2015 Annual Meeting

May 3 - 5 | Fontainebleau | Miami Beach, Florida

Keynote Speaker
Seth Godin. Two key quotes:

  • “(in) The Connection Economy. ... The most valuable places are where the connections are made. … that is the magic of the AAPN...that what you sell is the chain; the information; the trust; the network. THAT is what is being sold here.”
  • “This network, this supply chain, is the power that drives you. The value of what you create is not what you do but that, because of your network, your supply chain, it is going to get done right. These certainties are all about connections, not about industrialization. What you are selling all along the way, all the way up to the retailer, IS THE CHAIN. In your market, when you are the only one sufficiently integrated into the (supply chain), price becomes secondary or tertiary."

Kurt Cavano, Founder, Vice Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer of GT Nexus. Three insights:

  • ♦ Technology has made it really easy to build software
  • ♦ In the new venture capital model, anyone can raise money
  • ♦ Collaborative commerce like UBER and Airbnb is exploding

Kurt shared examples of Google portable ‘cloud’ storage containers; of new Microsoft ‘cloud’ centers; the incredible power contained in the iPhone 6; and then, as usual, launched into a list of new websites using the consumer direct market envelopes.
The Next Wave of Technology Innovation Or Phones, Drones and Automobiles

Edouard Macquin, EVP-Sales, Lectra, addressed evolutions across the board, globally, in fashion markets. He gave us a test on similar women’s coats from H&M, GAP, Marks & Spencer, ZARA and Topshop. Each had a different price point but a similar construction. His challenge? What is worth paying for - Red Oceans existing today or Blue Oceans which do not yet exist?
His comparison of the traditional flow (design-sourcing-store-consumer) to the new disruptive flow (consumer- store-design-sourcing) was simply brilliant.

Rick Horwitch, VP of Bureau Veritas then moderated a panel of:

  • Susan Ganz, CEO, Lion Brothers Co.
  • Randy Harward, VP Materials, Under Armour
  • Kevin Williams, VP Marketing, Coville Inc
  • Anthony Anzovino, VP Global Sourcing, Haggar

One general theme was how companies are redefining themselves. Suzy said her company is a “Material Science & Technology Innovation Company.”
Randy focused on knowing the ‘process’, the entire process of producing apparel, end to end. Kevin has helped his company take over virtually all of the functions of a previous retail customer, keeping the production and providing turnkey services. Tony talked about how the heritage of Haggar keeps getting updated to the times. In our Board meeting, Tony shared how he adapted the ART OF WAR by Sun Tzu to get his people to exchange and gain confidence.

James Vatalaro of Productivity Inc. gave a talk on strategic innovation that our producer members loved.
Jim defined the foundation of innovation as:

  • ♦ Significant, predictable and sustainable revenue growth as the prize
  • ♦ Organizations need both improvement capabilities and practical Strategic Innovation capabilities
  • ♦ Strategy Innovation transcends just products, services and processes
  • ♦ You reserve the right to define what innovation means to your organization

Johnnie Rush, VP Retail Innovation of HSN opened our meeting Tuesday morning May 5. Home Shopping Network is a “boundaryless” enterprise reaching 95 million homes, generating $3.5B in sales. It is the epicenter of what Johnnie defines as “critical mass and the culture of cool hunters.”
Today we have a voyeuristic consumer market watching hundreds of TV shows that each viewer wants to be a part of personally. While every producer competes on the basis of Price, Quality, Speed and Exclusivity, there is a 5th element - emotion which is story telling as collateral. He argues that story telling breeds trust and trust is our currency.
He then dropped a bombshell detailing how brands, which are what we buy today, are transitioning to ‘Stands’, which is WHY we buy. This in turn explains why entertainment and engagement are how some ‘Stands’ are winning the fight for a ‘share of time’ with consumers.

Shawn Neville, President, Avery Dennison RBIS shared two goals: elevate brands and accelerate performance. Today his company produces over 60 billion units a year.
With his background in branding, plus running brands and retail, Shawn immediately wanted to change Avery Dennison from a label producer to an innovation company, eventually opening Customer Design and Innovation Centers in LA, NY and Germany.
In these centers, you can see hundreds of examples of new technologies including reflective, performance stretch, embroidery effect, wearable technology, anti-dye migration, and dye sublimation.
Two strategic ventures stand out. First their collaborative innovation of Nike Flyweave, in which they weave the entire top of an Air Jordan basketball shoe, giving it 20% less weight and better lateral movement, fit and more colors. Then their joint venture with Ningbo Shenzhou, the largest knitwear manufacturer in China.

SUMMARY: The theme of innovation wove through each and every one of the 7 spots on the agenda. Virtually no-one left the room during the 1 hour and 45 minutes of Johnnie Rush’s talk which was informal, funny, cumulative and packed with insights.

Seth Godin normally talks to audiences of 4,000 and then only 29 times a year. Here, he talked to US specifically. He was prepared just for US and it showed.

This meeting was a tipping point. One outcome was the creation of the new ‘stand’ of the AAPN, the use of the additive logo pro:Americas. The ‘pro’ can stand for anything - promotion, producers, projects, programs. But to us it stands for one word - process. AAPN members ARE the process of the Americas. AAPN is the PROVEN industrial organization of the Americas.

The other major outcome? This was our last meeting. Seth said, “Every 3 years there used to be a conference of physicists. Of the 29 who came in 1927, 17 of them won the Nobel Prize, almost all of them after this conference. You didn’t get invited to the conference because you won the Nobel Prize, you won the Nobel Prize because you got invited to the conference. Sue and Mike and everybody else here, this is not a meeting. This is a conference. To all of you here, someone to the left or right of you is going to change everything.”