AAPNetwork Goes Global
By-Laws remove restrictions for membership in American supply chain trade groupAtlanta, May 13, 2002 AAPNetworks Board of Directors voted on May 10 at the Spring Meeting 2002 in Biloxi, Miss., to remove restrictions to membership in the organization to the global industry. Just one year ago, the Board opened membership to the Americas.As AAPNetwork Board member Joe Stephenson of Rocedes S.A. in Managua, Nicaragua said, "Im working in Nicaragua with a Philippine manager of an AAPNetwork member plant owned by the Taiwanese factory, with another plant in South Africa, who is sewing Asian fabric for my American customers. Were already a global organization because of realities like this."AAPNetwork has momentum, and will change at least as fast as the global industry, if not faster. AAPNetwork member Rod McDaniel of T.S. Designs put it best when he said, "Where were going is so different than who we are, where weve been doesnt even matter."Another reason to change came from speaker NGCs Fred Isenbergs research that, "the Top 5 retailers sell 68 percent of the apparel in the United States, and the next 24 sell 30 percent." With consolidation industry-wide in all segments, many members commented that AAPNetwork membership may be an example now of a business model that can compete in 2005.The whole meeting could have been wrapped around one speaker - John Windham, vice president of Strategic Sourcing for Kellwood, who develops policy and ways to source around the world. "All of our products are sourced on a global basis", according to John, "with our decisions based on cost of goods sold, not manufacturing cost alone." John describes Kellwood as " a $2.3 billion marketer of apparel and softgoods, not a manufacturer." He detailed a list of pros and cons of sourcing from the Western Hemisphere telling attendees, "you have to service the customer the same way they do in Asia" meaning full package and financial capabilities, product development services, trim and fabric sourcing, quick patterns and samples.DuPonts Qaizar Hassonjee gave a stimulating talk on the impact DuPont has on sourc-ing factors at the contractor level. Qaizar is an example of one link in the supply chain fiber leapfrogging textile and apparel to deliver value directly to the retailer and the brand. AAFAs Steve Lamar talked about the process of legislation and open issues before congress about our industry. This meeting was the first time in over 8 years that anyone from AAFA attended or participated in an AAPNetwork meeting and we plan for this to continue."Associations are all going to say their last meeting was their best," says AAPNetwork Executive Director Sue C. Strickland. "This meeting was our largest in 8 years and one of our best ever. It was vibrant, high energy and electric. Each of our 14 speakers or seminars were terrific and the networking even better." AAPNetwork pioneered a unique "Town Meeting" introduction process 5 years ago where each attendee is listed alphabetically and allowed to introduce themselves so others can plan to meet with them at breaks. Many argue this is the most important part of our agenda. With nearly 100 people from over 70 companies, the mix was diverse and the networking continuous.As new member Carlos Montoya of Precision Custom Coatings and others new to us said, "We had watched AAPNetwork from afar, but really didnt know what you did. After this meeting, were committed to this group and will participate in the future."AAPNetwork honored its original member from 21 years ago, Professor Larry Haddock of Southern Polytechnic State University by presenting him with a personalized letter jacket designed and handmade by AAPNetwork member TM Athletics (www.tmathletics.com). Other original members were honored as well.This was the first meeting for our Latin American members. Their response was typical of the one from Jean-Paul Faubert of Palm Apparel Group in Haiti, "we got more out of this meeting than exhibiting at Bobbin World. Now we know the real value of AAPNetwork.""Look for AAPNetwork to make a significant change in its already high value benefit to members", said AAPNetwork Managing Director Mike Todaro. "How many times and ways do we have to hear about full package sourcing and collaborative services before we start doing something about it in this hemisphere AAPNetwork has all of the tools and players right now to deliver exactly what American customers want, including financing options." "The best speakers at this meeting were each and every member when they were talking to someone else", said Todaro. "Everyone met and networked with someone else who offered them knowledge, support and even work. AAPNetwork is a business network, the American industrys Business Channel. Our alliance with (speaker) Tim von Gals Material World trade show makes that event Oct. 7-9 the physical version of our electronic network where sourcing managers and members come together to find, see and communicate with one another."Finally, for those who believe "going global" sacrifices the Made in USA contractor, our domestic members who attended met over a dozen others who said in their introduction they were looking for domestic production. Any action AAPNetwork takes to draw sourcing and networking traffic to www.usawear.org benefits each member no matter their geography.AAPNetworks Fall Meeting 02 will be held Oct 4-6 in Miami Beach in conjunction with Material World Oct 7-9. Many members will exhibit in the special Material World AAPNetwork Aisle or the Contractors Network, anchored by AAPNetwork. We are also inaugurating the first annual Sourcing Manager Reception on October 6 to recognize our core customer the road warriors of the industry, Sourcing Managers.