15 years after the last edition, the World Textile Services Congress took place from Oct 5th to Oct 7th in Bruges, and gave an interesting insight into the future of textile care.
Nearly 150 senior executives from the leading textile services companies and national textile services associations worldwide attended the congress, which was co-sponsored by Lapauw. Bruges proved to be the ideal setting, as the congress was inaugurated in the impressive gothic chamber in the City hall on October 5th.
But the real deal was taking place on October the 6th, as the historic Belfry was the stage for micro- and macro analyses of the trends and challenges affecting the textile service marketplace. Four panels with representatives from all fields of the industry – equipment supply company, textile service companies and end users – discussed various aspects of the textile service business, ranging from customer relationship to market trends to even corporate social responsibility.
The conclusion was that the textile services industry is very much alive with margin for growth but the future has some serious challenges in store. First of all, in order to control quality and ultimately the costs, textile service companies and their customers must enhance their collaboration. Especially when it comes to traceability and process management. Secondly, corporate social responsibility has finally become a mindset, where the environment and the worker are at the center.
In fact all panel members agreed on one thing : Innovation is the only way forward if we want to face these challenges. A message that Lapauw does not take lightly, as we already have identified innovation as one of the core points of our strategy.
The conference also looked beyond the horizon of the business of textile services, and invited key note speakers from outside the industry to give the participants provocative and inspiring insights.
Herman Van Rompuy, former and first President of the European Council gave us an insight in the current state of affairs and future of the European Union.
Then came Marc Herremans, Belgian triathlete who was rendered paraplegic after an accident during a training session. The message he brought silenced the room but gave each and every one of us food for thought: No matter what happens, look for the challenge and competition challenges you to improve and innovate.
Finally, Bruges born and world renowned chocolatier, or should we say “Shock-o-latier”, Dominique Persoone emphasized the conclusion that innovation is the key to success.
Friday the 7th of October concluded the Congress with a factory visit to several laundries, where the participants could see innovation in practice.