10 Best Tips to Accelerate Your Fashion Manufacturing Process
July 11, 2022
The Need for Speed in Fashion Manufacturing
Speed is key in fashion: fast inventory turnover, fast delivery, and fast production. The average cycle time for fashion is shrinking, consumers are becoming more demanding and retailers are more impatient. The same applies to fashion manufacturing.
The latest shopping trend, fast fashion, has served as a catalyst to further shorten the fashion cycle. Fast fashion means that everything we wear today has been chosen from an endlessly growing catalog of fashion products. It was made and shipped to our doors within weeks of being spotted on the runway (or on celebrities, Instagram, or anywhere else).
Whether this faster pace is being dictated by consumers or is simply an inevitable evolution in consumer behavior, the reality remains that apparel manufacturers must accelerate their manufacturing process to stay ahead of their competition. But how can you accelerate apparel manufacturing without sacrificing apparel quality? To keep up with this race against time, manufacturing processes must be continually updated with new technologies, automation, and analytics.
This can be achieved in many ways, including improving the quality of sewing and cutting processes, using fabrics that are easier to work with, and increasing efficiency through the use of robotics and artificial intelligence. Speed is becoming more important as consumers embrace faster and even instant gratification.
Here are the 10 best tips for manufacturers to speed up their fashion manufacturing process and make it more efficient.
Design an Efficient Production Schedule
Determine the correct work sequence for each style of dress or garment. Integrate and streamline all steps of your manufacturing process into a flow. this is done so that nothing is repeated and everything is done in as few steps as possible. Additionally, make sure you have enough time to make any necessary changes so everything is ready for shipping in time.
Optimize your Floor Plan
Reduce workshop movement to optimize task efficiency. Proper organization of equipment, tools, and materials not only improves manufacturing productivity but also helps ensure the workplace remains a safe environment for employees to do their jobs. Furthermore, ensure your sample space is well organized. Use a separate warehouse for incoming materials and outgoing finished goods.
Adhere to Scheduled Maintenance
The quickest way to slow things down is to ignore regular maintenance. Maintenance downtime costs much less than the cost of broken and worn equipment. With new technology, it’s easy to keep track of your maintenance schedule. There are many intelligent machines and systems that help you keep track of the performance of each machine.
Adopt The Latest Tools
Invest in software and systems that will help with various business operations. Including tasks such as capacity planning, scheduling, customer relationship management, inventory and order tracking, data collection, and analysis. Automation is a powerful tool to increase efficiency and reduce errors. Your factory workers shouldn’t have to waste time on email updates and manual progress reports. New software solutions like KloudPLM can help with real-time alerts, scheduling, inventory, and workflow monitoring.
Engage Active Collaboration
Enhance communication between departments. This helps everyone knows what’s happening at each stage of the production process. In apparel manufacturing, each phase requires input and approval from different people in different departments. The more coordinated they are, the better things will work. Instead of manual approvals, invest in software tools that allow line managers to be more proactive. Communication needs to be very clear so everyone knows exactly what to do on which day and next
Make Data Your Weapon
Factories should actively collect data using IoT sensors and web-based monitoring devices. This data is used for optimizing and streamlining the manufacturing process. This is done by reducing errors and increasing productivity by predicting machine failures in advance. You should also allow time for error analysis and improvement planning. Identify where product line rationalization can help and use benchmarking and analysis tools to see how your performance compares to others in your industry.
Encourage Performance Training
Factory training should be based on the real needs and challenges of individual workers and not an exercise of just ticking boxes. Plan operator training when new equipment is installed. Keep accurate exercise records and schedule updates as needed. Create “teachable moments” tailored to the practical needs of plant personnel.
Have Alternate Shipping Options
Don’t let shipping issues delay your production. Do you have a network of multiple operators? So if a shipping company has problems or is too busy, they have more options to contact them. It is also advisable to choose a carrier that will work with you regardless of flight schedule changes as these situations are difficult to avoid.
Automate or Outsource
The more automated your fashion manufacturing system is, the faster you can get garments out of your factory. This is why it is so important to increase automation wherever possible. Additionally, automation can also help decrease production costs and improve product quality. Another strategy you can use is outsourcing, especially during peak periods when the demand temporarily increases. They may be able to help with a temporary surge in demand, but they don’t require training or a long-term commitment from your organization.
Maintain Good Material Stock
Invest in building a good inventory of fabrics, costumes, fittings, and other materials. This helps reduce lead times for these items by reducing the need to place new orders each time the production of a new style begins. Work closely with suppliers who are willing to deliver quickly when you order small quantities, but also offer discounts for large quantities of raw materials such as zippers or buttons. If you place back orders with suppliers who take a longer time to deliver, you should ask them if they can provide sample quantities in advance so you can start production faster.