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How ‘Innovativeness’ can be a ‘New Competitiveness’

Textile Today Innovation Hub (TTIH) has organized a Seminar titled “Integrating Innovation in Career” on December 3, 2022 at CHT. This write-up was scripted from the Speeches of Tareq Amin, Founder & CEO, Textile Today and Md. Eousup Novee Bablu, GM – Innovation & Strategy, TTIH.

In the seminar’s session on ‘Innovation and its Method’, the speakers brought forward the postulation of “Innovativeness as a new Competitiveness” for the textile and apparel industry of Bangladesh. TTIH defines the term Innovation as – “a systematic implementation of ideas to resolve practical problems.” It means the objective-oriented systematic change in the product, process, people and culture within a business.How ‘Innovativeness’ can be a ‘New Competitiveness’

Why do companies delve them into innovation – every innovation must have a business case; it should either reduce the cost, help increase the revenue, or, simplify any process of the business operations. For the industrial application, the whole journey of innovation should be “systematically helpful and commercially useful.” A small innovation of a product or process in a company can bring a significant impact on it’s business.

 Factory and Industry Competiveness:

Comparing to the competing countries, RMG factories in Bangladesh have proven their built-in resilience to respond enormous challenges. The captains of this industry still keep the rhythm of garmenting and exporting despite chronic hurdles home and abroad. Along with the resilient leadership, the industry could harness it’s professionals skills and capabilities and, built a robust internal infrastructure to produce a big volume with the right quality.

The speakers lamented that the textile and apparel (T&A) industry of Bangladesh has been poorly branded as ‘competitive’ for its ‘cheap labor and, water resources with almost free of cost. They argued that the industry should be competitive for its innovativeness. It never sounds justified that we carry through the deficient identity of ourselves in the world. How long an industry can foot on cheap labor and cheap resources! Moreover, the aforesaid cost of basic inputs of the industry are no more cheap; nor even be roped with the already increased current costs in the near future.

New Competitiveness of the Textile & Apparel Factory and, Industry of Bangladesh.
Figure 1: New Competitiveness of the Textile & Apparel Factory and, Industry of Bangladesh.

All the independent variables can be seen as the competencies for apparel manufacturing business in Bangladesh those can contribute to value for stakeholders. Among the independent variables, we should find out particular variables or elements with which other competitors cannot easily compete.

Though significant, yet, the previously held strengths may not be chosen anymore as the core competencies for competitiveness. To stay competitive, individual factory or company should navigate for innovativeness all through the value chain of the total business process. Having an innovative mindset is a paramount to foster the continuous improvement that can uphold a company competitive.

  1. How a factory could be innovative:

Though most of the factories feels the impetus for innovation, this is usually difficult for a single company due to several day to day operational dynamics. A concentrated platform can benefit companies by facilitating the innovation in many ways. A collaborative approach to drive innovation is crucially important where the stakeholders of industry can benefit each other.

People generally understand the “what to do” but it gets difficult to find out the “how to do”. Many aspirants advocate for innovation with a normative approach just telling the importance of innovation without showing any practical model or design. The session was mainly revealing the How to Innovate i.e. the method and, techniques for innovation. From the ideation to commercial application, it follows a systematic chain to have a real impact.

The speakers shared their experiences that some factories and companies want to work with TTIH but they cannot simply find out their problems on which they work on. Agreed, having no problem is the greatest problem. There is no right answer to a wrong question; the problem should also be found out with a systematic approach.

Resources those can attain Competitive Advantage for of a Company.
Figure 2: Resources those can attain Competitive Advantage for of a Company.
  • System design for innovation:

It is precisely presumed that a stupid can do a great work if the right system is installed and, a great man can do a stupid work if the system derails him on the other. On the basis of business operations, we combine research methodology, project management with lean manufacturing techniques. The speakers emphasized, with examples, the systematic approaches to innovations. The session showed some process designs for the implementation of innovations to deal with practical problems of the industry.

The journey of a single innovation starts with the principle – “Work on Small; Make on Spot”. Sticking to the principle, a small area gets selected passing with certain parameters first, then the issue practically gets addressed. TTIH strategizes the whole process of the innovation from locating an innovating-spot to replicating the solution to a similar circumstance.

TTIH leads Innovation (acts as an Executive Hub for Innovation Strategy, Planning, and Project Implementation) systematically. We have developed a unique modelling of system to dig into a matter and guide solution for any practical problem. It also works for the transformation of companies by linking Brands, Factories and Experts.

To help the systematic thinking process and working procedure of finding a feasible solution, we developed a number of processing tools those can be used as best practices later on. These processing tools, by their intrinsic facets, will logically guide the factory or, concerned people to innovate.

  1. TTIH as an Innovation-Platform for factories & companies:

Textile Today Innovation Hub, as being a premier platform, helps facilitate, innovate, communicate and grow factory, supplier, professional, etc. in a systematic process. In association with the TTIH, companies have been piloting, testing, trialing products and processes. Many innovative companies build and uphold their best practices through TTIH.

In the Textile Today Innovation Hub, we have taken 96 projects so far. More than 70 projects have already been successfully completed and 70% of them was communicated with the industry where several projects are ongoing. More than 150 Experts (mostly from the industry and several from university), 25 factories, 15 coordinators and 100 plus inputs suppliers are directly connected with TTIH.

It is duly put-up that T&A industry of Bangladesh should replace its long-held disgraceful badge of cheap labor industry in the world. Innovativeness, in the span of four decade of matured industry, could be a new competitiveness for an individual factory and, for the industry as a whole. It creates an advantage for marketability of the capacity for a company. Innovation simplified; it’s doable.

 -The writer is an Innovation Strategist.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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