One of the many fun aspects of my job is meeting many different companies in various domains. Recently I met SRG Apparel PLC, a UK-based design house with offices in China and Bangladesh, and had the opportunity to peek inside the fascinating world of the fashion industry.
Once upon a time, the fashion industry lived to the rhythm of 2 seasons per year. Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. Fast forward to today and it’s a new tempo, as brands are pushing up to 52 micro-collections per year. The fact is consumers are the maestros as they expect new garments every time they step into a store, and the fashion industry needs to be prestissimo and keep up with the beat.
Fashion passes through many hands before it's embraced by the mass market, and while new trends are created every week, the score of creating a garment has to be respected. From initial design to final product, there is no room for error, no room for doubt, no room for hesitation. Everyone in the supply chain needs to play in tune. And it is evident that being able to break down distance barriers and reduce time between stages is of utmost importance. For SRG, the solution was found by using video collaboration technology.
SRG today depends on the immediacy of video conferencing to connect its business, from speeding time-to-market to identifying risk factors early in the supplier chain.
When I met SRG, it was a great experience to see how the Polycom solutions help them work and learn how our technology is a key element of the many stages. For example, once the intelligence team has understood, interpreted and relayed information of the future trends to the design team, they then create a sketch and send it to the manufacturing houses in Bangladesh and China. A video call quickly follows. Instead of just email communications, the teams meet face-to-face, and exchange ideas and information live. They discuss expectations, visualize the material, and establish delays of construction. This saves time; this saves frustrations; this video call facilitates everyone’s mission. Much can get lost in translations via an image and an email. With a video call, you can immediately see if your request is understood.
I witnessed a fitting session, which was remarkable. The fitting session is done after the first sample is put together. The details of a seems, the stitch, the cut and shape, color of a button, specific location of a logo, or a pocket or a zipper, things that we, the consumer, may be blind to, were caught and corrected instantly by the Technical and Compliance Manager. This allowed the team in Bangladesh to make all the modifications to the test sample immediately, and the production of thousands of pieces could proceed.
At SRG, the video room is in use from early morning, to late evenings, they follow the sun, start their day meeting Bangladesh and China, and end the day meeting with distributors in the US and Canada. It’s the law of fashion! Only speed prevails, and SRG has the world accessible to them live in their conference rooms, with a simple click of a button.
I had a great day at SRG Apparel. Our customers are our greatest strength.