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FKgroup Strengthens Presence in Bangladesh

By Apparel Resources

Team Apparel Resources recently met David Noli, International Commercial Officer, FKgroup – a leading cutting technology company. David spoke about the current market dynamics, challenges, Bangladesh’s potential in tech adoption, local tech support to factories and many more issues. Here are the excerpts.

AR: How do you find FKgroup’s placement in India and Bangladesh in today’s competitive apparel manufacturing industry?

David: FKgroup has long been a renowned technology company across Europe, the US and Asia, with a particularly strong foothold in China. Alongside introducing new technology, we aim to strengthen ties with both current and potential customers in the garment industry. Our focus extends to two main categories: garments (including home textiles and furniture) and composite materials (such as aerospace and automotive applications). Looking ahead, we are keen to expand into the Indian market, emphasising aerospace, nautical industries and composites. Our approach aligns with evolving trends, including the shift towards 5.0 technology, where our longstanding commitment to certifications and global impact positions us ahead. Leveraging our expertise across industries, we integrate learnings to enhance machine performance and reliability, driving proactive technological advancements.

AR: What initiatives is FKgroup undertaking to educate major factories, enabling them to serve as industry benchmarks by implementing the required IoT-enabled cutting solution?

David: Educating someone on IoT can be daunting, but it starts with a serious approach. It’s not just about making connections; it’s about embedding IoT into the factory’s mindset, particularly at the middle management level. FKgroup’s support involves providing solutions that are as non-restrictive as possible. By offering open-source options that seamlessly integrate with existing ERP systems, I aim to make adoption and understanding easier for clients.

Many software providers aim to lock customers into labour-intensive processes. However, I believe in providing accessible systems that empower users to explore various IoT solutions, not just ours. Our goal isn’t just to sell software or machine; it’s to provide valuable data for informed decision-making. I’m confident in our technology’s ability to deliver results and want clients to evaluate their investments based on hard data.

Thus, our IoT system prioritises ease of implementation and use. Clients can adopt it without committing their entire team to extensive training. Our vision is to enable educated decisions through accessible technology, even if it means acknowledging the risk that the investment may not always align perfectly.

AR: When factories consider implementing high-end cutters, they often prioritise cost considerations. Could you provide insight into where FKgroup currently stands in terms of tangible benefits offered by your solution, as opposed to just tangible ROI?

David: One of the most concrete benefits we offer is certified data from external organisations, particularly regarding machine running costs. Our machines boast the lowest electric consumption costs in the market, translating into significant ROI. Despite having lower installed power, our machines perform at par with high-end alternatives due to patented technical innovations, such as specialised impellers crafted in-house. For instance, an 11 kW installed power machine certified at 5.9 kW per hour consumption illustrates our commitment to efficiency.

Our technical choices are informed by real-world cutting room studies, not just theoretical desks. This ensures lower consumable usage and minimises the need for preventive maintenance. While our machines may require a higher initial investment, their operating costs are notably lower. Management faces a critical decision: opt for low initial investment with higher running costs and reduced performance, or invest in higher initial outlay for lower running costs and superior performance.

Management accountability is key; while initial investment matters, it’s a once-in-a-decade decision given our machines’ lifespan of 15 to 20 years. We advocate for a shift in industry mindset, away from short-term ROI expectations towards a more realistic five-year outlook. Quality comes at a cost and investing in the right equipment pays dividends in the long run. As the Italian saying goes, A new broom always sweeps well. The true measure of success is seen over time, not just at the outset.

AR: How FKgroup is partnering with Wintex to provide customer support in Bangladesh?

David: Our local teams possess invaluable knowledge of regional challenges, fabric issues and market dynamics. This local presence of ours, backed by Wintex Resources, allows us to tailor our support to specific needs and react swiftly to local conditions. Language barriers, while an opportunity for growth, can still pose challenges, emphasising the importance of local sensibilities and cultural understanding.

For instance, understanding the local mood or challenges, whether it’s a festive season in Italy or a stressful time elsewhere, enables us to adapt our support accordingly. By being attuned to the nuances of each region, we can provide more effective and empathetic assistance, ensuring our customers receive the support they need, when they need it.

This article was published in Apparel Resources June 11, 2024. FKgroup is a member of SPESA.

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