3D design software has revolutionized product development for fashion and apparel brands and retailers. Tools like Browzwear’s Lotta and Vstitcher applications, CLO and Adobe Illustrator 3D introduce a world of efficiencies: In addition to cutting down on long garment approval cycles and speeding up fit processes, they’ve alleviated designers’ reliance on physical samples, reducing waste. They’ve even reduced the need for some of the overseas travel involved in verifying patterns with suppliers. For brands looking to reduce their carbon footprint, these savings are crucial.
Just how valuable are these tools? Some companies have been able to shorten their apparel calendars by more than two months with this software. But maximizing returns from 3D design software requires wide buy-in from an organization.
For brands and retailers to reap the full benefits and shorter product development cycles that 3D design software makes possible, buying teams, design teams, pattern makers and suppliers all need to adapt to new workflows, and that requires having the right processes in place. 3D software can’t just be one more siloed system that designers use but that the rest of their organization can’t support.
Brands and retailers need an end-to-end system to synchronize data and extend 3D files so they’re available to all stakeholders at every step of the process, from ideation to design and production. Companies must ensure seamless communication between departments if they want to speed the sampling process, and buyers and suppliers must be able to collaborate on digital samples in real time in order to minimize the need for physical samples.
The right multi-enterprise platform can help with that through workflow integrations with 3D design software. These integrations allow retailers and their vendors to collaborate with all stakeholders, regardless of where they’re located, ultimately helping brands and retailers to bring their private-label merchandise to market faster while reducing costs.
Through closer collaboration on a multi-enterprise platform, retailers and suppliers can ensure they are aligned on product specifications and reduce the risk of errors or miscommunication. And by collaborating with suppliers using 3D design software like CLO, Lotta, Vstitcher and Adobe Illustrator 3D, retailers can ensure that products meet their quality standards. Suppliers can use the software to create virtual prototypes that can be reviewed by retailers, enabling them to identify and address potential quality issues before production begins.
Due to its accuracy, data from 3D design software can also be used to optimize production processes, including material planning, cutting and sewing, further reducing waste and improving efficiency. Having such detailed designs reduces the risk of miscommunication and errors during production.
For designers, the benefits of a multi-enterprise platform are especially profound. Designers can spend a significant portion of their work week on non-design work and administrative tasks. A multi-enterprise platform reduces that burden, sparing designers the time and hassle of having to save, convert and send multiple versions of files by allowing them to work natively in the design tools they already use. Their designs are automatically ported into the platform, where they’re available to all other stakeholders. And crucially, these platforms ensure that everybody in your organization is working from the most up-to-date version of every design.
3D design software is a powerful tool. The right multi-enterprise platform ensures that brands and retailers can extend its efficiencies across all their supply chain processes.
Eric Linxwiler is SVP of TradeBeyond. He has over 30 years of experience in enterprise software and cloud-based platform companies, with a specialty in supply chain optimization and workflow management. Contact him at email@example.com.