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5 Reasons to Adopt Digital Workflows Across the Supply Chain


Here, EFI Optitex share their first exclusive with WhichPLM for 2019, discussing the numerous benefits to adopting a digital workflow. Optitex develops 3D virtual prototyping and 2D CAD/CAM pattern and fashion design software that is both innovative and easy to use.

The new era of fashion and apparel has arrived and the market as we know it is changing and evolving, moving to the digital sphere. As the new ‘see now, buy now,’ model of consumption takes over along with online shoppers who expect fast-fashion, perfect made-to-measure fit and style, immediate delivery and mass-production comparable costs, the need for digital transformation becomes greater and more important than ever.

If you’re still deliberating on the benefits of digital transformation in fashion and apparel, here are five excellent reasons to go digital:

1. Cost Reduction – Supporting Efficiency and Growth

Did you know that every year the apparel market spends an average of $6-8 billion on the creation of physical samples that eventually go to waste? The ability to eliminate the need for fabric and material use, labor, and time in order to create physical samples can have a huge impact on the company’s budget calculation and the division of resources across the supply chain. By working digitally and moving the process of design, development and preparation for production to the virtual sphere, companies in the fashion and apparel industry can become more efficient, and even more profitable as their entire workflow will support efficiency and growth.

2. Trend Setting – Shortening Your Time to Market

In the age of fast fashion and retail apocalypse, getting faster to market is no longer an advantage, it’s a must in order to stay relevant and not only maintain market grip, but expand it. Using digital innovation and streamlining workflows from concept to shelf can allow you to accelerate your time to market and empower you to set the next fashion trend rather than respond to emerging fashion innovations.

Smart, optimized use of resources will open the door for exciting opportunities and allow you to exceed the evolving industry landscape in which four fashion seasons can easily become twenty.

3. Agile Workflows – Connecting the Supply Chain through Digital Innovation

Designing virtual samples, developing accurate items, and producing stylish garments with maximum accuracy can be done in one place, in real time. The advantage of Industry 4.0 is the spirit of optimization and automation it brings with it. No more pin-point solutions for specific pain points, but true end-to-end workflows that seamlessly connect the supply chain, enabling collaboration and empowering communication between teams, partners and suppliers in a transparent and easy manner.

4. High Quality Products – Shifting Focus and Resources towards Creativity

When talking about the ability to create high quality products using digital tools, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to maintain your current product quality while transitioning to the digital sphere, it means you’ll be able to design better products at higher quality because your entire workflow has been revolutionized. With a phenomenal level of accuracy, using advanced digital tools can help you shift your resources and talent towards creativity rather than investing heavily in simply developing and making products. Instead of wasting time, money and valuable resources on creating and validating garments for your upcoming collection, you’ll be able to design, develop, conduct adjustments and alterations, validate, and prepare entire collections for production at the push of a button.

5. Promoting Sustainability – Creating Fashion On-Demand

Waste in the fashion and apparel industry is not only a result of physical samples gone to waste, it is also the outcome of an unoptimized system that over produces items instead of creating products according to demand.

More than 25 percent of the world’s chemicals are used for textile production, which makes the fashion and apparel industry the world’s most polluting industry, after oil. The question of sustainability echoes across the globe and impacts business and profits as an environmentally conscious generation fast becomes the main consumer, and it has no compassion for companies that do not align with the social causes that are important to it.

The good news is, the amount of waste caused by fashion and apparel production can be reduced. Some of the world’s leading brands are already implementing sustainable workflows, which reflect highly on their public relations and, in turn, their business.

Lydia Mageean Lydia Mageean has been part of the WhichPLM team for eight years now. She has a creative and media background, and is responsible for maintaining and updating our website content, liaising with advertisers, working on special projects like our PLM Project Pack, or our Annual Publications, and more.Joining mid-2013 as our Online Editor, she has since become WhichPLM’s Editor. In addition to taking on writing and interviewing responsibilities, Lydia has also become the primary point of contact for news, events, features and other aspects of our ever-growing online content library and tools.