Information Technology disrupting the apparel industry

by Ankita Chowdhary

24-September-2019  |  13 mins read

electronically storing

Information Technology refers to the electronically storing, receiving and transmitting of data. Today IT plays a huge role in the apparel industry, right from worker attendance to shipment release. Wherever we need real time data/information, IT is a must tool to have as it makes the task much more manageable and easier. This article will talk about how Information Technology is disrupting the apparel industry and who are the leading Indian suppliers for the same.

Fast Fashion created a need to change the working models of garment manufacturing. The demand for better quality with reduced time and cost required another approach for the manufacturing of garments. This need was soon filled by the technology suppliers helping manufacturers to deliver the desired demand of their buyers while improving their profit margins. IT and other technologies played a huge role in transforming the traditional manufacturing processes to newer ways. The leading suppliers of technologies like US, Germany and France apart from a few Indian suppliers like Simbus, Udityatech are bringing in a change in the industry with their solutions.

“Apparel manufacturers are under severe pressure in the hyper-competitive market environment. Apart from the cost pressures, the manufacturers are also under pressure from their customers to offer a significant differentiation to ensure that their share of business is maintained. The key differentiators for manufacturers are quick turnaround/shorter lead times, ontime delivery performance, competitive cost and product innovation. 3D design and virtual sampling can also help manufacturers stay ahead of the game by delivering significant value,” said Krishna Kumar, Founder & MD, Simbus Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Product Lifecycle Management

Simbus, an Indian technology consulting and solution company, is helping the apparel industry with both its manufacturing and retail technology solutions. The sample making process in garment manufacturing is the one where most of the time can be saved. The traditional sample making process which takes around a month for all the approvals to be done can now be done within a few days. Simbus company’s Browzwear 3D Apparel Design Suite is a SaaS platform that allows manufacturers with realistic 3D prototyping while allowing the team to work in collaboration. The cloud-based system allows the data to be made available for everyone in the team and as well as external team (buyers).

The technology comes with different features that ease out the whole process for them. Browzwear design tool (Lotta) and its tightly coupled patternmaking and simulation solution (V-Stitcher) are joined by Stylezone, a SaaS platform that helps in better communication and collaboration and a solution for outputting a limited set of manufacturing instructions intended for factories.

The easy and simplified interface lets the users quickly learn and use the tool without extensive training. The system also allows easy navigation between 3D and 2D styling to add precision to fashion design. It comes with an inbuilt tech pack creator allowing quick generation of tech packs for design and proto sampling. “Browzwear 3D platform can also help manufacturers to co-create products in a cost-effective way and help in getting a higher share of business from their customers. By offering a catalogue of 3D designs, manufacturers can enhance the design options for their customers and establish a strategic relationship, moving beyond mere manufacturing and becoming a full-fledged design for production partners,” explained Krishna.

The V-Stitcher feature is a design, develop and produce tool that allows transforming 2D patterns into realistic 3D prototype. Its seamless integration into Adobe software helps in realistic design creation, with accurate draping and true-Motion fitting and real human avatars. Moreover, it gives accurate virtual stitching and minimises errors during sampling, providing improved fitting. All the samples can be developed on the virtual avatars available based on skin, size, colour, etc. The number of prototypes available allows to visualise the garment fit on real human body type. The patterns made in the system can be designed and styled using the Lotta tool that provides open access to a wide range of colours, styles, materials, lightning effects and more because of the easy integration of the system with PLM. The Lotta tool is therefore termed as a colourway and fabric bank. It has an inbuilt fabric analyser that allows automatic capture of fabric properties to enable true to life simulation of the garment drape, stretch and fall. According to Krishna, “Browzwear ensures that the critical samples like fit/proto etc., are submitted on time and are approved the first time around. Most manufacturers suffer due to multiple rejections of these samples, which eats into the precious order lead time. Using Browzwear 3D technology, manufacturers can create a virtual sample with the help of 2D digital patterns and check for mistakes in patterns and fit and correct the same, all in a matter of hours before producing the physical sample. This avoids costly rejections.”

All the collaboration and sharing of files and data is done through the tool STYLEZONE, which is a collaboration platform for web and mobile. It allows viewing and sharing of 3D designs by creating an environment where everyone in the process from design to merchandising can get access to it. Krishna stated, “Many global brands and retailers are adopting 3D as a part of their product development process. They expect their vendors to be ‘3D literate’ and ‘3D enabled’ so that all fit checks can be approved digitally. Manufacturers have to be in sync with their customers and a 3D platform can help in this collaboration besides enabling reduction of lead times.”

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