A panel of three successful company leaders illuminated the keynote luncheon September 26 at IFAI Expo 2017. The theme of the panel was “Path of Diversification,” featuring Meredith Boyd, Unifi Manufacturing Inc.; Ben Cooper, IoClothes; and John Neely, Berry Global.
The panelists shared ideas on how their companies leverage regionalization in the U.S. Cooper mentioned that “local for local” can lower the amount of time it takes to get a custom product to the customer. Neely explained, “Having R&D and marketing together is important to us. We can then seed the ideas from one region to another.”
When asked about leveraging global markets, Boyd commented, “The quality at the development stage needs to be effectively transferred when it’s taken to scale.”
Defining innovation was another topic of discussion. Cooper said, “I look at innovation two ways: incremental and disruptive.” Textiles are everywhere, said Cooper, so the possibilities are endless. Neely noted his organization has short- and near- term emphasis, plus a structured strategic plan to identify where the customer is going; the plan then needs to align with their capital venture program.