollars on technology investments. We watched as plants closed because they could not implement cost saving technology products and that would make machinery and employees more efficient and cost effective. We see the American automotive industry moving in the same direction and closing plants in the U.S. while the Japanese and Germans are building new plants.

It was not long ago that the apparel and textile trade shows took up multiple locations and hundreds of thousands of square feet of showroom space in Atlanta and Las Vegas and now are taking place in one corner of one building. This is a testament to how these industries are failing to stay profitable, competitive and in business.

The use of business intelligence applications is a very good example of how mid-sized apparel and textile firms are missing the boat when it comes to understanding how to let technology applications work for them. The ability exists to immediately generate paperless dashboard reports on critical conditions in their operations and, also, create a culture where managers are evaluating and fixing those conditions. However, mid-sized apparel and textile companies are still tied to expensive static spreadsheets, paper reports and high-cost labor to create them.

The development of key performance indicators (KPI’s) and metrics is an essential component of strategic planning. KPI’s give the owners and senior managers to monitor how their operations and employees perform and is a critical step in the planning process. It is important to teach their managers how to implement performance tools and KPI reporting.

A vital factor of creating competitive advantages is the understanding of business process management and performance engineering. In my strategic planning sessions, we go through a number of exercises which are geared toward training managers to think entrepreneurially and develop a performance mentality. The results are dramatic when individuals who have the ability to make change understand what the performance factors are and develop the skills to implement them.

Another technology area that apparel and textile companies should begin to invest and utilize is sales optimization tools. Sales optimization products are developed to automate order taking by their customers’ buyers and make the experience faster and easier. Additional products, which can aid the sales force, are mobility application dashboards to review bookings, sales, inventory and determine which products are currently selling at major retailers locations geographically.

My hopes for the apparel and textile industries are that they begin to create competitive advantages through strategic planning and investing in technology products so they can survive and that we can protect our economy and jobs with what remains of these industries.

Russ Pierce
Global Technology Consultant

Russ Pierce’s technology consulting combines deep technology expertise and strategy capabilities which cover the entire range of professional services including Strategy Planning, C.I.O. Advisory Services, Performance Engineering, Business Process Management and technology applications-from developing an IT strategy to implementing solutions for optimizing the IT infrastructure and applications. Russ provides his clients with leading edge technology solutions, experienced problem solving capability and the expertise to help an organization streamline current practices to save money, time, effort and help focus resources on the right tasks. He has shown to be a confident leader who can offer new methods of operation and is an effective communicator of his vision and goals.

Technology consulting is a dynamic, ever-changing industry that requires practitioners to maintain multiple skills. Rapid technological shifts frequently change the way you work, the tools you use and the operational procedures you require. Russ has kept pace with technological advances in the industry in order to propose the most effective solutions and properly estimate project cost and time estimates of the applications being deployed. The development of detailed project plans that overview the tasks and timetables is another of the assets Russ uses to maintain an effective project roll-out. Russ’s positive attitude and ability to work effectively with owners, stockholders, senior managers and end users provides an excellent and cohesive working relationship with his clients and usually develops into long term associations and,in many cases, life long friendships.

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