According to GlobalData, with the COVID-19 pandemic putting a stop to all non-essential travel, technology is now taking a front seat in communication between clothing brands and their suppliers. Buyers are now rethinking how they work with manufacturers on orders and product design.
UK clothing and homewares retailer Next is looking at a number of different scenarios to make up for the lack of face-to-face contact with its suppliers, including video conferencing. Teams would previously have travelled to factories to work on new product development, but are now asking manufacturers to send samples over. Video conferencing, with one sample at each end, is helping to recreate the process.
Software companies are also stepping in to help, particularly as more employees start working from home to try and stop the spread of the virus. Tukatech, for example, is offering CAD customers the opportunity to switch to a cloud license at no charge, allowing them to work from anywhere. While Centric Software has launched a series of quick-start, online collaboration packages designed to get brands, retailers and manufacturers working remotely.
The dynamic of sourcing and machinery trade shows is also changing, with organisers looking at virtual and other digital alternatives as the pandemic forces the cancellation of myriad events around the world.
Companies are finding new ways of staying in touch that they maybe haven’t considered previously. So having the right technology in place to enable a company to keep communication flowing across its supply chain has now become imperative if they want to remain operational.