“Who are you wearing?” It’s a question that’s become a part of the fashion lexicon, owing to our collective fascination with the gowns gracing the red carpet during awards season. Who could resist the parade of pinks from blush to bombshell at the Academy Awards? Or the titillating tulle driving the so-called naked trend at the Golden Globes? Ultimately, no one will remember who won for best director but everyone took note of Duchess Kate crowning white the color of the BAFTAs.
And as much as these pre-show fashion shows are about marketing marquee names like Givenchy and Dior, they also influence sales at every tier—at least they can for those brands and retailers that are nimble enough to translate the celebrity trends today while they’re hot, rather than tomorrow when they’re not.
Even for fashion firms that aren’t courting the fast fashion consumer, the truth is speed to market equals relevancy for shoppers who are living in a one-click checkout, two-day shipping kind of world. Whether they’re spotting their new favorite look on Instagram, via their best friends or on the red carpet, the demand for instant gratification is the same. Meeting these lofty expectations is why companies are racing to find new ways to achieve agility and speed.
Visual Next is helping fashion firms achieve both with its new Visual PLM solution, which harnesses the power of the internet to deliver a connected experience spanning design through production and compliance. By digitizing processes, the solution enables brands to streamline their time and action calendars, giving them the ability to truly read and react to the market.
“The Future of Fashion is based on innovation and mobilizing the supply chain. It is happening faster than ever before and businesses require innovation to meet omnichannel demands. Digitizing those operational areas provides agility in the workforce, higher accuracy and faster decision making,” said Terri Ghio, chief rainmaker and vice president at Visual Next.
The company’s Visual PLM aims to do just that through a single platform with multifaceted capabilities.
First, the new product is built in HTML5, making it mobile-enabled, meaning team members can stay connected no matter where they’re located around the globe and communicate on any device in their chosen language. Personalized dashboards further tailor the experience, allowing individuals to access the information they need based on their role.
The solution also allows for greater collaboration among design and product development teams through its Adobe Suite integration. Directly in Visual Next PLM, users can create, save and share design iterations using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Further, 3-D body scanning capabilities make capturing fit information as easy as a click of the button. Once input, the system identifies stress points using Visual PLM’s fit algorithms, which can be shared across the organization and with production partners in real time.
Enhanced color management is another key feature of Visual PLM. The product uses ColourMart’s Color Lifecycle Management tools to minimize the manual, subjective nature of color tasks and allow for faster, more accurate processes like color palette management, lab dip approvals and bulk fabric color QC.
Finally, through the power of artificial intelligence, design teams can perform competitive analysis searches based on a scan from a swatch, style or product attributes and receive results in seconds.
“This is the most exciting advancement in our technology to date. Visual PLM in HTML5 is a complete rewrite of our solution that leapfrogs the industry with a fully mobile, browser-based solution,” Charles Benoualid, vice president of research and development at Visual Next. “This enables us to deliver the solution on any device with mobile-enabled technology and automatically display the data to the user based on their device and business needs accurately and efficiently, elevating PLM into the Future of Fashion.”
For current Visual PLM users, that upgrade starts with a simple upgrade to HTML5. Visual Next client Mountain Equipment Co-op is looking forward to accessing the expanded capabilities. Already, Lisa Wine, PLM Product Manager, said onboarding the company’s PLM has resulted in demonstrable benefits for the outdoor retailer.
“Before adopting Visual PLM, our product development team needed to work manually with our factory partners. Factory prototype requests were all conducted via email. Now with Visual PLM, we have been able to streamline this process and save time,” she said. “All product data is entered and stored in Visual PLM which enables different teams to extract and use this information as needed.”
For more information about Visual PLM, visit Visual Next here.