Quality is under the microscope.
While quality assurance has historically been a siloed task mired in resource-heavy processes, today’s apparel and footwear companies are rethinking their approach—and with good reason. Issues related to defects undermine the industry’s speed to market, cost savings and sustainability goals.
With so much at stake, fashion firms need solutions that allow them to better assess and resolve production issues.
Inspectorio’s SIGHT platform does just that, while also minimizing the burden on brands and retailers related to policing production facilities. It’s a time-consuming and costly responsibility that harms the partnership most would like to forge with their factories and vendors.
The Inspectorio app digitizes inspections, removing the paper and pens and providing real-time visibility into the manufacturing process. The technology allows vendors, factories, brands and retailers to communicate through the platform, mitigating issues that arise from missed emails and a lack of version control. Moreover, Inspectorio SIGHT uses machine learning to predict the types of problems that could occur at a given facility.
“The visibility shown through inspections allows each decision-maker to identify opportunities for improvement in real time and to gather analytics and understanding for their own performance in a timely manner,” David Klein, co-founder and managing director at Inspectorio, said.
For the accessories brand Vera Bradley, known for its dizzying array of intricate patterns, this visibility is transforming its business.
“Real-time data allows for improved communication, faster turnaround time with the disposition of product, and an overall increased efficiency of total inspection time across our entire global quality network,” Rory Geiger, director of global quality and compliance at Vera Bradley, said.
By allowing the company to quickly spot the root cause of production issues, SIGHT has helped it avoid the dreaded defect and remediation cycle. “The increased level of analytics and predictability has allowed us to decrease the level of repeat occurrences for the same defects,” Geiger said.
Given the real-time nature of assessments on the platform, Vera Bradley has also been able to institute Self Inspections for some production partners. Data compiled through the platform makes it easy to determine which factories are best in class and which might be underperforming—something Vera Bradley was unable to do prior to onboarding Inspectorio. For those with consistently good quality, Vera Bradley grants them the ability to assess themselves.
“They can empower the factories to conduct Self Inspections and later ask the factories to share their Self Inspection Reports directly on the platform so they have visibility over the defects captured and results of the inspections,” Klein said. He adds that by empowering these facilities, brands like Vera Bradley will also free up their own resources.
And that’s exactly what is happening.
“The savings, or benefits, for us in allowing factories to perform Self Inspections really stems from the ability to improve our resource allocation to higher-risk and underperforming factories,” Geiger said.
SIGHT’s collaborative platform allows companies to grant their best performers greater self-management without sacrificing oversight. “Brands and retailers trust low-risk vendors and factories because our platform provides the ability for them to standardize workflows, defect lists, and AQLs, making sure that all factories, vendors, and the QAs at each are following the same processes with the same inspection standards,” Klein said, adding that all stakeholders are kept in the loop on a continuous basis.
By creating a standardized workflow and centralized communications, Geiger said Inspectorio SIGHT empowers brands and retailers to work more efficiently and to get out in front of problems before they occur.
“One of the biggest gains from using the Inspectorio platform is the ability to identify trends with respect to factories, defects, inspectors, etc., allowing us to be more proactive than reactive to issues,” Geiger said.