A Fashion Design Case Study
On-Demand Collaborative Design Solution
Beginning The Design Process
Cindy is the Design Director for a large retail corporation. Her responsibilities include day-to-day communication and collaboration with the design team, merchandising, pre-production and vendors. This development chain includes over 50 people and can grow larger at peak times in her design season when she brings in freelancers to support faster development cycles and more new product introductions then ever. Every season her development chain identifies trends, researches past sales winners, defines a multitude of product concepts, pre-sources 100’s of materials, trims and colors and develops 1000’s of tech packs to support the definition of product’s for agents, suppliers and sample rooms.
Cindy’s role is actually to shop Europe, run to the trendiest new stores, browse runway previews and sift through new materials and trends to keep the stores filled with on trend products. But Cindy spends most of her time managing the business of design: filling in spread sheets, managing people’s work, supervising projects and coordinating information from CAD, PDM and other home grown systems that are less then design friendly.
The Business of Design
…review sketches, order samples, select fabric, trims and colors, approve fabric, fit, lab dip, labels, etc. Cindy is always on the go. To complete these activities and tasks 100’s of phone calls, faxes, e-mail’s and packages are sent around the globe. Of the 1000’s of exchanges affecting each style, very little is done face-toface, other than internal meetings and sales presentations. Packages go back and forth weekly, while Bill of Material reports (BOM), Work in Progress reports (WIP),
fabric approvals, and meetings with staff and management occupy her daily.
Any required changes, produce massive conflict and effort to document while every hour of every day is critical to communicating information to obtain swatches, samples and prices. Her tech packs sit on a server with limited document management or version control, a series of locked up PDF’s containing valuable information about every product. PDF’s are e-mailed, FTP’d or shared over the web, but each and every change of color, trim, material or an updated sketch or fit creates massive disruptions and necessitates hundred’s of steps to keep a current version of the truth. To make sure everyone in the development chain has what they need overnight packages are shipped containing binders and print outs that cannot easily be compressed into a PDF and sent overseas. The paper trail is massive.
The need for On-line Collaboration
Cindy wonders: How can I get to the stores and shop for new ideas when I am so busy managing product? Why is my day so fragmented? What if there was a way to follow the lifecycle of each product in development or pre-production on a daily report and make changes if necessary and share it with all my partners in the process? What if I could see, not just read, about each style in design, fit, color, sampling and pre-production? What if I could find a material, a style, a comment or approval at the touch of a keyboard instead of sifting through piles of papers or needing ten people at my beck and call? What if my vendors, agents and sample rooms could be on the latest version of any information real time without having to send files? How much money – and time – would be saved? How would it impact new product development and my team’s ability to stay on trend and on time?
ENVOGUE On-demand Collaborative Design Studios
Cindy is about to begin a new project: designing a top for her Spring collection. She logs on to EnVogue on her desktop. Her password already in place, she logs into her customized Design portal. Cindy sees her latest work, favorites, bookmarks of her ongoing projects and notifications of changes and approvals she needs to track. Cindy has visibility into the work of all of her design team members as well as access to her entire development chain both internal and external – from the buying agent, her company’s management, CAD artists, and Asian suppliers to her fit technicians and material suppliers. EnVogue offers a platform and unique product development studios to support every activity involved in her design lifecycle from materials management to fit, color and tech packs. EnVogue’s powerful workflow supports everything from notifications, subscriptions, baseline configuration, approvals and stage gates supporting complex and iterative product development processes specific to Cindy’s business. From tracking samples, running reports, pricing tech packs to communicating changes in points of measure and color, each and every step of the process takes place in a seamless, coherent and systematic manner, in one system of record. As her products grow in complexity and her need to develop more products in a shorter time frame increase, she can hold virtual meetings, assign tasks, review images, change files and track changes made by anyone in the development chain subscribing to EnVogue. She can add or subtract people at will as new members join her team, relocate to new offices or come on board to support fluctuations
in design productivity.
Connectivity: anytime, anywhere
All Cindy needs is a web browser and EnVogue to be 100% informed and involved on all of her projects, anytime, anywhere. All of her company’s product development information is managed, archived and hosted and available 365/24/7. She can access libraries, archived projects and seasons from anywhere any time.
Inspiration and content at your fingertips
Cindy can access libraries of styles, materials, trims and graphics, choose a color palette, pre-select silhouettes, and meet online to discuss it with her merchandiser. She can create clipboards of ideas, share new concepts and inspiration and leverage historical information or the most current update. EnVogue makes it easy to store and share information.
Saving time, saving steps, eliminating error
At all times, the lifecycle of projects are shared, visible, and accessible. By subscribing to a project or item, all the design details whether cross-departmental or extra-enterprise, can be shared. Design changes, approvals, request and reports are accessible by each individual based on their specific permissions, roles and access.