March Madness

March: Madness

It is March, so that means basketball and brackets. Even non fans take a moment to test the office pools and jump into the water.  We watch nail biters and route for teams we have no connection to whatsoever.  Why?  Because in the end it is fun and a distraction from the realities of life that invariably creep into everyone’s day.

The March games have inevitability to them. Starting with sixty four teams in the first round, the bucket is immediately halved after a day or two.  A few days later we’re down to sixteen teams: The Sweet Sixteen.

Elimination and inevitability; for those who came through the 1990’s in the textile industry, those words have a familiar ring; 159,000 in job losses or 22% of textile mill jobs in total – Inevitable Elimination – Madness. There was enough finger pointing to go around as to who, what, where, when and why. Blame it on the economy, NAFTA, imports, unions, whatever. The bottom line was that our industry took a punch in the gut, and almost broke.

Almost, but not quite; some things are not inevitable. True, the tournament will go into April, and there will be only one team crowned champion. But in the textile industry there is a growth fueled by innovation and technology. We are creating new products to fill needs the consumer demands. (See textile wearable’s, nano fabrics, anti microbials and a host of others.)

This is where the future lies:  innovation – performance – quality; it is not Madness. It is inevitable.