In the last in our exclusive series of interviews from Texprocess WhichPLM’s Editor, Lydia Hanson, caught up with Bill, Brewster, VP & General Manager of Yunique Solutions at Gerber Scientific Inc.
Lydia Hanson: A big part of a presence at any trade fair is uniqueness – offering something special – so what do you think sets you apart from the other vendors that prospective customers are going to be looking at on the show floor?
Bill Brewster: What makes Gerber Technology unique is our deep and comprehensive understanding of the value chain that businesses contend with, from developing a vision, creating a concept, and executing the final product. Our comprehensive approach helps businesses streamline their process flows and reduce time to market for their products with solutions such as CAD software, PLM and automated material handling and cutting.
LH: With regards to the show, do you see Texprocess as regional or as international?
BB: Texprocess is very much an international show. This is readily apparent from touring the grounds and speaking with the wealth of visitors who have come from all around the world – we have already seen visitors from countries throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Additionally, not only do you see German companies represented, but also those from countries such as Turkey, South Korea, Switzerland and China. This is made possible only through Texprocess’ mission to bring together a broad spectrum of the world’s leading companies that are driving the value chain throughout the textile industry.
LH: And do you find that customers here see PLM as a platform and, furthermore, are investing in it?
BB: Germany has remained one of the largest apparel and textile countries in the world. German companies view PLM as a crucial platform for improving and transforming their businesses to continue their competitiveness in a global economy and to manage an ever increasingly complex supply chain environment. This is true for small, medium and large businesses alike.
LH: How are global supply chain pressures affecting your solution enhancements? By this, we mean the pressure to decrease cost, and increase efficiency and collaboration etc.
BB: This is a great question. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from increased efficiency and collaboration; however, in the past, much of the technology was feasible for only the largest companies with the financial means to pursue such solutions. Now, it’s possible for smaller companies to enjoy the same benefits to their supply chain through more accessible out-of-the-box solutions. With YuniquePLM Fast Start edition, now available on the cloud, businesses are able to rapidly get up and running in a matter of weeks. This offers them the opportunity to take advantage of our class leading system used by many of the most successful brands and retailers in the world and backed by years of industry experience.
LH: At your ideation 2014 event, you announced AccuMark 10, which includes a 3D module and was to be released in Spring 2015. Can you tell our readers a little more about this release, and how Accumark & YuniquePLM integrate?
BB: We’ve been investing in and working on some very exciting things with 2D and 3D design. With AccuMark 10, it is now possible to easily create virtual samples in 3D, on a digital avatar with a simple click of a button making it possible to reduce and even eliminate process steps and physical sample iterations to help designers optimize their time and speed up feedback cycles.
YuniquePLM supports AccuMark 3D files within the style area – you can also bring 3D files directly into a sample request allowing a user to rotate, pan, spin the file and make annotations against the image – this allows for a more visual sampling process.
LH: Great – and what other key benefits users can expect to gain from this integration?
BB: The integration of YuniquePLM with AccuMark software gives businesses the ability to reduce and eliminate process steps, gain a higher level of collaboration and visibility through the product development and production processes and to optimize their supply chain management to ensure they are able to deliver to market the right product at the right time, cost and quality.
LH: Moving onto another topic: we have seen that the show this year is placing some emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility. How does YuniquePLM support CSR?
BB: In its essence, PLM supports Corporate Social Responsibility by reducing time to market through elimination of sample iterations and fostering efficient communication both internally as well as with global partners. Users have the ability to track compliance issues such as labour and regulatory issues within the partner management area.
YuniquePLM also empowers our customers to integrate social and environmental concerns into their business processes by being the single repository of crucial information including: lab tests to track conformity, files used for digital printing which reduces ink usage, minimums and setup requirements, and planning and executing development in an efficient manner – thereby reducing their overall carbon footprint and adhering to regulatory requirements. Moreover, the addition of new technologies such as 3D Visualization into our Digital Solutions comprised of AccuMark and YuniquePLM provide the key to improved turn-time and the reduction of costs and wastage.
LH: In terms of new enhancements, what do you see as emerging process developments to your software solution in the next twelve months?
BB: We have many enhancements planned for the next twelve months – these include continuing to build on our success in helping brands, retailers and manufacturers increase the competitiveness and profitability of their product lines as well as reduce their overall time to market. We’ll be continuing our dedication to full integration of our digital solutions; PLM, CAD, spreaders, cutters, etc. as well as third-party systems such as ERP.
In today’s ‘Fast Fashion’ market, the ability to go to market as soon as possible is a key priority. With our dedication to streamlining system efficiency, we aim to significantly reduce time-to-market execution through the value chain of fashion product development and production.
LH: Lastly, at Texprocess we see a broad range of systems (2D, 3D, CAM, PLM etc.) that fall under the umbrella of ‘Core PLM & Extended PLM’; do you have plans in place to embrace and integrate other systems into your solution platform?
BB: Continuing with the discussion about emerging developments to our software solution over the next year, we are making considerable advances to our system architecture which is API-based. We believe that businesses have choices and implementation should not introduce further complications with existing systems. To serve this goal and ensure that PLM remains a truly cross-enterprise initiative, YuniquePLM will be increasingly easier to integrate with external applications and enterprise business systems.
An example is our partnership with leading solutions’ providers such as Pointcarre that seamlessly integrates with YuniquePLM. Pointcarre’s intuitive interface allows brands to control each stage of fabric creation and pattern design beginning from loom control to sampling different prints with realistic, three-dimensional presentations. Companies can get a good idea of how a design will look without creating physical samples in the initial decision making process.
We will continue to enhance and increase our integrations across the application sets of Gerber Technology as well as third-party systems based on our customers demand. We see this as a critical component of providing a highly valued enterprise platform and to ensure broad user adoption across our customer’s organizations as well as their supply chain partners.
*This marks the last interview in this series from Texprocess 2015.