Friday, January 21

Pablo Isla, the architect of omnichannel


The president of Inditex, Pablo Isla.

The president of Inditex, Pablo Isla.
EFE

Pablo Isla has been the architect of the great transformation of the textile group Inditex in an omnichannel and highly technical firm. In his 17 years as executive director of Inditex, two have been the great achievements of his management; the implementation of garment control by RFID (radio frequency) and the jump to integrated stock or full omnichannel. Gives the way to the presidency of the Inditex group to Marta Ortega, daughter of the founder. At the Arteixo headquarters there is a large screen that reflects this technological change in the textile sector in recent years. It shows a map of the world with the real-time sales of the stores. If it is detected that a product sells well above what is expected, the alarms are turned on and the order to produce more is executed. The extreme process automation makes trendy fashion and consumer trends real street fashion.

Isla has always been determined and convinced of its objectives, abandoning conservative business strategies that are more concerned with the level of stocks and pampering shareholders than with strategic decisions with a view to ambitious horizons. It was because of it true to your strategy but it has also known how to improvise before supply chain breaks and store closings. The key to today’s fashion business is knowing how to adjust the level of inventories (stored garments) to the rhythm of sales. He has been loyal to his model that avoid the pejorative concept of ‘fast fashion’, since what the Inditex group brands defend are high quality levels and adjusted prices. The premise that is usually disseminated in meetings with the press and analysts is the importance of selling at full price. Inditex has been under the baton of Isla a firm that does not like sales. With low prices, any discount increases losses and erodes the image. The Milan flagship or the Barcelona flagship on Passeig de GrĂ cia are that example of large stores in a prestigious commercial hub. Because Inditex wants to always be more a fashion firm than a textile, more a nursery of styles made in Galicia than an importer of tank tops. Another of the points that has tended to stir up Isla in recent years has been the impact of analysts’ valuation on Inditex shares. Probably because he was never able to control the ups and downs of the securities on the stock market, plagued by opinions sometimes less well founded than assumed about the decisions of the company.

Inditex (with its Zara brand at the helm) incorporated a revolutionary business model based on technological efficiency and continuous adaptation on demand. The Galician giant is a sample of extreme adaptation through the use of technology (control of sales in real time) and that is expressed in greater proximity to the clothing industry (54% are produced nearby; Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Turkey ). The key to weathering the logistics crisis and pandemic has been to grow sales more than inventories and improve margins, but environmental awareness is prominently on the firm’s roadmap for the future.


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