Apparel makers are about to embrace a sweeping digital revolution
Column:Industry News Time:2017-09-19

Fashion retailers have begun to follow the digital footprint of consumers, but the digital transformation of apparel makers has only just begun.

McKinsey, a global research report pointed out that the German company for today's fashion industry base is shift from the original supply to demand driven, the situation for a lot of clothing purchasing executives are starting to focus on the production operation of the digital revolution. Digital changes can not only keep pace with The Times, but also better cope with shrinking minimum orders and changing trends.

McKinsey survey for the $135 billion under management, procurement funds 135 billion senior executives, 83% of them said that the future of the company clothing purchasing digital can accelerate decision-making, reduce production errors, better fit the customer's location. Achim Berg, senior partner at McKinsey's fashion consultancy, said: "there is huge potential for digital development, such as shorter delivery times. In addition, advanced analysis can be used to select production locations, technical cooperation with suppliers, or virtual prototyping.

McKinsey points out that most manufacturers' executives want to cut the buying time from six weeks to four weeks by digitizing. Colin Browne, director of Under Armour brand supply chain, said: "the sports product industry used to have long lead times for even relatively simple products. Accelerating the digitization process can better manage the purchasing time.

The problem is that there is still a "significant gap" between their current actions and future expectations. McKinsey points out: "end-to-end process management is a very good example, more than 80% of the purchasing executives believe the greatest influence on the future development of this field, but only 25% of people think that their company is in this area has achieved a high degree of digital."

McKinsey points out that companies are better off investing early in integrating aspects such as product lifecycle management software. It is reported that integrating product life cycle management software can increase productivity to 10 times the current level. Martijn Hagman, PVH's European markets chief and Tommy Hilfiger's global chief financial officer, acknowledges that PVH is trying to drastically reduce delivery times through process optimization and digitisation, but that most of the tools needed are "not in place". Take 3D design, for example, which provides services such as digital graphics, fitting and rendering, but there is no program in the market that manages these separate elements.

Automation is still an option for the buyer's company. By 2025, more than half of purchasing executives say, automation will outstrip cost considerations and become a key factor in their sourcing choices. Compared with the traditional labor, automation technology can not only improve production speed and efficiency, also can promote the rapid growth of "purchase" to the nearest trend, from fashion company headquarters closer regional costumes. McKinsey report co-author Saskia Hedrich said: "there is a person out of every two executives agree that, in order to satisfy the desire of the consumer hope that buy goods more quickly, to purchase will be increasingly important."

But the garment industry is not (at least not yet) moving towards full automation and local sourcing. Over the next decade or so, says Colin Browne, "it's going to be a model of production in low-cost countries, with the help of AI and technology." He also noted that the old haggling procurement model was no longer there and that fashion companies now wanted "a fully integrated relationship" with suppliers.

Source: China textile network