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Digital transformation must for apparel sector: BMA

25
Jan '21
Pic: PR Newswire
Pic: PR Newswire
With growing competition and challenges posed by Covid 19, digital transformation has become a must for companies in the apparel sector to compete effectively, a report by Brother Machinery Asia (BMA) and YCP Solidiance says. New technology, such as integrated internet of things, has increased apparel production and reduced costs and production time.

The global apparel market size has risen to $948.2 billion in 2020, recording a 5.1 per cent increase from 2019. This market size is forecasted to grow to $992 billion in 2021, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for more than 50 per cent.

However, this overall perspective does not reveal the intensifying competition faced by players in the apparel industry. With technology, competition among apparel players is no longer domestic, but on an international scale. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need to transform digitally. With apparel factories being forced to close, the apparel industry lost its functions and total sewing machine operating hours by 70 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively, in April 2020.

BMA and YCP Solidiance held a virtual webinar late December 2020 to address the current headwinds in the apparel industry and chart out strategies on how apparel players can innovate to achieve success.

The report titled "Digital Transformation in the Apparel Industry: How to Improve Efficiency in Apparel Factory Supply Chain" revealed that some apparel brands (Uniqlo, Nike, and Adidas), have adopted digitalisation in their business process, eg supply chain management software, allowing them to monitor the production better and create a more transparent supply chain flow.

As the Asian labour market is no longer the cheapest, digitalisation allows apparel players to save costs in the long run. Hardware technology advancements, such as integrated internet of things (IoT) systems, have increased apparel production by 5 per cent and reduced costs and production time by 88 per cent.

"Digitalisation in the apparel sector aims to maximise the power of data and further enhance the manufacturing production," says Gen Kimura, general manager at BMA.

The report also provides a framework for apparel players looking to digitalise which includes identifying current productivity problems due to manual processes, prioritising each problem by urgency and feasibility, using IoT to efficiently gather production data, analysing data and identifying points for improvement.

As more opportunities arise, digital transformation will help apparel businesses compete effectively and achieve success, the report says.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)


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