The Road to Digitization: The Opportunities and Challenges Faced by Global Brands

The last two years of the covid pandemic upended our everyday lives and brought a catalog of difficulties to businesses.Supply chains were disrupted,many companies suffered, and some closed their doors for good. Yet, as we look to the future, we see that the apparel and fashion industry now has the chance to turn these challenges into opportunities to develop a more streamlined, resilient, and sustainable way of working.



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(Source: BOF-MCKINSEY STATE OF FASHION 2022 SURVEY)


Becoming Digitally Seamless

As lockdowns began across the world, more consumers switched to ordering online, and demand for goods skyrocketed. Although E-commerce is still transforming how we buy and sell, consumer expectations are changing fast, and simply digitizing shopping is no longer enough.

Brands must become digitally seamless — meaning that creating, producing, and purchasing must be fully integrated to speed up the entire process from end to end. Thankfully, technology exists to help you make these changes.


Slow Workflow

One of the main challenges facing the apparel and fashion industry today is how to speed up the traditional and notoriously sluggish workflow.

It is tough to meet consumer demands when the time to market takes weeks or months. An efficient solution is to switch from using physical fabric samples to digital fabrics, which eliminates the need for shipping, thus saving time and money while helping to reduce your carbon footprint.


Digital Tools

It is sometimes hard to imagine how digital materials like this can take the place of touching and feeling a piece of fabric in your hand. However, current technological advances allow you to envisage the fabric's texture by showing colors, ridges, roughness, and light diffusion on certain materials. So it really does give a real-life feeling.

Your own samples can be uploaded and shared online using the Frontier.cool platform — using only your office's regular flatbed scanner, with no extensive training involved. It's fast and cost-effective. It takes seconds to scan your fabric and less than five minutes for it to be available to download as a high fidelity 3D file, so you don't need to worry about your teams struggling for hours to complete these tasks.

Frontier.cool currently has the world's most extensive online digital fabric library, with over 35,000 digital materials in its public library. Using Frontier.cool's search function, you can filter by supplier, image, or keyword, helping you find the most suitable fabric quickly and efficiently. Brands that embrace digital sourcing on Frontier.cool have their products out the door an average of five weeks faster than before.



Streamline Your Workflow

Employee collaboration and teamwork is also a massive factor in streamlining a workflow to maximize efficiency. As we have seen over the past few years with remote working, most businesses have discovered how to adapt to this new normal.

The question is, how can more traditional companies thrive in this hybrid environment? Online digital tools provide the answer by eliminating the need for face-to-face encounters in many situations, enabling teams to upload, share, and collaborate on cloud-based platforms.


In real terms, this will mean designers can cooperate with other team members in different parts of the world and have a trackable and traceable workflow system from concept to customer delivery.

Digitally native companies and businesses that adopted this process early on are now seeing the benefits. However, brands must catch up or be left behind, and Frontier.cool can help you whether you are at the start of your digital transformation journey or already some way down the path.

According to a recent consumer report by McKinsey, fashion companies that now embed AI into their business models could see a 118 percent cumulative increase in cash flow in the next ten years. Conversely, those slower to invest in digital technology will lag behind — and could see a twenty-three percent relative decline.


Sustainability

As well as digitalization, sustainability will now offer fashion's most significant opportunity for growth in 2022 and beyond.

The COP26 meeting in Glasgow in 2021 was the latest United Nations conference aimed at tackling climate change. Fifty textile and apparel companies announced their commitment to science-based targets in the six months before the event. This represents a giant step forward for an industry that accounts for ten percent of the world's carbon emissions.

According to another report by McKinsey, most brands agreed to reduce emissions by thirty percent by 2030, and some, such as Levi Strauss & Co., committed to reducing emissions across their supply chain by forty percent by 2025.

Savvy consumers are now making real, informed choices about whom to buy from — based on sustainability stats. In addition, going fully digital can help offset emissions and lighten your carbon footprint.

The sooner digitalization happens across the industry; the quicker brands can enjoy the endless benefits, from savings to speed and sustainability.


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(Source: BOF-MCKINSEY STATE OF FASHION 2022 SURVEY)


If you want to learn more about Frontier.cool, you can schedule a demo with us. In the meantime, why not follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Please feel free to send us a message to learn more about the platform. We're happy to help — wherever you are in your digital journey.


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2022-05-30