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Conference to Focus on Mass Customization in Textile Sector

2005-04-20 - Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA: A conference focusing on the implementation of mass customization in the textiles industry will be held next month in Michigan, USA. The 'Mass Customization: Key to Competitiveness in the Textile-Based Industries' (MCTI-05) conference will be held at the Eagle Crest Marriot Hotel in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ypsilanti is near Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and is the home of Eastern Michigan University. The two-day conference is scheduled for May 18-19, 2005.

The conference will look at how current business issues have placed unprecedented pressure on business strategists to develop new strategic paradigms that satisfy customers in all aspects of their expectations. Examples of these issues are the acceleration in the pace of globalization of markets, explosion of Internet availability, near-vertical growth of e-commerce, and an insatiable demand for customization on part of customers.

Mass customization is designed to specifically respond to two inherently contradictory competitive priorities - low price and high-customization. It is becoming more established in the textile industry as a response to ever-growing competition from low-cost economies and growth in demand for personalization.

The cost savings of mass customization are derived from the design of the links and tactics built into the value chain that focuses on economies of customer integration. Such tactics include designing modularity in to the product or service, postponement of final operations of the custom-configured product until the demand is known, quick web-based access tot the knowledge base of the customer needs and preferences, and opportunities for preferred segmentation of the market.

Following is the list of topics and key note speakers who will deliver during the two-day conference:

Opening Remarks
Dr. Craig Willis, Eastern Michigan University President

Mass Customization - Impact on International Manufacturing
Dr. Frank T. Piller, Director, Research Center Mass Customization & Customer Integration, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Mass Customization in the Textile Industry
Peter Butenhoff, Chairman and CEO of TC2, Raleigh, North Carolina

Mass Customization & Economic Development
Susan Lackey, Director, Washtenaw Economic Development Counsel

Panel Discussion
Paula Hoyas, Marketing Director of La-Z-Boy, Monroe, Michigan
Mary Stevens, VP of Quality and Engineering, Herman Miller
Hardy Sullivan, Senior Director of Fabric Development, Collins and Aikman

Mass Customization in the Apparel Textiles Industry
Joe Dixon, Executive VP of Brooks Brothers, New York

Textile Academic Speaker
Dr. Trevor Little, Dept. Head Textile & Apparel Technology & Management, NC State University

Mass Customization in the Automotive Industry
Tatsuo Kawada, CEO Seiren, Japan

Panel Discussion
Sara Betts, Clemson Apparel Research Center
Terry Turner, R&D Manager, Wellman Inc.
Angela Cruz, Gerber Technology
Challenges and Directions for the Textile Industry
Robert Holloway, CEO, Archtype Solutions, Emeryville, CA

The conference is sponsored by Textile Research & Training Institute, Eastern Michigan University, NF Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing, The University of Michigan and Department of Management, Grand Valley State University, USA.

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