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'E-tail purchase to delivery timescale will compress'
Jun '18
Courtesy: Styleman
Courtesy: Styleman
The e-tail purchase to delivery timescale will compress further and eventually increase pressure on brick-and-mortar stores, resulting in a reduction of their numbers, said the director of Options System Limited (OSL). Order fulfilment is limited by travel time from local depot and increasing warehouses raises both the total inventory and its fragmentation.

“There has been much talk of Hyperloop for human transportation, but it may well find a niche in fast freight, allowing a single stock holding to service a wider geography with, for example, a two-hour delivery,” said OSL director Tony Parkinson, while speaking to Fibre2Fashion.

OSL specialises in computer systems for the apparel, footwear and soft goods industries. Its Styleman and Styleprm systems are used by over 100 companies in 35 countries.

Talking about the future of the apparel and footwear retail industry, Parkinson said, “Robot assembly is starting to make inroads into manufacturing, raising the possibility of 'micro-factories' making to order, revisiting conventional tailoring. You may visit a shop, browse some garments (physically or virtually), adjust the colouring or pattern to your taste, and have a coffee while the garment is manufactured on the spot. This is more likely to happen in footwear first, since 3D fabric printing/knitting still has a way to go.”

He also said that in the next ten years, 3D printing may develop to a stage that it will disrupt e-commerce, allowing individual garment or footwear personalisation and printing at home.

Shedding some light on the challenges that apparel retailers will face in the near future, he stated, “Landlords are likely to compromise to balance store rent and occupancy, duty changes are likely unless the looming trade war fizzles out, currency fluctuations are likely to result from Brexit and trade wars, consumer engagement will still tax brand's creative minds. Unfortunately, IT solutions cannot solve any of these challenges, but they can position the business to understand the ramifications and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”

When asked how the OSL’s software improves speed in PLM, Parkinson said that Styleman PLM software reduces the possibility of errors and drives the development schedule according to the desired timetable. Errors are reduced by both the factory and company looking at the same data, by the accuracy of the tech pack and by quality of feedback from sample fit sessions.

The company’s future plan is to tap into voice interface (Siri, Alexa, Google, etc.), which is certainly gaining traction on home devices but has yet to make it into the office. (KD)

Click here to read the complete interview.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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