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2009 Apparel Tech Conference

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - DAY ONE

10:00 - 11:00 am

Opening Keynote & Apparel All-Stars Presentation (Auditorium)

  • The Hunt for Competitive Strength: Using Key Technology Investments to Out-Maneuver Your Rivals, presented by Gary Williams, Founder & CEO, wRatings Corporation

For more than 20 years, Gary A. Williams has served as an advisor to investors, CEOs and senior executives around the world. A recognized authority and speaker on persuasion and competitive advantage, Williams' research was featured as the May 2002 cover article of Harvard Business Review. His upcoming book, Moat Makers, details how companies build superior levels of economic profits by focusing on nine sources of competitive advantage. Referencing real world corporate success and war stories, Williams will unveil how you can use these advantages as a strategic framework to apply technology solutions in the Apparel industry and beyond. This can't-miss educational and entertaining session will help you rise above the "noise level" to focus key technology investments that help you out-maneuver rivals to set your company apart with both customers and investors.

1:00 - 1:30 pm           

  • Stalling, Crawling, or Snowballing Profits, presented by Ray Hein, EVP, Marketing & Business Development, Centric (Auditorium)

In today's economy, companies are choosing different tactics to weather the economic crisis.  Some companies chose to hunker down, hoping that the dwindling profits and cost-cutting sustain them in the short term.  Others are looking to seize the opportunity to focus on their business and profitability of their products and product mix. Whether you're a retailer, a manufacturer, brand owner, or supplier, profits are being squeezed out of the equation. The most forward-looking companies are putting a laser focus on profits and all of the elements that impact a business for the long haul.  Leading companies realize that an Enterprise PLM solution can directly improve the profitability of a brand, season, or collection if combined with the right business processes to drive margin improvement.  At what speed is your business running?

  • Benefits of Adopting PLM, presented by Nicholas Jouriles, Enterprise PLM Solutions Consultant, Gerber (Room 9)

This session will feature a discussion on areas of opportunity to maximize your PLM initiatives by:         

  • Increasing your visibility into processes and generating scorecards;                    
  • Reducing the costs associated with product development by streamlining processes and adopting the industry's best practices; and
  • Determining the impact of product changes and instantly notifying internal associates and partners.           
  • The Do's and Don'ts of Selecting and Implementing a Computer System for Your Business, presented by David Teeger, Director, Teeger Schiller (Room 4)

Selecting and implementing a new computer system can be a risky process. Selecting the wrong system or failing to successfully implement can cause irreversible damage to the strongest of companies. The right system successfully implemented could be the stepping stone to improving the effectiveness and longevity of your business. This presentation examines from an independent unbiased approach:

*           the methodology to ascertain the need for a new system, 

*           the critical factors for selecting a computer system, and

*           vital strategies to ensure a successful implementation.

Attendees will be provided with a three-page evaluation template that will determine the life expectancy of their existing ERP system, and articles detailing the steps that need to be followed to ensure a successful project.

2:30 - 3:00 pm           

  • Investing in ERP Technology in This Economy, presented by Darren Silver, IT Director, Alternative Apparel, on behalf of Lawson (Auditorium)

While Alternative Apparel had contemplated a new ERP system since 2005, it was not until 2008 that growth expectations and new market opportunities raised the stakes making the upgrade an imperative. And then the economy tanked....

In this session we will complete the story and discuss the decisions behind committing to a new ERP system and moving forward with the initiative. This company spotlight includes:

*           Alternative's process for choosing a new ERP system.

*           Lessons learned by re-adjusting after the market crash at the end of 2008.

*           Our expectations on how the new system will support future growth.

  • Transform Your Business with Integrated PLM and Global Sourcing Solutions, presented by Fred Isenberg, VP of Sales, NGC, New Generation Computing (Room 9)

NGC (New Generation Computing) software enables Fashion, Apparel and Footwear Brands and Retailers to accelerate speed to market and gain real-time visibility throughout the supply chain, from Product Concept to Delivery.  In this fast-paced session, NGC will focus on the business benefits of integrated PLM, Global Sourcing and ERP solutions. Learn how leading companies have implemented web-based solutions that enable them to get products faster and more efficiently to the market, while reducing costs, increasing profit margins, optimizing full price sell through and improving product quality. NGC will stress the importance of implementing integrated End-to-End solutions that encompass the entire Product Lifecycle, from Design and Development to Shipping and Receiving. If your company is looking to implement PLM or Sourcing solutions to maximize supply chain efficiency and deliver higher-quality goods, this presentation will be your guide.

4:00 - 4:30 pm           

  • ERP Catalyzed Fashion Enterprise Transformation, presented by Charles Troyer, Director, Fashion Solutions, CSC (Auditorium)

Fashion enterprises are often multi-brand complexes sourcing from around the world and serving global customer markets. Today's volatile economic climate requires enterprise agility. Often this means balancing the need to nurture unique brands against the need to manage world-class best practice processes. In this session we will examine how two fashion enterprises used a unique ERP implementation to strike that balance, while at the same time transforming the way in which the business was structured and managed. The result was increased agility, management control, and process efficiency.

  • Reducing Brand Risk with Process-Based Factory Compliance:  A Case Study of the World's Largest Sourcing Organization, presented by Thomas Ng, CEO, ecVision (Room 9)

Safety, environmental, social responsibility standards and regulatory practices must be enforced to protect brand integrity and image, and reduce the risk of costly product recalls. This customer study focuses on factory inspections and the use of ecVision XpressCommerce as a web-based solution to provide visibility into the compliance/inspection process and connect factories, vendors, outside inspection groups, in-house QA personnel, and sourcing teams. The case study company is one of the world's largest sourcing agents with operations in more than 40 economies employing more than 14,000 people. Learn how technology is being leveraged to ensure stricter adherence to the numerous performance standards and subsequently builds stronger relationships with each link in the supply chain. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009 - DAY TWO

9:30 - 10:15 am         

Day 2 Keynote  (Auditorium)

  • Before You Sign: Understanding the Costs, Value & Upside of Today's Technology Investments

            Moderator: Walter T. Wilhelm, President & CEO, Walter Wilhelm  

            Associates, LLC


  • Michael Feliton, VP of Information Technology, The Warnaco Group
  • Barbara Zeins, President, Gerson & Gerson
  • Hope Grey, Sr. VP, Product Development & Merchandise Operations, New York & Company

This interactive Executive Panel Q&A session will feature leading apparel brands and retailers discussing the value of information technology in today's environment. Subjects to be explored include maximizing the technology you have; making the ROI case for new investment; how to optimize an investment and more. Get a real feel for how industry leaders are prioritizing their IT plans and strategies; how they vet out solutions; and how they perceive the IT investment outlook in the near-term.

11:15 - 11:45 am

  • iTunes Meets ERP: Making Enterprise Software Truly Usable, presented by Jason Roth, Vice President of Applications, CGS/BlueCherry (Room 4)

    Today's business software is more powerful than ever, giving users across the enterprise unprecedented access to information. Unfortunately this access has often come at the expense of usability, making employees learn new ways of organizing and accessing the information they need. This can lead to increased training costs and lost productivity. During this 30-minute presentation, we'll share how the all new BlueCherry Infinity has leveraged the latest .NET presentation technologies, including the Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight, to set a new standard in enterprise software usability and productivity.

  • Timing is Everything: PLM Calendar Management Boosts Responsiveness Capabilities, presented by Tamara Saucier, Director Industry Solutions - Retail Footwear & Apparel, Dassault Systèmes (Auditorium)

    In today's challenging economy, timing is everything. It is imperative for Retail, Footwear and Apparel companies to respond to trends more effectively and quickly in order to succeed. In this session, DS will unveil findings from "Timing is Everything: PLM Calendar Management Boosts Responsiveness Capabilities," a recent report prepared in collaboration with Apparel . We will examine the growing need for, and changing roles of, calendar management functionality within PLM solutions and review real-world examples of the benefits that calendar management has brought to apparel and footwear companies, along with insights from industry analysts. You'll walk away from this session with a deeper understanding of how calendar management can help you uncover inefficient product development processes, and where improvements need to be made -- beginning with product conceptualization through final delivery of the product to the retail channel.

  • Virtual Fashion at Retail, presented by Dr. Michael Fralix, President & CEO, [TC]²  (Room 9)

    Social networks and on-line communities have been gaining in popularity and are now finding their way into the business environment. It is only a matter of time until virtual communities will be used by brands and retailers to present new product concepts in 3D. Consumers will enter these virtual communities using their personal avatars, view the latest fashions on their avatars, provide feedback to the brands, and make purchase decisions based on the look of the product on their avatars. Attend this session to learn about the latest technology for creating avatars and for rapidly dressing them in styles that may never find their way to the physical world.

1:00 - 1:30 pm           

  • Breaking the Code: Finding Flexibility in an Open Architecture Environment, presented by Ron Grilli, CEO, Simparel (Auditorium)

In today's competitive fashion software market, it seems that every software company now claims to offer configurable solutions "that are flexible to implement and efficient to operate." In order to avoid catastrophic project results, businesses need to identify what is a true Open Source Solution provider versus those still constrained by traditional programming code. Simparel will demonstrate key business differentiators in the approach taken by older technologies and the methods employed by modern day architectures. This presentation will incorporate real business scenarios that explore and contrast today's Open Source methods with yesterday's traditional processes. Learn how your business will benefit from effective utilization of a solution engineered for change that delivers results in real time.

  • The Product Lifecycle Starts with Design - So Should Its Management, presented by Simon Poulton, Vice President of Sales, Strategic Fashion and PLM, Lectra (Room 9)

Nearly 60% of a product's life is spent in design and development; as such it is essential to have complete visibility through the entire process from design to development and across the supply chain. The answer is PLM.  Many brands and retailers have implemented PLM and have been successful in reducing their product development cycle time. However, traditional PLM doesn't incorporate all aspects related to the needs and demands of fashion. The most important part of the process - the differentiator of your product, the essence of your brand - is your designs. Learn how a comprehensive, fashion-dedicated PLM platform provides the ability to truly manage the entire design and development of a product's lifecycle without compromising creativity.

1:30 - 2:00 pm  Educational Sessions to be announced