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It’s Time to Get Ahead


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Following on from their last guest blog with us, Lectra’s latest piece is targeted at CEOs or COOs of fashion businesses. Whilst their first piece in this series explored how designers can help to develop a brand’s DNA, this instalment explains how company heads can help their businesses become leaders in the fashion industry, all the while preserving the quality of their brand.

Due to the digital revolution, the fashion marketplace has become a fast-paced and complex one. Trends change in a matter of days as opposed of seasons nowadays.  As a result, consumers have become more demanding, wanting on-trend collections delivered on time at their doorstep.  Consumers have also refined their fashion palate, and are unwilling to compromise on the quality and design of their clothes.  They want to stand out.

It’s time to steer your company in a new direction. It’s time for your brand to evolve.

That means that YOU, as the head of your company, also need to find a way for your brand to stand out amongst your competitors. Your products need to be unique and at the same time to satisfy consumer needs, all delivered within short timeframes. Hence, your entire design-to-production process has to be efficient and fuss-free, leaving no time to waste.  Your teams cannot be burdened by technical hiccups and overlapping tasks. They need the time to not only create, but also to transform unique and innovative designs into reality efficiently, which will eventually help you develop your brand DNA.

What does it take to be a leader in fashion?

Competition is tough and your company needs to find a way to get ahead.  You are the COO or CEO of your company and you need to:

  • Maintain profit margins whilst preserving the quality and the DNA of your brand
  • Improve your overall performance by increasing organizational efficiency
  • Speed up your processes in order to adapt to market demand

Sounds like a challenge!

And almost every challenge can be overcome.

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So how do you maintain profit margins whilst preserving the quality and the DNA of your brand?

One important key element to maintaining profit margins is to keep your costs under control. This means less time wasted on non value-added activities, less fabric wastage, less technical hiccups and errors caused by miscommunication. Streamlining all of your processes is the very first important step. You will need a 360° view of your entire design-to-production process for that.  A collaborative platform in which all design and product development tools are integrated will provide you with just that.

That way, you can identify and clear all of your roadblocks, helping your design and production development teams work seamlessly together, leaving no chance for errors.

Avoiding overspending is another key element to increasing profitability.  That big picture should also include information on the performance of your previous collections, which will help and hasten your decision-making process for the next collection’s budget.

Having visibility of the whole process will help you identify the non-essential items which your company has been spending on. Doing away with these items will help you minimize your losses.

Your brand DNA is extremely important. This is what sets you apart from your competitors. To build a strong brand identity, your design and collection planning teams play an important role in maintaining visual consistency in all your collections. Making sure that they are consistent in their communication and also with your vision is extremely important, so having a platform that helps you keep up with each team’s day-to-day activities will come in handy.

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How do you improve your overall performance by increasing organizational efficiency?

If you want to increase your overall performance, you need to continuously assure that the organization of your company is at its best.

Having a collaborative PLM platform will give you a bird’s eye view of the entire design-to-production process of your company, enabling you to identify and clear all the organizational hiccups in your processes. Doing so will also help each of your teams focus and perform better on their given tasks and explore their full potential.

Teamwork is everything when it comes to improving organizational efficiency.  Errors will create animosity between team members if one of them winds up being burdened by the blunders of another. You want to create a work environment which is pleasant and conducive for your subordinates.

Connecting all your teams together on a single platform will improve the communication flow and get them organized, avoiding overlapping tasks and errors.  A collaborative work strategy will be established between these teams as a result.

How do you speed up your processes to adapt to customer demands?

By clearing organizational roadblocks, overlapping tasks and errors, a well-defined and streamlined design-to-production process will be formed which will dramatically increase speed to market.

At the end of the day, having a distinctive brand identity is the key to success.   Given the conditions of the marketplace today, the strength of your brand lies in the evolution of your brand identity.   Your brand identity can only evolve if your team members are all on the same page as you. A collaborative PLM platform will make sure that each and every employee in your company is specializing in his or her tasks, without any distractions caused by technical problems or errors. By connecting all your team members together using the same platform, you can share your vision for the brand.  Your team members can also develop professionally as your brand evolves.

That way, your collections will be delivered on-trend and on time, making your company a leader in the fashion industry.

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.