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Technology savvy apparel cos react positively to meltdown
27
Nov '08
“I am in the process of opening the biggest factory of my export career with over 10,000 employees in one location,” said Mr. Sudhir Dhingra recently. Mr. Dhingra is the founder and CEO of Orient Craft Limited (OCL), the largest apparel exporter in India. OCL has earned a reputation of supplying better quality fashion garments and accessories to brands like A&F, Levis, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, NEXT, Guess, Pepe, Gap, Liz, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, Dockers, Mark-Jacob, and many European designers.

Despite the economic slowdown worldwide, Mr. Dhingra feels prepared; saying “I have been in the garment export business for over 35 years and I have seen many ups and downs. We saw this coming and decided to take positive action rather than just complain and panic. The time to fix things is now. We knew we had to go lean, automate wherever we could, and reduce our cost to stay competitive.

While all others are freezing their expenditures, we are investing to ensure our future. By fixing our front-end design, and with the development department going digital, we have saved instantly in many ways, but the biggest assurance is that we will stay in business. If we cannot provide a great fitting sample quickly, we really have nothing to make.

We had been trying to do this for a long time--we tried several CAD solutions--but failed to get all paper pattern makers to go digital. The market conditions forced us to tackle this situation, and we are very happy with the results of implementing solutions from Tukatech.”

Orient Craft Limited recently replaced all CAD systems with over 60 TUKAcad stations, including automatic marker making systems, and is now ready to implement 3D virtual fitting for samples.

MML, a manufacturer in Sri Lanka for Jones New York Intimates (JNYI), recently replaced all Lectra systems for pattern making with TUKAcad, e-fit Simulator, and SMARTmark automatic marking systems.

JNYI licensee's Vice President, Judy Aotaki, explains why they invested in technology at a time like this, “We are a New York-based company with development of patterns and samples in Sri Lanka, and approvals of fit and merchandising in Los Angeles and New York. By going totally digital and making virtual samples on 3D e-fit Simulator by Tuka, we reduced the number of samples, time, and, of course, the sampling and pattern making staff by 50%. The bonus was another 3% fabric savings in production with Tuka's SMARTmark system.”

“I am amazed at how quickly we are able to collaborate and communicate between NY, LA, and Sri Lanka digitally. From garment fitting, to fabrics and print design decisions, we rely on digital solutions now.” she added.

Chelsea Mills' Managing Director, Mr. M.K. Jain, saw the challenges of manual pattern problems and decided to go totally digital with patterns and 3D solutions for Gap, PVH and many other brands. “Our products require zero tolerance in fitting. We make denim garments and we could not get it right the first time with paper patterns -- tried training our pattern makers on Gerber for so long, but failed -- Tukatech helped us go digital within a few days and the results are too obvious.”

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