January 18, 2019
The fashion industry is changing at breakneck pace as companies around the globe embrace the latest manufacturing technology in an effort to keep up with retail manufacturing trends. Today, the future of fashion is brighter than ever thanks to five manufacturing trends changing the industry.
In our article, How On-Demand Manufacturing Can Simplify Your Supply Chain, we discussed one of today’s biggest manufacturing trends: consolidating your vendor list. In today’s high-speed world, consumers expect instant supply and instant delivery. The long lead time of traditional manufacturing is no longer a viable option for brands looking to maintain a competitive edge.
Many companies are leveraging manufacturing technology to put design, material sourcing, manufacturing, and shipping all in the same place in an on-demand system using cloud-based technology. This all-in-one manufacturing trend offers extensive automation, which cuts down on production time and waste, and speeds up the entire supply chain.
Minimizing inventory is one of the manufacturing trends many companies have been following. But thanks to the rise of data analysis for manufacturing technology, limiting inventory is simpler than ever. With real-time feedback, cloud-based inventory management solutions, and live manufacturing monitoring throughout the production process, companies can keep a closer eye on what is being produced and when.
The trend toward data analysis is also being leveraged for communication and forecasting. Real-time updates from design to manufacturing streamline communication between factory and retailer, while data collection during fashion shows and in stores are helping companies determine real-time inventory needs and predict future needs.
Using robots for manufacturing isn’t a novel idea in itself; however, modern robots can do much more than those of the past. Advancements in agility and artificial intelligence allow robots to work collaboratively in a way that can improve safety for the human workers by doing the most dangerous work.
Innovations in robotics have even made it possible for companies to use robots to do difficult tasks traditionally not done by machines, such as sewing difficult fabrics. In addition to lowering the cost of production, these innovations are also helping the American economy by keeping major manufacturing in the country.
In the same way social media algorithms can learn your online shopping behaviors, manufacturing machines can learn the skills necessary to perform skilled labor. Using advanced algorithms, machines can predict consumer behaviors in a way that market trends and humans (both with limited historical memories) may not be able to.
Popular, national brands are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to optimize their operations. This particular manufacturing technology seems limitless in its capabilities. In addition to spotting and recommending optimal inventory and sales levels, some companies are even leveraging this new manufacturing trend to come up with new designs based on consumer buying habits.
An elongated timeline, high minimum order quantities, and geographically spread supply chain are three manufacturing trends of the past that no longer work for the fashion industry, which means it’s clear today that traditional supply chains don’t give businesses the agility they need to thrive. Manufacturing technology such as on-demand manufacturing allows companies to shorten lead times and improve customer satisfaction by increasing their ability to fulfill orders with precision and quality.
At The/Studio, design, material sourcing, and manufacturing all take place in one convenient location, where the entire process is tracked on a cloud-based management system. With more than 4,752 machines, our high-tech plants and proprietary infrastructure help companies leverage manufacturing technology to minimize overhead and maximize sales.
To learn more about how The/Studio makes manufacturing more accessible, check out our Six Reasons to Get Started with On-Demand Apparel Manufacturing.