Whatever their stage of maturity, members of the fashion ecosystem large and small will have to ready their business for the digital demands of their customers and retail consumers. To gauge current trends and consumer sentiment, Lectra is pleased to present the 2019 edition of the On-Demand Report, produced in partnership with Sourcing Journal, the top-tier voice for garment sourcing and manufacturing industry thought leaders.
Personalized product offerings and agile new ways of working
Inside the report, you’ll find exciting real-world examples of business enablement through novel new applications of digital technologies. From custom color combinations and embroidered details ordered online to precision garment fit using 3D technology or customer inputs, clothing is taking on an increasing degree of personalization—to the delight of discerning shoppers.
Supplier-side, many walls are coming down to increase business agility and cut lead-time. Joint product development and streamlined collaboration and communication are some of the major changes being instituted in the aim to achieve cost reduction, inventory reduction and improved customer service.
Time is now for on demand models
On-demand, personalized experiences are more than commonplace in consumer spaces; personalization is expected as a matter of course. Whether it’s music and movie streaming, social media and advertising, or online banking and investing, consumer services offer products that are aligned with individual needs and wants. It is a symbiosis that benefits both companies and the people they serve. Of course, the fashion industry is sure to follow suit. And at Lectra we don’t believe that it is a matter of time—we believe that the time is already here. In a time where the new consumer is putting more pressure than ever on brands, retailers and manufacturers to deliver the right product at the right time, and where dwindling margins, immense waste and rising levels of markdowns seem to be the norm, we’re here to say: maybe it’s time to re-think the traditional way of doing business. Maybe it’s time to go from supply chain to demand chain. As a global company with a bird’s eye view of the fashion industry across the world, one thing is clear: Personalization and on-demand models are more than just a passing trend. Personalization is now a strategic enabler driving efficient, smart software, processes and machinery that make fashion businesses more efficient, less wasteful and more flexible to market demands.
The rise of customization
The rise of customization has the industry scrambling to figure out how to retrofit a system meant to create massive numbers of the same thing over and over into one that’s nimble enough to produce large quantities of goods, each tweaked to reflect the owner’s personal tastes and bodies. And while much of the focus has been on the challenge of transforming machinery and operations in the factories themselves, that’s only one small part of the picture. On a macro level, customization could very well have ripple effects that extend to all aspects of what makes the industry tick, including labor, trade, financing and beyond. As consumers become more and more comfortable with curating their worlds—whether it’s the milk in their lattes or the songs on their playlist—the demand for bespoke goods will only rise, according to Shanella Rajanayagam, trade economist for HSBC. Adding fuel to the trend is the booming middle class in emerging markets, which will mean even more consumers who can and will have things their way.