Apparel Manufacturing Digitalization
The China general manager of a medium-sized apparel company sought solutions to improve quality control of their contract manufacturers and visibility across the supply chain.
Quality assurance was a consistent pain point for a mid-sized European brand. Improving quality had been a priority for several years; however, their contract manufacturers were too small to explore new solutions independently. They needed to support their manufacturers in adopting digital technology to improve quality and contain costs related to product recalls. Yet any solutions that were adopted had to be simple to install and use and cost-effective to deploy in small facilities.
A secondary challenge was to improve visibility across the supply chain. This began with submitting design files to suppliers and collaborating to convert them into production instructions. It ended with goods delivery from China to Europe and back-tracking to specific lots in the case of product defects.
IoT ONE began conducting a high-volume analysis of technology adoption case studies in the apparel industry and in similar industries that include manual batch production. This analysis highlighted a set of use cases that were well-tested by similar companies. Next, we assess the landscape of suppliers in China for these use cases. It was important to identify suppliers with sufficient maturity to control risk, yet there was also a preference for working with SMEs since they tended to provide more affordable solutions and a higher service level for small manufacturers.
A series of workshops were hosted with the China management team to support the prioritization of case studies and suppliers. During these workshops, IoT ONE also addressed operational questions related to technology infrastructure, workforce training, and ownership of assets and data for solutions deployed by our client on the production sites of their contract manufacturers.
- Conduct a high-volume analysis of technology adoption case studies in the apparel industry and in similar industries.
- Assess the landscape of suppliers in China for these use cases to identify mature yet affordable suppliers.
- Host a series of workshops with the China management team to support the prioritization of case studies and suppliers.
- Address operational questions related to technology infrastructure, training, and ownership of assets and data.