Yesterday I was fortunate to speak at the PI Apparel NYC conference about how much better it would be if we would digitize the whole supply chain, and not just the design process, the 3-D teams or the Sales teams in the stores. I guess everyone has accepted the digitization by force which was brought to us by COVID-19. Everyone is sitting behind a screen, somewhere in the world, and tries the best and aims to be as professional as possible.
The same happened yesterday at the conference. Hundreds of participants from all over the world were connected and participated, either as listeners, speakers or as panelists. And everyone could embrace the technology and could gain first-hand knowledge because of this connection called Internet. Now when it comes to our industry it puzzles me that for some reason, we oversee the millions of people working in the manufacturing field.
I have seen a lot of platforms recently trying to connect brands, customers and suppliers and trying to ease the organization of development and ordering processes. That’s great but for some reason it stops there. For some reason the manufacturers are left alone. One of them told us yesterday in the panel, that he for example receives 3D sketches, but in different formats and in different levels of maturity and of course the brands expect him to sort it out, to make the best of it and transform 3-D to Real. Some others talked about the difficulties when designing in 3-D for different “customers”. A 3-D freelance designer said that she would have to design basically two variations, one for the retail and design area where everything counts that is about optics.
On the other hand, she must design a 3-D sketch that is understandable from the supplier’s perspective, when much more details are required. And then again, loads of people must migrate information into the MES systems of the manufacturers. A lot of these media breaks open every option for mistakes and for waste because of over-processing. And as much as I love the discussion about digital runway collection’s and presentations and about digital show rooms, there’s so much more in our industry to be solved and to be connected.
And there are so much more people involved and affected by this. There was one presentation of software-house PTC which I believe pointed into the right direction. They also emphasized on an edge to edge approach, involving the whole process and putting it into digital context to each other. Now I know that this is a big statement and of course not everyone will want to change their PLM ecosystems or ERP or MES systems etc., but the direction is right.
Thinking about all involved parties and trying to avoid analogue valleys like the one in Israel where we last year, as family, could physically feel the loss of infrastructure and connection.
Where we could immediately compare hyper-connected Tel Aviv and close to no connectivity in the desert. In other words - to all the software companies and to all the IT leaders:
Don’t underestimate the potential of connecting millions of workers and managers in the shop floors around the world.
Enjoy the week...