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Saturday, April 19, 2008

One Dress, One Computer at a Time

There are workers in several industries hit hard, one at a time, in America by the corporate practice of overseas outsourcing, incompetence and other factors. Among these is the apparel industry. Right along with apparel is the computer and IT industry, in general. Apparel holds the longer track record of the two and what transpires once these jobs leave our communities. There's one thing the computer industry and IT can learn from the apparel industry: Those jobs are not coming back.

There is opportunity, here.

Workers in the apparel and computer fields, respectively, have acquired, and in some instances, amassed a great deal of Knowledge, Skills and Experience (KSE). What many do not realize is they can utilize these KSE resources as entrepreneurs generating an income for their families. Furthermore, many mistakingly believe being self-employed or having a business of their own requires sums of money they do not have to open a shop. I would not advise either of them to leave their new jobs whether at McDonald's, Walmart or other place of employment. I will urge both to consider the potential dynamic of Independent Contractor-Networks. (IC-Networks)

The IC-Network model enables indviduals and retailers to build their businesses mutually, successfully, locally, regionally, statewide and nationwide. Apparel boutique and VAR (Value-Added Resellers) owners continue to struggle to increase sales and service revenues. The reason: If they are not sole individuals trying to do it all themselves they are small business employers who cannot afford to hire the additional workers to boost their revenues. Their business model can only carry them so far. Where major corporations will outsource; boutique and VAR owners shutdown.

The outsourcing of apparel and computer jobs overseas has left in its wake an enormous talent pool; people with the KSE to meet the needs of local boutique and VAR owners.

What is the difference between an upscale dress at Neiman-Marcus and one at a local boutique? Other then price and location: None. My point is the employee whose KSE produced the Neiman-Marcus dress on the production floor is the same person capable of producing the same for the boutique owner. Boutique owners can provide and build relationships with customers for whom corporate conventional mass production has given one option as consumers: One size fits none.

What is the difference between a name-brand computer and a whitebox / whitebook? Other than price and localtion: None. When Dell sized the whitebox market at 3 billion dollars it pretty much remained unchanged when Dell got out of it a couple years later. Who makes up that 3 billion dollar market as yet unpenetrated by the Acers, Dells, HPs and Lenovos? They are the low-income, Blacks and Hispanics who do not own a computer. They industry has moved on to pursue the current hot item: Laptops. I do not expect those who could not afford a desktop to race to their local retailer for their laptop.

No single boutique or VAR owner can rival the mega corporation's local chainstore. However, a local IC-Network can greatly increase the efficiency and productivity of their business with one dress, one computer at a time.

The IC-Network model targets other industries which lend themselves to independent contracting. The model will launch locally (in Round Rock, Texas) and expand regionally, statewide and nationwide. It represents promise and hope for our families, comuunities and country.

We welcome your comments.

Hope you will join us at that time.

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