How To Prepare Your Textile Business For The New Normal
According to studies from Accenture, customers are now more conscious of their spending. They’re less likely to spend on personal grooming, home décor, travel, luxuries, and fashion, and buy more from brands that they’ve tried and tested.
Fashion boutiques and shops are closing, garment manufacturers have limited operations, offices are seldom used, and more customers are preferring online shopping. The changes in the fashion industry will be inevitable and it’s up to you to adapt and survive.
Here are the new trends in the textile industry that you should be aware of. These will prepare your business for the new normal during and after this contagion.
1) Use remote working tools
Going to the office is now a risk, so companies are now adopting a work-from-home arrangement. The demand for remote working tools has become higher now that employees need to take calls, answer customer queries, and attend business meetings without having to leave their homes.
With the help of online tools, your team can brainstorm in selecting the fabric to use on the company’s next product release. You may be using a communication platform for messaging and video calls like WebEx, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, or Zoom, and then a separate email thread for exchanging comments about the shortlisted swatches.
However, using different communication tools may create confusion. Notes and feedback on one platform may not be carried over onto the next tool, possibly leaving team members clueless about what others have discussed.
Centralized communication tools will most likely be one of the new trends in the textile industry, as well as in other sectors that need a robust platform for online meetings. Frontier is a prime example of this as it is not only an online fabric library but also an efficient communication tool.
The Frontier platform makes it easier for your team to communicate in selecting a fabric sample by centralizing the feedback exchange into a single tool. Sharing notes on digital fabrics is also made possible, and queries about the swatch can be easily directed to the supplier. These features minimize the need for face-to-face meetings which is the preferred option amidst this pandemic.
2) Investing in cloud-based platforms
Companies are now utilizing technology to monitor and track employee productivity. They’re also spending on online tools that can improve the team’s collaboration despite working from different locations.
But to cope up with the new trends in the textile industry, you need more than just a communication tool to handle all your fabric-related data.
Frontier is completely cloud-based, so there’s no need to buy new hardware or install the software on each computer in the office to use the platform.
The platform enables you to easily manage all your collection of digital swatches, collaborate with your team to come up with the best ideas, and search for the fabric pattern you need with the help of Frontier’s AI-powered search engine. You can seamlessly connect with your suppliers too for easier clarification on requests and order changes.
To access Frontier, all you need to do is sign up on our platform. We also have a two-week free trial if you want to experience the system before making the purchase.
3) Reformat product promotion
Social distancing is required to lessen the chance of contracting the disease from infected individuals. This can be strictly observed by limiting the number of customers that can enter your store at a time.
However, traffic control may have an impact on sales, especially if you want to promote a store-wide sale but have to control the number of customers to serve. It would be a better idea to use online channels for one-day sales.
4) Use of digital workflows
In the traditional office setting, you’ll probably have a fabric swatch with a list of notes on the changes you want to implement. Another department will receive it and communicate with suppliers or garment manufacturers the required updates.
But now that most of the people are working remotely, the usual process of how things are done need to evolve. Sending the physical fabric sample across teams is an unviable option, so you’ll need to rely on tools designed to digitize your workflow.
Frontier is the solution you’re looking for to digitize your entire fabric collection and enhance workflow efficiency.
The Frontier platform reduces the effort needed to communicate project updates from one department to another. You can just exchange the digital fabric sample across the team along with the notes attached to it.
Choosing among the thousands of fabric swatches is also made possible by Frontier. You don’t have to manually browse through the entire library to search for fabrics with similar colors or patterns to what you have. The platform’s AI-powered search engine can look for similar styles to what you’re looking for.
Worried about prototyping? It’s difficult to manufacture physical samples of your design now that transportation and garment mill operations are limited. Visualizing designs from 2D sketches isn’t enough to get a good picture of how the actual product will look like.
The best alternative is to create a 3D prototype of your designs.
Frontier is compatible with 3D garment software like Browzwear, Clo, and TG3D. This new textile trend in prototyping designs is much more sustainable, practical, and convenient compared to the traditional method.
5) Streamline logistics
Garment mills and textile suppliers are unable to ship products and materials because borders are allowing only the transport of essential goods. In case fabric materials are allowed, they’re limited to smaller quantities. The imposed restrictions and extensive cancellation of orders have put the entire textile industry under intense pressure.
According to the CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Apparels India, around 50% of their expenses come from maintaining inventory, and this includes the cost of shipping, taxes, and distribution. This figure continues to head for the worse as demand for daily clothes diminished while the cost of maintaining inventory remains.
They say it takes two to tango, so it’s best to talk with your supplier and come up with a solution beneficial to both parties.
Through the Frontier platform, you can reduce costs by ordering only the materials you need from the nearest suppliers available in your location. The increased exposure to more garment manufacturers near your area gives you more cost-effective options with faster shipping routes.
6) Increase environment protection
Apparel stores may have to be remodeled to enable social distancing and limit choke points.
Customers will be hesitant to try and fit apparel for fear of contracting the virus. There has to be a way to disinfect sample garments after a customer tries it out. Steaming garments is one way to do this, but other options have to be explored to further increase protection.
Floor markers can be used to enforce social distancing. Contactless payments are also encouraged to reduce the exchange of paper money.
Disinfecting surfaces and areas frequented by employees and customers is a must. Cash counters, shopping bags, escalators, elevators, doors, restrooms have to be cleaned regularly to eliminate any trace of the virus that may be in them.
You have to make sure shoppers and employees interact in a safe environment with very minimal risk of contracting the virus.
7) Explore ways to make fabrics safer
With the threat of COVID-19 still around, the need for bacterial and viral protection has become more vital than ever.
Scientists in Switzerland have come up with an antiviral and antibacterial chemical compound that can be mixed with the fabric during the final process of textile manufacturing. The use of solutions like this that add an extra layer of protection to garments will most likely become one of the new trends in the textile industry.
Consider integrating these kinds of materials into your garment manufacturing process as this will definitely be one of the new trends in the textile industry in the next few years.
While the world is waiting for a cure, industry players are already preparing for the new norm. You should also prepare your business for the imminent changes in the fashion industry and make sure your brand stays relevant.
With the threat of the virus still around, you should expect changes in the fashion industry to affect your business. Companies that know how to adapt and innovate will survive and thrive, while those that are stuck with the old ways will be left behind.
Cutting down production costs, renegotiating rents of office and warehouse spaces, considering an omni-channel approach, and using technology can help mitigate losses and possibly prevent closure.
It’s best to begin your adjustment by utilizing the best technology available for businesses in the textile sector. There’s no better platform than Frontier in digitizing workflows and streamlining logistics processes to help you cope with the expected changes in the fashion industry.
Interested in what we can offer? Curious about how much it can help your business? Just send us a request for a demo and see for yourself why Frontier is the cloud-based tool you’re looking for.