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Gerber’s Hybrid Ideation Conference Focused on Key Tech, Supply Chain Issues

Marking the beginning of Gerber and Lectra becoming stronger together as one company, 1,700 people virtually attended Gerber Technology’s annual Ideation conference in October.

Gerber and Lectra announced interoperability between Lectra’s Modaris and Gerber’s AccuMark software, as well as the launch of new AccuMark and YuniquePLM v9 releases. Lectra’s Retviews, Kubix and FashionOnDemand solutions were also introduced to the Gerber audience for the first time during the event.

Ideation 2021 was made possible by 25 technology, media and industry association partners who sponsored it, including WhichPLM, 3DLOOK, and Kornit Digital.

“This year’s ideation marked the official uniting of two companies with rich histories in innovation,” said Ketty Pillet, vice president of marketing for the Americas for Lectra. “This is only the beginning of what we’ll be able to accomplish together to help our customers perform better and respond to market challenges faster.”

The two winners, FRWL by Nicole Lee from the Brooklyn Fashion Incubator and Virago Lorica Segmentata Collection from Fabric, walked the runway for a live fashion show at the Gerber Innovation Center during a Customer Appreciation event.

Lectra acquired Gerber Technology in June.

Each year ideation brings together the fashion, furniture, technical textiles and sign and graphics industries meet to discuss announcements, innovations, and latest trends and challenges that are shaping the future. This year’s ideation kicked off with introductions from Lectra CEO, Daniel Harari and a keynote address from Deborah Weinswig of Coresight Research.

One of the main highlights of this event were the fashion and sign and graphic industry round tables. These discussions focused on what is going on in the industry and how companies can navigate for the future.

Aimee Heuschkel, director of marketing creative services at Gerber Technology, said key takeaways from the conference included “understanding the future of Lectra and Gerber coming together and the technology we will bring to the table for our customers and the industry.”

For attendees, it was the interoperability plans for Lectra and Gerber products and how it will make business more agile, and save time and money, as well as learning the latest technology and innovations available in Lectra’s fashion, furniture, transportation and S&G markets.

“People were most interested in learning about the market trends and technology available to any size business and why utilizing automation will greatly impact their company’s future,” Heuschkel told Sourcing Journal.

A pre-conference survey of attendees from the fashion show the key topics included sustainability, supply chain challenges, raw materials, nearshoring and producing locally to meet demand. Attendees were also interested in discussing labor shortages and a lack of skilled talent, as well the need to pivot production.

This year’s conference also marked Gerber’s first Pitch Competition. Six teams developed collections using Gerber and Lectra solutions and pitched their collection to a panel of judges composed of fashion experts, which included Bob D’Loren, Chairman and CEO of Xcel Brands; Jeff Karly Drouillard, Parsons alum; Sebrie Springs and Kimberly Carney of FashWire, and Christina Liedtke, founder of Astouri. The two winners, FRWL by Nicole Lee from the Brooklyn Fashion Incubator and Virago Lorica Segmentata Collection from Fabric, walked the runway for a live fashion show at the Gerber Innovation Center during a Customer Appreciation event.

“Two years ago, Gerber’s ideation conference introduced me to their microfactory that they were displaying in their Innovation Center,” said Sherri Barry of Fabric. “Ideation ended up being life changing for me because there were people of like minds there that were willing to share and collaborate and help me and our fashion incubator come up with a solution for our designers where they could sustainably manufacture using technology. Fast forward two years, the microfactory and on-demand manufacturing is a reality at Fabric.”

Registrants are still able to access all the sessions through the ideation platform.

In June, Lectra acquired Gerber Technology, a U.S.-based company founded in 1968. Like Lectra, Gerber Technology develops software and automation solutions for fashion, automotive, furniture and other businesses across the globe.

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