COPING WITH CHALLENGES CREATIVELY IN DISTRO INDUSTRY FOR BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY.

Author:Manurung, Elvy Maria
Position::Report
 
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INTRODUCTION

Bandung is one of the cities with the best entrepreneurial climate in Indonesia. Every year, there are thousands of young entrepreneurs born in this city, and most of them start their business in culinary and fashion. The growing number of high school and university students in Bandung-known as a city of students-come from various regions of Indonesia, making it a multi-cultural city with high creativity from its young population.

The creative industry in Bandung has long been growing and developing, since about 30 years ago. The city of Bandung has several creative centers such as graphic design for print media, for t-shirts, and for advertisement media (banners, billboard, etc.) run by young entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized businesses. The process of creating a thriving design in Bandung is inseparable from the creative ideas of its creators including creative young entrepreneurs. The preliminary study (Barlian, Manurung, Nawangpalupi, 2014) showed that there are very close relationship between creativity, urban climate, and entrepreneurship. This relationship seems inevitable among young entrepreneurs in this city.

Technology on the other hand also plays an important role in maintaining the continuity of creative business, due to rapid business climate change from time to time. In addition, young highschool and university students in Bandung are really fashionable. They have their own taste and tend to be comfortable wearing fashion trends that they create. Since the era of colonial (HIndies, 1920), Bandung, known as the city of flowers and 'Paris Van Java' is indeed a trend axis for fashion style. Bandung is one of the cities in West Java that has potential and creative young people as much as 60 percent of the total population (Kamil, 2013).

Researches on creative industries in Bandung have been done, especially in the field of fashion. However, few still focus on the creative process and management of creativity. Some quite prominent researches are done by (Kanji, 2010; Arfan, 2014; Fitriyana, 2011). Research on the development of distros in Bandung was performed by Remi Kanji in 2010. Kanji found that the development of distro is rapid because the creation of design and production processes is done locally, while sales can occur locally, regionally or even internationally. Increased sales of distro product cause employment uprise (Kanji, 2010). Bandung, named as one of Asia's creative cities, that develops through the collaborative power of the community, has been studied by (Fitriyana, 2011). Another research about fashion in Bandung was done by (Arfan, 2014). Arfan founds that appearance becomes very important for fashion users and identity representation an important factor in the selection of fashion.

Another research result on fashion industry in Bandung show the real evidence of rapid development of fashion industry in Bandung is the rapid growth of FO (factory outlet) and Distro (distribution shop) as a textile product distribution agency that relies on creativity. Design, diversity of raw materials, brand specificity, and product uniqueness are key success of creative fashion in Bandung, beside its existence of textile industry the fashion industry includes the use of textile materials processed into final products such as shirts, jackets, pants, and similar products. However, the development of fashion creative industries in Bandung faces several obstacles, identified as follows: (i) The level of competition in the domestic market is getting higher, (ii) fashion industry in Bandung are mostly small and medium enterprises (UMKM), with limited access to financial and technological resources, resulting in a poor quality product, and (iii) the development of strategy of the fashion creative industries in Bandung still runs independently and has not made a scale of priority of the aspects to be developed, so it seems sporadic and unsystematic (Suryana and Setiawati, 2009; Anggoro, 2009). Not all local authorities have a master plan or blueprint for the development of creative industries (Furqan, 2010; Rofaida and Krihna, 2016)

The growth of micro, small and medium enterprises of fashion industry in Bandung is very rapidly and thus the industry has to face the growing competitiveness challenge. Siswanto and Maulida (2014) propose the implementation of ERP is considered to be a strategy to support sales growth, increase management ability, enhance marketing network and also strengthen the company competitiveness. In order to be effectively implemented to achieve the goals, the ERP modules requirements are necessary to be identified based on the business process in the micro, small and medium enterprises of fashion Industry. The fashion industry has a contribution to the economy and become a locomotive in the development of creative industries nationwide. However, Indonesia development of fashion creative industry is experiencing less favorable growth, which in a period of more than 5 years tend to fluctuate. This indicates that business performance of the fashion industry tend not optimal. This condition related to some problems in developing competitive strategy (Auliana, 2016). Another study that examines ICT adoption on market capabilities in fashion industry also provides justification and recommendations for government and lawmakers to foster the growth of SMEs fashion industry in Indonesia by building more IT-related infrastructure and developing necessary skills to enhance SME business performance. (Siswanto and Maulida, 2014; Setiawati, Hartoyo, Daryanto and Arifin, 2015).

The fast fashion apparel industry due to its particular characteristics such as short life cycle products, volatile demand, low predictability, high level of impulse purchase, high level of price competition and global sourcing. A system dynamics model is proposed for analyzing the behavior and relationships of the fast fashion apparel industry by Mehrjoo and Pasek (2016). They initiate multiple business situations for effective strategic planning and decision-making are generated to satisfy customers' needs in the shortest time to satisfy customers' needs in the shortest time (Mehrjoo, Pasek, 2016).

Through Kanji's previous study (2010), it was found that even though the distro emerged from the antimainstream movement--the punk'ism--by young generation who liked playing music at the time, the distro, which is a fashion industry of t-shirts-jackets and other accessories, is a strategic industry in Bandung. From fabric production to the distribution and the sales, all occur in this city. (Kanji 2010) offers some ideas from his research on five main factors affecting the development of distro business in Bandung: Traffic, Reliance On Trends, Government Policy, Simplifying Export Process and Accessibility. These five factors are directly related to the business process practices undertaken. This leads the distro business, namely the manufacture of clothing with limited number and constantly changing designs, to become a growing business in Bandung.

From Kanji's research, it was found that distro is a strategic industry in Bandung, and will become a growing business in the city. Increased sales of distro product cause employment upraise. Kanji predicted, with support given by local government distros will soon become a firm and main player fashion industry. Creative industry in Bandung has long been growing and developing especially in fashion industry, since about 30 years ago. Bandung is one of the cities in West Java that has potential and creative young people as much as 60 percent of the total population (Kamil, 2013).

LITERATURE REVIEW

Creativity

Creativity is the basis of today's economy and industry. It is an intangible asset that is proven to produce unique, valuable and meaningful products and services. Creativity is inherent and possessed by individuals who make them "geniuses" (Bilton and Leary, 2002; Boden, 1994; De Fillipi 2007). The definition of creativity is then extended not only to individuals, but also to processes within organizations or institutions.

Creativity is seen as essential for social and economic growth (Florida, and Goodnight, 2005). At the individual, team, and organizational levels, creativity is seen as a core enabler and contributor to entrepreneurial performance, growth, and competitiveness. Creativity becomes a research area that has evolved over the years. Historically, creativity has its roots in the field of psychology that is the conceptual and empirical foundation, which focuses on the factors that increase or inhibit creativity in different areas.

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