Supply Compass, a production platform for brands and manufacturers, has unveiled a major product update that now allows fashion businesses to invite and onboard their own factories, and streamline communication through an in-built chat feature.
Supply Compass said the launch enables fashion brands and manufacturers to build strong partnerships and collaborate more effectively, bringing collections to market faster and producing better quality products. Fashion brands can also still tap into a vetted manufacturer network when they need new production partners.
“The pressure on fashion brands today is greater than ever to deliver fresh, high quality, sustainably made products fast, at an affordable price,” Flora Davidson, head of product and co-founder of Supply Compass, said. “Delivering on all of these can be challenging, with too much time often spent managing orders, a lack of control and visibility on orders, fragmented comms and information sharing, and inconsistent product quality, all while facing resource pressures and a need for faster lead-times to launch new products.”
Davidson noted that to manage their fashion production, most fashion brands are still using a mix of Excel, email, WhatsApp and legacy PLM systems. Many of these are either not designed for the complex needs of fashion production or are outdated, difficult to use and don’t facilitate effective cross-organization work.
“Add to the mix Covid-19’s long-lasting impacts on global supply chains and distributed teams, and 2020 demonstrated that fashion businesses can no longer afford to work in the old way,” she said. “Supply chains need to become reactive, agile and efficient to survive.”
While brands can still gain instant access to new trusted and vetted manufacturers through Supply Compass should they need, the ability to bring on board brands’ existing factories now makes it possible for brands to use the platform across all orders and their entire supply chain business, the company said.
New platform features include a Slack-style chat feature bringing critical structure to conversations on orders; dedicated interfaces for brands and manufacturers, including costings, sample management, tech pack sharing and purchase order management; sample request and management feature with status dashboard and tracking, and an inbuilt purchase order feature.
“This is our most exciting product update yet, one that has been four years in the making,” Gus Bartholomew, CEO and co-founder of Supply Compass, said. “Ever since our two-year stint in India, we’ve seen first-hand the problems facing the fashion industry, but 2020 just skyrocketed these. As we’re in a unique position at Supply Compass–bridging the gap between brands and manufacturers–we knew we had to act fast and provide better software for fashion production. This meant opening our platform up for brands to bring on board their own factories, facilitating collaboration and strengthening existing partnerships.”
Davidson said the company’s long-term vision is for Supply Compass to facilitate impact scoring, to support teams to build sustainability metrics into the process from the beginning. In addition, with all brands’ manufacturers and suppliers working from one single system, it will better allow traceability to be baked into supply chains.
“The future has to be circular, and the success will depend on elegant systems that make this easy for brands and suppliers,” she added.
Supply Compass has offices in London and India, and works with brands and manufacturers globally. The platform has been used by hundreds of fashion and manufacturer teams to create millions of quality products, with a focus on sustainable materials and processes. Supply Compass is backed by some of Europe’s leading venture capital firms and businesses including, Episode and Farfetch.