How Triumph Have Used PLM To Extend 130 Years of Innovation

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 05-May-2017 08:35:00

Triumph has achieved significant growth since it was founded in 1886 as a little corset factory in Germany. Today, the company is present in 120 countries with its core brands, Triumph® and sloggi®, and had 2014 revenues of 1.437 billion euros. As a successful global manufacturer of lingerie, underwear, sleepwear and swimwear, Triumph is continually looking to improve its ability to maximise innovation while simultaneously managing the inherent complexity and scale of their operation.

As a global brand manufacturer, the structure at Triumph is very complex and vast. With three innovation centers, four design centers, five production centers and 3rd party sourcing all spread across Germany, Austria, Hong Kong and Japan, different processes were being used across the board, and information stored in scattered local lists.

Triumph decided that they needed a business enabling technology that would bring these factions under one umbrella, and turned to PLM.

Triumph is going through a business transformation and PLM is one part of it. We know we can be much smarter in developing our products and bringing them to market faster through a global PLM system.

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Topics: PLM, innovation, IT Architecture

Under Armour - Making All Athletes Better With 3D Technology

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 28-Apr-2017 08:30:00

When it comes to early tech adoption in the apparel & footwear industry, sports and fitness brands have most certainly taken the lead. One such company well known for its innovation and early adoption is Under Armour. Yet even they experience the hurdle of ‘how does technological innovation affect the bottom line’.

The desire to work in 3D was present at Under Armour long before they got the funding, as the business side of the company struggled to see its immediate value. It wasn't until they decided to grow their women's offering by 30% and were faltering on meeting prototype deadlines that it began to be considered a viable solution to working in an agile, flexible and efficient manner. It was at this point that the CTO at the time engaged with Optitex to virtualize and bring 3D into the showroom.

For those of you that don’t already know, PI Apparel has partnered with Target to form the 3D Retail coalition (3D.RC), a group whose sole purpose is to help companies who are currently using 3D or intending on investing in it. As such, the 3D.RC will be welcoming Under Armour's Jami Dunbar (VP, Apparel Manufacturing) and Lisa Struble (VP, Technical Design) who will share the Under Armour 3D journey.

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Topics: 3D Technology, Future Technologies, Digital Transformation, Digital Journey, Digital Strategy

PI Apparel Hong Kong Event Review

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 18-Apr-2017 16:26:51

The team have not long returned from a highly successful brand new addition to the PI Apparel conference world series. Back in 2013, we launched PI Apparel Europe in response to the ever-increasing number of brands attending our cross-industry event, who wanted to examine the crucial role that technology plays – especially in the fast-moving world of fashion, apparel and footwear. While over the last four years we have seen the event grow to the point it regularly sells out in New York, that didn't take away from the nerves launching an event in Asia from a small office in London. I am pleased to say however, we are back at the PI Apparel HQ with smiles all round.

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Topics: Events, Future Technologies, innovation

How To Do Wearable Technology Well

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 30-Mar-2017 08:40:00


Silk scarf by THEUNSEEN: when draped around the body forms patterns of colour responsive to motion.

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Topics: Wearables, innovation, Wearable Technology

The 4-Month PLM Implementation Story

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 23-Mar-2017 08:00:00

4 months is a long time in fashion. It’s the time it takes for a whole season to change, and seemingly when it comes to digital transformation at Mustang, 4 months is how long it takes for a PLM implementation.

For those of you who don’t know, Mustang GmbH are the oldest denim manufacturer in Europe. With 80 years of denim experience covering most of Europe for both retail and wholesale, their span is vast. While they managed to achieve this formerly using the likes of Excel, local lists, and BOMs made in Adobe AI, they knew that a heritage business shouldn't mean heritage it IT architecture.

We were working with a lot of local lists, a lot of mistakes, and a lot of time consumed looking for the most recent list. We wanted to make a big step into the future, not just for the present, but to be ready for the future.

Their challenge was to step into the future and gain more control over their product lifecycle, which in turn would reduce supply-chain inefficiencies and shorten time to market. They selected their PLM system, and in no less than four months it was rolled out.

In this video from PI Apparel in Berlin, Julia Dubowy, Director of Operations at Mustang shares how they achieved this rapid IT systems transformation and how it reshaped the way they do business.

We have shorter meetings as the data is accessible and 40% fewer questions during the product development process. We can easily assess our suppliers and are always up to date. Overall our process is 30% faster

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Topics: PLM, IT Architecture, Implementation, Digital Transformation

Using 3D Body Scanning to Solve the Issue of Poor Fit

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 16-Mar-2017 15:23:36

The apparel, fashion and footwear industry is a fast paced enviroment, where those hungry for innovation thrive. New product lines boast new trends, new technology,  new standards. Yet in this everchanging landscape, one thing has remained a consistent cause for concern in recent years – fit.

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Topics: 3D Technology, Digital Transformation, Digital Strategy, Body Scanning

How To Bring An Iconic Brand Into The Digital Age

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 24-Oct-2016 16:33:19


A recurring theme at PI Apparel Berlin earlier this month, was how those of you working in luxury and legacy brands, which have for decades if not centuries, prided themselves in being heritage labels steeped in tradition, can appeal to a newer, younger and wider audience without alienating traditional customers.

Over the two days we were lucky enough to hear from some of fashion's forward thinkers – including Cathy McGabe, CIO at Jaeger, who is currently spearheading the digital business transformation. The sixties helped establish Jaeger as an iconic luxury brand, but to stay relevant they have to ensure they engage with their customers in the fast moving digital marketplace. Having lead IT-enabled change at Burberry, another iconic British designer brand, Cathy was the ideal person to lead the change, and she joined us at PI Apparel Berlinto share the journey of their digital transformation. 

Here are some of our key takeaways from Cathy’s session:

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Topics: innovation, Digital Transformation

3D Apparel 2.0 - Connecting PLM & 3D

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 28-Sep-2016 11:00:00

3D technology has made huge strides within the fashion/apparel space over the last few years with most brands either having already made a solid investment in the area, or at least recognising the need to invest in the near future. While the siloed benefits of digital product creation are already being realised, the true disruptive potential of these tools is only possible if an end-to-end digital ecosystem is created.

When Joshua Young, Former 3D Studio Director with Nike, spoke at PI Apparel New York this summer, he used the metaphor of building a car (3D ecosystem) with one hand tied behind your back (lack of PLM). After all, the benefits of 3D are easily measurable - it has the ability to reduce waste and lead development timelines through digital prototyping, which also has the sustainability factor. But – how can this be done accurately without the holistic view of your garment and its supply chain that PLM provides?

Josh Young, Speaking at PI Apparel New York


Yet, in terms of culture, 3D is often seen more of a creative tool, and PLM an IT tool. Really, the cultural ideal is having designers recognise that should these two platforms work together, the preproduction phase of the value chain will be more efficient for everyone in the long run. Simon Kim, Chief Strategy Officer of CLO Virtual Fashion who are currently taking the apparel world by storm, stresses that if you intend to use 3D to its full potential, it needs to be at the centre of your process innovation.

3D is not merely a tool that fits into the current process to make it a little more efficient."
- Simon Kim, Chief Strategy Officer, CLO Virtual Fashion

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Topics: 3D Technology, PLM

Supply Chain Efficiency In Under 12 Months

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 21-Sep-2016 13:53:32

The future has arrived and its automated, yet many manufacturers are still living in the spreadsheet stone age.

The same was true of Sport Obermeyer. An overcustomised IT system that no one knew how to use, meant people were relying on spreadsheets. What’s wrong with spreadsheets the Luddites ask?

Obermeyer's cost margins were out by as much as 10%, and a high maintenance system that was near impossible to extract data from was starting to affect the bottom line, and ultimately see the company out of business.

Enter Greg Bannister, COO, who within a year, completely transformed the IT Infrastructure with “the most aggressive strategy anyone has ever heard of". With a new ERP system fully implemented in a 3 month turnaround, warehouse management in 4, PLM in 5, and supply chain before the year was out, Obermeyer now have a far more efficient supply chain with a single database across all platforms.

The end result? A much more successful company. In this PI Apparel interview, Greg shares how he managed this momentous system overhaul, and why a 'sink or swim' implementation really is the only way to go.

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Topics: PLM, Supply Chain, IT Transformation, IT Architecture, ERP, Interview, New Systems Implementation

Is Wearable Technology Fashion's New 'Little Black Dress'?

Posted by Maeve Sugrue on 14-Sep-2016 16:58:12

It’s changing the world. Not only in apparel or luxury goods, but in every industry across the board. - Frank Furlan 

Wearable technology has been around for some time and the general consensus in the fashion industry is that it’s here to stay. Some go one step further in saying this is one ‘trend’ all brands must adopt to stay viable. As such, fashion, apparel and footwear brands are looking to other industries to see how their products can become a 'wardrobe staple' by serving multiple purposes.


This is a concept that has come up a great deal at past PI Apparel events. Brands like adidas, Under Armour, Target and THE UNSEEN have shown us how their clothing and accompanying technologies can measure and maximise athletic performance. Taking this one step further, and one step closer to the global consumer rather than just athletes, Frank Furlan, former President of The Swatch Group points to FitBit as a brand that leads in this field.

With 21.4 million connected health and fitness devices sold in 2015 alone*, they have clearly nailed the concept that now more than ever we are obsessed with living longer through living healthier, and have turned their wearable technology into a staple .

“The real benefit of wearable technology whether worn on the wrist or another part of the body is that it brings control and power through education and awareness back to the consumer. Through all the data it processes, it allows me to get a better understanding of the variables that affect my life”

As a passionate advocate of healthcare ecosystem improvements, Frank firmly believes that smart-tech is a must for brands to stay relevant to the consumer – and ultimately to survive.

We interviewed Frank to see where these waves in wearables and beyond will be made. In particular:

  • What has had the biggest impact on growth in wearables
  • The type of data analytics platform required to process wearable data
  • How wearable tech will challenge current systems architecture
  • The emerging technologies that will re-shape the industry
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Topics: Wearables, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Wearable Technology, Connected Devices, IT Architecture, Data Analytics

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