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Why PLM is Rapidly Becoming an Essential Tool in the Fashion Industry

Why PLM is Rapidly Becoming an Essential Tool in the Fashion Industry

In the fashion industry, companies are constantly fighting to uphold the perfect balance between speed and success. While speed to market is crucial to succeed in this industry, it comes with lots of room for error, whether it be in fit or fabric of a garment, sourcing, distribution, the faster a product lifecycle, the higher the risk of error. However, companies are seeing a massive reduction in these risks when they take advantage of software solutions throughout their supply chain, especially during product development.

According to Sourcing Journal, “A company’s ability to rapidly turn today’s hit product into tomorrow’s durable brand is no accident–it’s the result of a specific set of practices that companies can identify and repeat to achieve a lasting competitive advantage.” These companies that utilize software tools such as a modern PLM system are finding it easier to achieve that sweet spot between speed to market and overall success, and vastly improving their responsiveness to consumer trends.

A strong PLM system is a critical link in a company’s supply chain. In this fast-paced industry, speed-to-market is crucial. Trends come and go in the blink of an eye, and designers are tasked with staying on top of these trends, a constant challenge in the design process. A PLM system should integrate into other supply chain solutions, so designers don’t have to export large files from their design tools and import them into a PLM.

With Exenta PLM, designers can utilize the design plug-in for Adobe Illustrator, enabling them to use launch new concepts and use information from PLM without ever leaving their preferred design tool. A strong PLM also significantly speeds design production by giving designers easy access to tech packs, past designs, and other data on one collaborative platform.

Advantages of Exenta PLM:

  • Accelerate design, development and sourcing
  • Grow revenue while reducing costs
  • Enhance design creativity and productivity
  • Streamline/automate frontend processes
  • Foster team and supply chain collaboration
  • Boost calendar/process visibility and control

A strong PLM system makes the design process easier while simultaneously streamlining the product development process, bringing consistency to all design teams. With Exenta PLM, processes such as line sheet management and tech pack creation become automated, creating substantial efficiency gains and cost savings opportunities. Prior styles and seasonal information can be found quickly, and this information can be shared across design teams.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies have transitioned to remote or hybrid work. This can create issues for designers as they may not be able to meet with vendors face to face, see prototypes, or solve other quality issues in person. With cloud-based Exenta PLM, design teams can access the system from anywhere and share information easily. Exenta PLM fosters efficient team collaboration, even when working from home.

In today’s market, designers need easy-to-use cloud-based software solutions that improve communication and collaboration with fellow designers and vendors, access to data, and increased visibility into the supply chain. A PLM system is crucial to improve speed-to-market while maintaining a company’s bottom line. Exenta PLM is the future of not only PLM, but many software solutions for the fashion industry, our PLM seamlessly integrating into other software solutions such as ERP and Shopfloor Control to build a digital supply chain, and provide unparalleled industry expertise and support along the way.

See what else a modern PLM system can do for you here.

What is On-Demand Manufacturing? Exploring Emerging Manufacturing Trends

What is On-Demand Manufacturing? Exploring Emerging Manufacturing Trends

Today, manufacturers are seeing an industry that has become increasingly competitive, globalized, and digitalized. Even companies who use technology can quickly become static and fall behind. “As much as 90% of the world’s data has been produced in the last two years”, and manufacturers who continue to implement new technological solutions in 2022 will see the lasting benefits. One fast-growing technology impacting manufacturers around the world today is on-demand manufacturing.

What is on-demand manufacturing?

On-demand manufacturing has grown in popularity over the last decade. This cloud-based manufacturing software provides large amounts of real-time data and offers the ability to increase efficiencies, improve visibility within the supply chain, and eliminate delays, all on one platform. Rather than manufacturing based on large pre-approved order quantities and storing them over a period of time in inventory, on-demand manufacturing has companies producing only what customers specifically need in a much smaller time frame. Manufacturers and their customers can stay in touch and share information (costing/quotes, production timelines, delivery, etc.) in real-time throughout the manufacturing process. Orders of precise quantities with shorter timelines avoid overproduction and high inventory costs for the manufacturer.

Key Advantages of on-demand manufacturing with a cloud-based solution:

  • Reduction in lead time
  • Increased collaboration between manufacturer and customer
  • Improved communications
  • Reduction in inventory costs
  • Improved visibility across the production process
  • Centralized data access

While on-demand manufacturing is one trend dominating the industry right now, here are a few others.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming popular across many industries, with manufacturing being the most common over the last few years. In manufacturing, AI is used to improve equipment efficiency and quality, and increase profits by reducing down time and production errors. AI can assess performance on the manufacturing floor, warn of possible equipment errors, understand different performance drivers, and more. Certain roles that were once carried out by human beings can now be done with AI, increasing production speed while reducing costs.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a trending technology solution that can enhance trust in financial transactions for manufacturing companies. Known as a digital ledger that can be shared across networks, data is stored in blocks that are approved then linked to different transactions. Manufacturers are beginning to use blockchain technology to monitor movement and store important data across the supply chain.

ERP

In 2020, “94% of Fortune 1000 companies experienced disruptions in their supply chain”, and this trend has continued into 2021. The coronavirus pandemic is not over yet, and manufacturers who prepare for future disruptions in their supply chains using software solutions like ERP have a significantly better chance at survival.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems seamlessly integrate your entire supply chain from design to distribution while simultaneously collecting, storing and tracking data along the supply chain. Exenta’s next-generation ERP system helps manufacturers increase efficiency by streamlining critical processes, improving financial controls, and providing advanced real-time reporting.

In an interview with the Sourcing journal for their 2021 Retail Innovation Report, Exenta CEO Roberto Mangual discusses leveraging automation in the manufacturing industry, stating how “our customers who manufacture on-demand custom products are great examples of this. The entire process is automated, from the order placement on the e-commerce site, straight into the system that manufactures the item, packages it and ships it back out to the consumer. The only hands to touch it are those taking the physical action to get it out the door. Their systems tie all the channels together, from e-commerce to drop ship. With the right systems in place, you could almost run an entire business without “leaving your chair.” Access the entire Retail Innovation Report here.

By digitalizing your supply chain, you can streamline manufacturing operations and have unlimited amounts of real-time data at your fingertips. Cloud-based solutions such as an ERP system can help your on-demand manufacturing operations flourish.

See what else Exenta’s software solutions can do for you by requesting a custom demo here.

Digitalization: Where the Fashion Industry is Headed in 2022

Digitalization: Where the Fashion Industry is Headed in 2022

With outsourcing and low-cost labor still heavily prevalent in the fashion industry, there has not been much need to improve operations over the last few decades. However, recent years have shown us that consumer power outweighs everything. Consumers are demanding more sustainable practices, safer working conditions and higher wages for workers, and are shopping online more than ever before. To stay with the times, companies need to focus on speed and sustainability. But how can these two happen harmoniously without negatively affecting profit? The answer: Digitalize supply chain operations. It is unlikely brands that continue to overproduce and use outdated supply chain practices will come out ahead in this modern, ever-changing industry.

While some argue the growing pains are not worth the trouble, adaptation and innovation are the only ways to increase profits in the coming years. Consumer demand continues to increase, primarily via e commerce platforms such as company websites and social media channels. The pressure is mounting for companies to provide personalized experiences in store and online while reducing their carbon footprint. Companies need high-tech solutions to reduce overproduction while retaining a good customer experience and high speed to market. From 3D printing to PLM, there are many solutions that can be integrated into the supply chain and reduce a company’s carbon footprint while simultaneously helping their bottom line. Investing in supply chain software now will mean lower costs in the future, a guaranteed ROI.

Drop Shipping

With many industry costs increasing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, one thing businesses are doing to reduce costs is drop shipping. This allows companies to buy and sell goods with lower inventory management, warehousing and delivery costs. As soon as a sale is made, the order is relayed to the drop-shipper who proceeds with shipping. Drop shipping companies like Shopify use advanced technology to be the link between a company’s wholesaler and its customers. These service providers can also connect to a company’s existing ERP, providing the company with  accurate, timely data and building a more digital supply chain. Exenta ERP seamlessly integrates with various drop-shipping providers to deliver real-time data and build sustainable success for our customers.

Tech plug-in extensions (AI)

Cloud-based software solutions like PLMs have begun offering plug-in extensions, such as Adobe Illustrator, allowing designers the ability to sync different design assets without having to transfer and upload large files or re-input data. A cloud-based PLM streamlines and automates the design process, providing one advanced platform for collaboration and data sharing. With Exenta PLM REVO and the Adobe Illustrator Design Plug-In, designers across a company can operate more sustainably and effectively while simultaneously improving communication with manufacturers. The platform provides an intuitive software solution that manages product development in real-time, helping companies adapt quickly to potential fit changes or problems that arise with manufacturing.

Virtual and augmented reality

Another emerging technological solution that is growing in popularity is virtual and augmented reality (VR). As online shopping surges, companies are struggling to keep up with increasing demand while upholding their bottom lines. With VR and AR technology, customers can virtually try on pieces and then order them in-store, providing a more personalized shopping experience while reducing inventory. VR revolutionizes the retail shopping experience, with companies providing platforms that serve 3D, 360 degree virtual try-on experiences online or in-store. Many think the future of retail involves companies utilizing VR in-store and online. Integrating this technology with a strong ERP system like Exenta ERP and on-demand manufacturing can mitigate overhead and inventory costs, reduce returns and increase speed of delivery to the customer. With this digitalized system, companies reduce production waste and increase their overall sustainability.

Sustainability

Technology is a key driver of sustainable fashion. “Around 12.8M tons of clothing is sent to landfills annually. The fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of global CO2 emissions, 20% of the world’s industrial wastewater, 24% of insecticides, and 11% of pesticides used.” Shoppers are looking for more sustainable companies, but aren’t willing to sacrifice their desire for quick order fulfillment. While some companies are slowing the process down and moving away from the micro-season trend (dozens of seasons a year rather than the traditional 4) other companies do not have this option. Depending on buyer demographics, a brand may face the expectation of delivering a consistent product to market at rapid speed. When faced with that challenge, organizations leverage advanced software solutions to create a digital supply chain, including: an ERP, PLM, EDI and/or Shopfloor Control. These solutions can reduce waste, increase efficiency, improve visibility, and reduce inventory costs all while increasing profits.

Customers are demanding more convenience and faster time to market. The solution is simple: Digitalize your supply chain operations with Exenta’s state-of-the-art software solutions. Exenta provides the ultimate network of advanced software solutions that can transform your supply chain. Uphold your speed to market, retain your bottom line and reduce your carbon footprint with Exenta’s transformative solutions. Request a demo today and see what the future holds for your company.

How Colombiatex is Helping Revive the Fashion Industry in Colombia

How Colombiatex is Helping Revive the Fashion Industry in Colombia

From July 27-29, Colombiamoda and Colombiatex were held together for the first time in Medellin, Colombia. Colombiamoda, Colombia’s yearly fashion week, and Colombiatex, a textile show that features textile suppliers and technology solutions, came together to revitalize and reactivate the textile fashion industry in Colombia. The events provided a unique and all-encompassing look into different avenues of the fashion supply chain and integrated all players to discuss topics such as sustainability and digitalization.

This year, nearly 500 exhibitors from around the world met to discuss and carry out different deals involving textiles, sleepwear, sportswear, denim, leather goods, jewelry, and more. Because of the pandemic, many of those in attendance were virtual. However, this did not take away the incredible experience provided by the two events. The two events offered various reports, conferences, presentations and other content showcasing new practices and technologies available to fashion brands today, and how they can increase efficiency, and therefore profits, reduce waste, and more. The Sustainability Route at Colombiatex and Colombiamoda focused heavily not only on fashion’s impact on the environment and the good that can come from more sustainable practices, but how these practices are becoming much more attainable for companies.

“We celebrate the Colombiatex and Colombiamoda merge for the 2021 trade shows. We believe that they will promote a speedy economic recovery of the industry through their joint leadership,” said Flavia Santoro, president of Procolombia. “In 2020, 8,000 international buyers acquired Colombian fashion products, giving us their vote of confidence, and this year with the lessons learned during the pandemic, Colombia is readier than ever to welcome international buyers to the fashion industry’s most important fair by offering sustainable and responsible fashion.”

Exenta participated in this unprecedented event by hosting a virtual booth, showing attendees the many positive (and attainable) changes technology can make for a fashion textile company. Colombiatex and Colombiamoda joining together in 2021 provided a unique omnichannel experience that brought all the value chain players together from around the world to discuss the future of the industry.

To learn more about these joined events, click here.

Exploring the Core Functions of an MES System

Exploring the Core Functions of an MES System

No matter the product, in the manufacturing industry, speed to market is critical. Now more than ever, it is imperative for manufacturing and distribution companies to increase their efficiency on the shop floor and their speed to market without sacrificing quality. To do this, companies must leverage software solutions such as a manufacturing execution system (MES). An MES system bridges the gap between different manufacturing operations and improves production efficiency through worker performance feedback, real-time data collection, and more.

What is Exenta Shop Floor Control MES?

Today, many manufacturers are still using legacy systems that rely on gum sheets and manual data entry. Without a modern MES software system, companies are missing the proper checks and balances needed to address issues on the shop floor, leaving many decisions to be made by operators, therefore opening companies up to miscommunication and costly errors. By having a manufacturing execution system such as a shop floor control system, data entry is automated, workers are more productive, and overall communication improves across the shop floor.

Exenta Shop Floor Control MES not only increases productivity, efficiency and communication on the manufacturing floor, the system also reduces throughput time, improves visibility and control, manages costs and product quality, and more. To understand this complex system, it is important to understand manufacturing execution systems’ core functions and the advantages that follow.

Real-time Data Collection and Acquisition

Using wireless networking, Shop Floor Control MES collects production data in real-time, providing extensive visibility and control into production all on one collaborative and web-based management dashboard available for most smart devices. As products are assembled on the manufacturing floor, the MES system is tracking, scheduling, and reporting on the progress. Employees can scan barcodes on garment pieces as they work rather that writing everything down by hand, improving efficiency instantaneously. Improved efficiency and productivity translates to increased profitability.

Labor Management

Many manufacturers still pay their operators an hourly base rate along with a piece rate. Studies have recently shown that workers who are compensated solely by piece rate have lower levels of anxiety, as their wages do not vary as much, and they can see the direct relationship between piece rate and pay. With an MES system, workers are provided pay transparency through direct visibility of their productivity rates such as piece rate, bonuses, and total pay per shift. This gives workers on the shop floor the ability to have more control over their wages and therefore increasing efficiency across the manufacturing floor. With Exenta Shop Floor Control, payroll is calculated automatically with the option to export data to a third-party payroll service.

Plant Floor Visibility and Quality Control

MES technology allows for unprecedented visibility and control on the manufacturing floor. To achieve maximum performance levels, manufacturers need the most advanced visibility across all levels of the manufacturing process, including a drill-down view of each operator. With Shop Floor Control MES, wireless dashboards provide instant access to key performance indicators (KPIs) for any date and time. To increase productivity and efficiency, a high level of visibility is needed for both management and operators. Exenta Shop Floor Control provides a screen called “Daily Targets” that displays units produced, target goals, and other production data points in real-time.

With Shop Floor Control MES, management receives visuals showing all WIP across production, allowing supervisors to view and analyze various performance indicators. Not only does management have access to indicators such as quality and downtime, they also have real-time information regarding defects, repairs, and other issues during the production process that helps management identify and address problem areas. By addressing a problem quickly in the manufacturing stage, management can then avoid further costly issues down the line.

There are many additional core MES functions and benefits including reduced absenteeism, minimized off-standard time, better management of large orders, inventory control, and more. Learn more about the extensive benefits of an MES system by reading our informational white paper here.

To see what an industry-leading Shop Floor Control MES system can do for your business, request a demo.