Technology is driving from Fashion to Factory
Jean Marc PEDEBOY one the partner and founder of Strategies, the company who has developed ROMANS CAD SOFTWARE, the de facto standard in the footwear design space.
WFB Bureau: To start with, can you brief us about yourself and Romans CAD?
Jean: I am Jean Marc PEDEBOY one of the founding partner of Strategies a French company which have been in the software business for the last 25 years; Over these years we have developed collaborative solution for various industry such as real estate mechanical and fashion Industry. As the digitalization of the fashion industry is becoming more demanding, we are bringing all these expertise of collaborative engineering to the footwear market. Our portfolio of customers range from big companies to small design office, making our solution the de facto standard in the footwear and leather goods industries
WFB Bureau: What makes Romans CAD’s services and products to be peers’ envy and user’s pride?
Jean: Consumers' growing demand for 'fast fashion' is a real game-changer. Pressure is on at the factory level, as factories now have to not only deliver comfortable and stylish products at attractive prices, but also do this at unprecedented speed. Our biggest pride would be to see that now footwear companies by implementing ROMANS CAD PLATFORM are matching others industries such as automobile and aerospace, in their digital strategy.
WFB Bureau: CAD/CAM capabilities have emerged from being standalone business processes to become an integrated part of the entire supply chain.
What other key trends do you see in technology adaptation and business processes to be evolving in coming decade?
Jean: Today in the fast fashion world, companies are moving to the 2 collections per year, to 4 even more. With Romans Cad platform, we are making the new paradigm from Fashion to Factories a reality. Taking stock of what is going on currently in the market, it is clear that digitalization in the industry is happening. Mainly, brands are producing the tech book, with various tools such as 3D or 2D sketch tools, then sending this information to the factories, for sampling and production. Factories then build samples and produce patterns, grading and nesting, mainly in 2D. In the middle of that is the sourcing and material database sitting on different systems such as ERP/PLM. What are some of the problems encountered? The main issue is that people are working in silos, which makes processes slow and inefficient by current standards. Second, the quality of the 2D/3D information is not high enough to be reused for manufacturing. Lastly, there is a lack of integration between 3D/2D CAD tools and the material database. There has been the case of designers copying attributes (data from the CAD files) to the ERP for precosting. This leads to numerous typos, and is time consuming. The solutions include full collaboration between brands and factories. Furthermore the cloud infrastructure can gives us great flexibility to deploy integrated solutions regardless of location, to share the same information through a common database, as well as to integrate brand and factory departments, and finally it allows flexibility in terms of task allocation, once factories have scaled up in competencies.
WFB Bureau: How can CAD solutions enhance product development and production process integration for the Footwear and Leather industry?
Jean: First of we are moving beyond CAD to what I called F.I.M as: FOOTWEAR INFORMATION MODEL, Which is an integration of 3D/2DCAD with Material database which allows to connect: People: Trends Material Design Pattern cutting stitching Process and: Sketching Designing cutting Scanning Stitching Technologies: 3D Scanners Xrite material 3d Printers Cutting, cloud computing. I must add it takes one hour to manufacture a shoe sometimes more than 250 days for design and development; we have been able to reduce that delay to 140 days and are aiming at 90 days.
WFB Bureau: What is your say for the revolution in market conditions over the years?
Jean: Ecommerce and big retailers are game changers. Digitalization with 3D realistic render model will enable brands: 1 To connect brands with theirs users, by sending 3D virtual model to market place in order to detect trends, before going to actual manufacturing, minimizing costly mistakes. 2 To offer a new and realistic shopping experience, by making, From Fashion to Factory a reality.
WFB Bureau: For markets with and without technological know-how, what strategies help CAD/CAM make headway in both?
Jean: Is fair to say today, it is an expensive technologies for most of the companies, nevertheless it is the way retailers are going so either you follow the digitalization of the processes or you will die. The solution is to work closely with governmental institution I order to develop services bureau and Design center which can help in the change.
Personalisation is increasing in overall fashion sector. The sourcing trends are also changing with nearshoring and the rise of home-grown products. Are these new challenges being considered for fashion IT solutions?
We are working on these area, using not only our core technology, but AI; Especially when it comes to identify the best last for maximum comfort in a given population.
WFB Bureau: Are your products expensive as compared to the other similar products? How do you justify your price?
Jean: The power of our solution is to deliver, the capabilities of designing very realistic 3D model, not only to speak about our integrated rendering engine. But also the precision in the data model require sending the same 3D model for manufacturing. As an example we are working with a major sport brand to send pattern data to stitching machine in a Industry 4.0 concept. Obviously these did not happen overnight and it is a long process of listening to customers and fine tuning the solution. Romans CAD platform has these capabilities can give you the opportunities to go from fashion to factory, and maintain a sustainable supply chain. Furthermore the footwear market is a niche market, and can classify the solutions available on 3 categories Standard Design tools which achieve a certain level of automation, but fall short of expectation, when it comes to real Footwear operation. 2 Former 2D Design tools for the footwear space but they fall short in terms of 3D precision undefined. 3 Collaborative platform which allows to meet the requirement of FOOTWEAR TO FACTORY ie integration of 3D/2D and MATERIAL DATABASE RCS is the only solution available, on the market. Here are some ROI obtained with RCS to back up our comments
Design Development Ratio
• 75-90% reduction in time creating data
• 75-90% reduction in time to process Design to Pattern
Sample Development Ratio
• 75-90% reduction in time re-keying data
• 60-75% reduction in time creating accurate samples
BOM On-Time and Accurate
• 40-60% reduction in time re-keying data
• 60-80% reduction in time printing and exporting accurate data.
Samples Delivered On-Time
• 50-70% reduction in time authoring designs
• 40-60% reduction in time status/meeting/reviewing
WFB Bureau: What are the challenges and opportunities in the Footwear and Leather industry?
Jean: One of the big challenged of footwear companies is to understand that they need to jump on the digitalization process, as quickly as possible otherwise they will be facing serious problem. But trying to connect brands with factories, in another word trying to build a collaborative supply chain for Design and operation, will create a level of transparency, which need to be anticipated and integrated when implementing such platform. Today we are selling a collaborative project not only a CAD software
WFB Bureau: Where is demand the most in Asia? Which are your biggest and upcoming markets?
Jean: If I try to give you a timing: 1 Right now China is now becoming a big market for us, since the platform connect, majors brands retailers with their factories. 2 I would see Vietnam and Bangladesh are on the rise, 3 India but it seems they are not ready to invest in such platform unless there’s big clients asked them to do so.
Just to prove our commitment here are the conference we will attend this year:
1 Feb 1 2 3, Chennai, India: India International Leather Fair
2 Feb 20 21, Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam Footwear summit
3 March 12: Hong Kong: THE Global Footwear Executive Summit
4 March 13 14 15 APFL
5 Jun 4-5 Dongguan, China