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Rosana Perán Bazán (Fice & Pikolinos): price is a short-term advantage but added value is forever

Jan 3, 2023 Spain
Watch the interview with Rosana Perán Bazán, FICE President & Grupo Pikolinos Vice-President. We had a nice conversation with Rosana to understand the state of the footwear industry in Spain, and discuss some of the pressing issues of the footwear industry

Spanish Footwear Industry

From January to September, we show very positive data. Spanish exports have recovered and surpassed the pre-pandemic levels.


Strategic pillars of the Spanish companies

There are three strategic pillars that we are implementing in the companies and in the Federation, the national organization which brings together the entire sector in Spain.

The main axis is talent, not only in the production area of companies, cutter, or seamstress, but talent in general. We need mathematicians, data analysts; it is necessary to know how we are and how we want to become and to take decisions for the future. This is an important challenge that the companies cannot do it only by themselves. We need universities, training centers or schools, we must make the sector attractive to new generations if we want to have a future as an industry.

Another very important strategic line is sustainability. We do not understand sustainability only as products made of sustainable materials or caring for the environment. We cannot forget that companies are made of people. We have the responsibility of taking care of the employees both inside and outside companies. One way for companies to invest in people is by allocating those profits in social plans that really benefits local environment where the company is located.

Another important issue is digitalization. The supply chain, as we have known it, is no longer valid. There is a lot of uncertainty, and we must adapt and be very fast. That speed will be given by digitalization, artificial intelligence in production processes, new software, all developed from the company and from the sector.

These are the three main lines to work on and in which the Spanish companies are already working.


The post-COVID scenario

I think our problem is to try to keep working the same way after COVID as we did before the pandemic. COVID has taught us that the world can stop and that we must reinvent ourselves. The question is how we want to work, how we want our supply chain, what the market requests and adapt the supply chain. Before, the supply chain was more static, there were no price fluctuations, we had no transportation or labor problems. But now, that is the daily bread. Those small incidents or stones along the way force you in the end to change the way of thinking and taking decisions, therefore you are adapting much faster. So, we should be aware that what was valid until pre- COVID worked very well and has been a learning experience, like being in the University. But now you must combine that experience with creativity and much faster decision-making. I always say that everyone should have one eye focus in the short term and another eye in the long term, even if that long term changes a lot.

We have a great opportunity where I think our industry can do it very well. If we differentiate ourselves with sustainable companies that respect the environment, make products with sustainable materials, take care of people both inside and outside the company, in the end that differentiation will mean that when China or another country takes off again in production, we provide added value that is much better than price. Competing in price is a short-term advantage but added value is forever. Any company should take advantage of this opportunity.

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