Cloud computing is the next big trend which seems vague, but when it is valued from the point of services it provides; it's the next fashionable and prominent computing system offered through internet. This computing system is providing various useful services in textile and apparel industries. There are some special management systems to simplify various business operations in the apparel and textile industry.

Cloud computing is in a stage of progress wherein applications, business course of action, computing infrastructure can be delivered as a service to the end user whenever and wherever it is needed. Cloud computing is not a new thing in the IT world. It has existed since 2005 but it has been recognized and widely used for over last three years.

For a layman, the term cloud computing can be termed as delivering applications or business infrastructure as a service through the internet. It is an internet based computing technology wherein the user does not need any software, server or infrastructure to use them. Just an internet connection is all that one needs to access this service and it can be operated from any corner of the world.

With the arrival of this new pattern of computing system, people believe that textile firms, apparel industry or any organizations will no longer need to invest in maintaining assets like servers, internal software and storage systems. These can be readily availed as and when required on rent. This would considerably reduce the IT investments cost and save valuable business time.

There are specially designed computing systems that would make the business working simple and easy in the garment industry. There are many functions like production planning, raw material management, costing, processing the orders, sampling, monitoring the preparation of order and final delivery of the product. All this is made available through this internet based technology. It can be accessed from anywhere, at anytime, easy to install, flexible applications which promotes the efficiency of the company and is the right tool to survive in this competitive industry.

Augmented Reality (AR) can be regarded as one such computing system which is widely used in the apparel and fashion industry. It gives the user a virtual view of actual environment through computer generated applications. AR application can be acquired with the help of camera and internet. Many such applications can be introduced by Cloud computing in the future.

Today, it is a challenge for retailers and brands to continuously satisfy the dynamic needs of the consumers. Along with it they need to keep their profit margin intact. For this they need a global level supply chain to provide high quality service. At present, the pace of life is so fast that supply chain needs universal channels which harmoniously coordinate all the multiple parties to manage production, capital and delivery of finished goods.

Continuous collaboration is necessary to make supply meet the demand of goods. This would require that all the parties in the supply chain has a clear view of the goal and work together in one direction to ensure that commodities are manufactured at reduced cost and sold to maintain high profit margin. Sadly, the tools that were used in the past for communication between the brands, trading partners, manufacturers and retailers have become obsolete.

Even today many companies still stick to the traditional methods for communication and other procedures. Cloud computing is the perfect choice for such firms in the apparel industry. As many brands and retailers are using the cloud technology, slowly it is getting accepted as a perfect solution for managing global supply chain in apparel business.

It makes each process so simple for example if there is a change in an order, the organization does not have to inform all the 10 or 20 trading parties in the supply chain about the changes. Instead a shared platform is available on which everyone can post the message or any required details which can be viewed by all the trading partners in the supply chain network.

Now it is possible to apply cloud computing to everyday business. Connecting all the parties of the supply chain in the cloud saves time and money, increase efficiency, gives more visibility and operations are carried out smoothly and quickly.

There are many benefits of cloud computing in the textile and apparel industry. Like a brand is always informed about any delays happening in any process. It can be delay in procuring raw materials or at the production level, transportation delay etc. Using cloud technology the brand is immediately informed and they have ample time to take the right decision to deliver the entire order at the best possible time.

Cloud computing also enables quick payments. With this technology a leading footwear company makes payment approval within 48 hours without any paperwork. An international apparel brand uses cloud applications to inform the customers about the discount obtained for early payments to decrease the duty on payments. In return the brand gets discount from their suppliers for receiving payment within 5 days from delivery. The brand also pays less duty on the invoice value. Hence it is a win-win situation for both the parties.

It is not an easy job to coordinate with all the parties at all times. If traditional methods are used it would result into to inefficiency and also is time consuming. Moreover, a usual sourcing business deal involves 5-15 different parties. Additionally they are located in different countries, have different time zones and languages. However, using cloud technology it allows communicating and collaborating with all the parties at the same time. Hence, cloud computing can be a real savior if proper planning, technology and operations are carried out.

Textile and apparel industry is unpredictable with unusual consumer demands, multiple trading partners etc. As the service standards are already high, the partners in the apparel and manufacturing supply chain need to embrace other strategies apart from reducing labor cost and maintaining profits. Cloud computing applications are a perfect solution for apparel manufacturers for achieving coordination among the supply chain parties.







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