JVS Exports Opens Research Offices at NC State University
Cecile Corral -- Home Textiles Today, April 26, 2010
Fourth-generation family-owned-and-operated kitchen and table linens textiles manufacturer JVS Export, based in Madurai, India, has partnered with the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University here to conduct industry-related research and projects.
“JVS Export is honored to have teamed up with the recognized world leader in all areas of textile education, research and industry support,” said Charles Hurley, director of product development, who is relocating in June to Raleigh to run the company's new college-based offices, which opened in December. Hurley was formerly based at JVS Export's sales offices in Bentonville, Ark., which will remain staffed with the company's U.S. sales team.
“JVS is putting our customers at the center of our business with this effort,” he continued. “We are seeking innovative ways to provide solutions for our customers needs now and anticipate what they will need in the future. North Carolina State University College of Textiles provides leadership in research for advancing textile science, technology and industry practice. Specifically, JVS will engage with faculty, staff, undergraduate, and graduate students on projects involving multiple disciplines.”
Examples of these include the design, branding, marketing, product quality, research and development of new products and capabilities, six sigma methodology, consumer research, corporate communications, sales and inventory forecasting. JVS Exports is working with student interns who are earning textiles engineering degrees.
Dr. Timothy Clapp, director of textiles extension education for economic development, said JVS Exports represents the first home textiles company of 60 companies in various industries with offices at the university's Centennial Park Campus, which is home to the College of Textiles.
“JVS locating on Centennial Campus beside the College of Textiles brings their new product development office to the students and faculty to support their research and new product development,” Clapp told HTT. “JVS product lines provide students design and marketing opportunities in the home textiles market. Students and faculty are already interacting with JVS. JVS has plans to support research studies to benefit their new product development strategy. We see JVS growing and creating good jobs for our students and citizens in North Carolina and beyond. We are excited to see this partnership with industry and academia that is the foundation of the Centennial Campus economic development model.”
He added that NCSU's College of Textiles offers a wide range of educational programs that include polymer and color chemistry, textiles engineering, textiles technology with fashion and textiles design concentration, and fashion and textiles management. The college also has state-of-the-art textiles processing and design facilities for research and prototyping.
As Clapp noted, JVS Exports' college office has already embarked on two projects with students. One is a market overview initiative that seeks to create a detailed summary of the home textiles market in the U.S. as it relates to kitchen and table.
“All relevant item information with regard to each retailer's offerings will be included in a report, which we can share with our customers,” Hurley said. “This data will help JVS tailor item developments to each of our customer's competitive market strategy. The second step in this process is to analyze the specifics of each item utilizing lab equipment at the college to properly identify the playing field, and look for ways to help our customers offer the best quality merchandise at each level of their particular strategy.”
The other project underway centers on detailed sales forecasting aimed at helping JVS and its retail customers collaborate to improve inventory efficiency. Hurley said many of the college's graduate students working on the project have practical experience with large retailers and have experience in this type of work.
JVS Exports is enjoying “an added bonus” through its NC State partnership: many of the University's College of Textiles students are from India, making them potential candidates for future permanent positions working at the company's facilities in India.
Hurley said JVS Exports expects to “quickly develop an exchange program” where U.S.-based students can work at JVS in India and vice versa — the company's India-based employees can work temporarily at the University office to train and learn more about the U.S. market.
In another effort, JVS Exports also plans to augment its partnership with NC State by participating in various organizations on campus, such as the Entrepreneurs Club, as well as serve on the Industry Advisory Board of the college.
“JVS is looking forward to sharing information and ideas with students and faculty [so] that the college learns from us as much as we learn from them,” Hurley said.
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