Textile industry and ERP. History and new opportunities
The Textile magazine|February 2021
Interview with MAURIZIO DESIO – Datatex Managing Director

At present Datatex is the world’s leading supplier of ERP solutions for textile industries and owns the software NOW, the world’s best-selling vertically integrated management software. Since 1987 Datatex supports from an IT point of view, all the main textile companies around the globe. 35 years have passed since then. How has the textile sector changed in all these years, and how has Datatex’s product offer evolved to keep its innovative and propulsive capacity intact?

In 35 years, the world has changed, and the textile sector has undergone deep evolutions. I think there is an image that could symbolize this change: the environments where the textile production takes place. Whoever entered a textile mill years ago, had to face a bad environment, dirty, oily and noisy, in big and unappealing sheds. Today, whoever enters a textile company has almost the feeling of getting into a modern hospital: every detail is accurate, the environment is clean and silent, steams and smells are minimized, the buildings are designed with a very smart layout, paying attention both to functionality and aesthetics.

The technological progress – along the entire supply chain (from looms, that are far less noisy, to printing, which is a cleaner process if compared to the past) – has deeply transformed the textile industry, radically modernizing it also in terms of software and information systems. If in the past people used to work on screens with green phosphorus and with rigid systems, not so flexible and not parametrizable, today we work with software that is at the same time much easier to use and more complex to manage internally. They can adapt themselves quickly and spectacularly to all the needs of different companies, using immediate and user-friendly graphical interfaces.

Datatex has always kept up perfectly, I would say a step forward, regarding these important evolutions. As in the 80s and 90s, we were at the forefront in what IT used to offer to textile industries; the same way in the early 2000s till now we have always been able to reach the market with brand new products and solutions. This innovation process renews itself relentlessly: every year we offer new software modules and new services for the textile sector.

Datatex has offices in seven countries (Italy, USA, India, Israel, Switzerland, Serbia, Germany) and customers in 45. Which are at present the geographical areas, the markets, and the countries that may have the highest growth potential in the textile field?

We shall start with a consideration: for many years we are talking – in Europe and the USA – about a crisis of the textile sector; but this is a wrong perception if we think of it from a global point of view. The increasing global population in the last decades, up to a total amount of 7.7 billion people in the world, led to a dizzying growth of the overall textile need, in terms of clothing, technical textile and its uses in different fields (e.g the automotive). The textile industry is a bit like the food one: the more people there are, the more we produce and sell. But where do we produce and where do we sell? This is the real question. Nowadays, the strategic areas for textile are firstly China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and South-East Asia and secondly Africa and South America.

Why? Because of two main reasons:

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