Changing the Game
When we look at clothing manufacturers in general, the phrase “we’ve always done it this way” is very accurate. As a very handmade industry, fashion is much slower to adopt technology and change to meet the new challenges in the marketplace.
For some, change is new and daunting, for designers who like to feel and see real samples at every step of the workflow. For others, they recognize the need to change, but choose not to invest time and money and continue with what has always worked for them.
While the apparel industry has been slower to adopt new technologies, others in the automobile, architecture, and aerospace industries have been quick to implement 3D technology to streamline their workflow.
You cannot make a car sample every time you want to see a new concept, color or style. The same holds true for building projects. Adopting 3D in these industries has allowed them to develop quickly and make several iterations to a design in hours before committing to production. That same 3D digital technology can also be leveraged for sales and marketing. For example, a car in commercials is often a 3D rendered image to sell the car before it’s even produced. You can also tour a condo or see a whole building project virtually and buy a place before even seeing the physical house.
For the apparel industry, the question is not about if to adopt 3D, but when to adopt it. The advantages are clear for moving to 3D. You can make better product, faster decisions, and save costs.
A typical manufacturing workflow without technology is very consuming:
1) Patterns received digitally via email by a pattern service they use.
2) Pattern service prints out the pattern and the company sends a messenger to retrieve it.
3) Pattern is then reviewed by technical design, measured, walked, notches correct and so on.
4) Corrections are made or pattern approved
5) Pattern is brought back to the pattern service by messenger
6) Pattern service corrects pattern and send back to supplier via email
To be a game changer and leader, it’s all about joining the digital revolution. The winners will be companies who really take a hard look at their current process and make a concerted effort to move away from “we’ve always done it this way,” and move in a direction of not being afraid to change adopt technologies that can make them more creative, more responsive, and in turn more profitable.
Imagine cutting out 50% of the production time just by implementing new technologies. Imagine being able to visualize, correct and make decisions without even a physical sample. Imagine being able to make decisions, see all colorways, all with true-to-life virtual samples. Imagine taking those digital garments to the consumers and start selling ahead of production.
You don’t need to imagine. The change is here, and the change is now. Will you join?