How digitalization will help to increase production

Benefits of investing in new technology for the Apparel Industry

Digitalization has become the way of life for many people and a game-changer for many industries, especially with the pandemic making us hit a rock bottom.It has helped businesses, from retailers to multi-brands to sustain themselves in their respective fields throughout the year.

As the world continues to follow physical distancing, consumers are less likely to visit brick-and-mortar stores. This contact-free economy is raising e-commerce and automation to a whole new level. With more and more commoners using the internet on a global scale, it only asserts the businesses to develop multiple strategies and incorporate the omnichannel approach into their business models.

Like many other industries, the Apparel Industry is undergoing large scale changes due to the surge of technology and its direct impact on consumer behavior. Hence, the apparel industry has been force-fitted to embrace digitalization and the number of trends that have risen alongside the new normal, making digital and analytics vital.

Countless amounts of retail brands are now offering seamless shopping experiences to their customers online to their store outlets, thus easing the user experience. Digitalization is not only limited to the sales channel and helps companies adapt efficient operations, production processes, and cost structures and transform each step of the value chain better, faster, and cost-effective. For example, digitization can enable new logistics and sales-fulfilment options (such as click-and-collect and drive-through), fuel innovative ways of customer acquisition, and help predict and manage inventory to create a more resilient supply chain.

The COVID-19 crisis has clearly been an accelerator to the industry leaders in terms of their ability and willingness to invest.

The apparel manufacturing industry, except few big players, has a very cluttered way of the working process. The ground reality is different when it comes to the adoption of new technology in small and mid-size firms.

From ergonomics to production, plant layout designing, inventory management, supply chain visibility and much more needs to be done through the available solutions in the market.

We know that different production tools are used to improving production; however, many factories find it difficult to implement and use these tools. Most of the operators are not ready to accept the changes despite the management highlighting the importance and positive impact of automation to the shop floor, assisting in dispatch, sale and even customer service.

And the list of benefits just goes on:

  • Ergonomically designed workstation benefitting health and production – eg, ETON system helps in smooth process flow without a lot of human handling and can bring the product in perfect shape till dispatch area.
  • Minimizing paperwork and human error through automation tools – eg, Barcode/ QR code scanner for tracking production processes from cutting to shipping warehouse and from end line check table to head office, data will transfer without any error.
  • Poka-yoke (“mistake-proofing” or “inadvertent error prevention”) – a mechanism in a process that helps an equipment operator avoid mistakes or defects by preventing, correcting, or drawing attention to human errors as they occur.
  • From Kanban, now digital Kanban we can handle WIP in each line of production and meet the shipment date without any loss. It can also help meet the KPI of the factory and enhance the efficiency of man/machine ratio, line and factory efficiency to help with apparel costing.

From real-time data entry software, we can see the line performing of each factory from anywhere and according to capacity and KPI important decisions can be made to help the business reach greater heights.

Some brands are capitalizing on the benefits by bringing small automation to enhance user experience, be a resource to their customers and community and add an incredible value without being too salesy.

For example, Lenskart gives 3-D views of the face with spectacles to help users to understand which frame or glass is looking better.  Also, India is coming with their own 3-D body size chart.

Recently Gucci sold  their first virtual Gucci sneakers for sale at $17.99

The catch? They’re digital-only


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