ECV International, a leading business events organiser, hosted a webinar recently themed – “The Road of Digital Transformation for Textile and Apparel Industry during COVID-19.”
The speakers in the webinar panel included Leonardo Silva, Senior Manager, Global Brands Group; Lamont Wharton, Former Group VP (Global Supply Chain Technology Platforms), PVH Corp. and Sebastiaan van de loo, VP – Global Business Development, ColorDigital GmbH who talked at length about the need for digital transformation in an era when COVID-19 has disrupted all major activities.
The webinar marked presence of over 200 attendees from world over who joined in to listen to the renowned speakers from the fashion industry.
Leonardo Silva started the webinar by giving some insights about layoffs, store closures, decline in consumer spending and the recession period. He then emphasised on the fact that offline purchases will still see reluctance from the consumers and they are more interested to shop digitally now.
According to a study presented by Silva, 74 per cent of Chinese consumers are avoiding shopping malls even weeks after opening the market and turning to digital medium. Similarly, traffic to the top 100 fashion brands’ owned websites rose by 45 per cent in Europe in April.
There is also a forecast that online share of fashion and apparel brands based in Europe and North America will increase by 20-40 per cent during the next 6 to 12 months.
Silva further suggested brands to build an ‘inventory war room’ which uses big data and analytics to first simulate dynamic demand scenarios specific to locations (channel, country, store) and SKUs, then to synthesise the resulting inventory risk – thus enhancing decision making.
The second speaker Lamont Wharton then discussed about his presentation topic by giving a data of global apparel production and contribution of different continents/regions in it: APAC > 70%, EMEA < 20%, Africa < 5% and Americas < 5%.
According to Lamont, there are certain drivers for business growth post-COVID such as 3D design, digitisation, data driven insights, artificial intelligence, tracking technology (blockchain, beacon), IoT, Robotics and quantum computing.
“Post-COVID, companies need to transform from a landscape which consists of a number of manual and internally built systematic solutions. These are heavily disconnected both internally and regionally,” stated Lamont.
He also mentioned that a need is there for brands to appoint global and regional technology change facilitators/champions. This will help them in reduced redundancy and increase proactive and predictive response to a challenge.
The last presentation was given by Sebastiaan van de loo who basically talked about the cloud-based software offering of ColorDigital – DMIx – and its significance in helping brands and manufacturers to switch digitally. The cloud-based software is said to take care of all aspects of the supply chain right from concept to PoS.
Sebastiaan demonstrated all aspects of this software with practical outcome and one of those was establishing a fully integrated Lap-Dip ecosystem to manage request and order, evaluation and analytics of Lap-Dips between brands and suppliers. He showed how DMIx and its team had been able to manage its clients’ to work as usual.
“Our teams were able to process Lap-Dips mostly from home without any delays in schedule during tough times of COVID-19,” claimed Sebastiaan.