Last week, we were proud to be a platinum sponsor of the Apparel East conference in New York City. Members of the Canadian and American Visual 2000 team were on site to meet industry professionals, participate in discussions and demonstrate our End2End platform to potential clients.
The one day event included attendees from sportswear, high fashion, footwear and fashion accessory companies of various sizes. Panel round table discussions were held, debating the various technical and operational challenges that occur within the modern omnichannel enterprise.
Opening Keynote - eCommerce Engagement Across Channels
Kicking off the conference was a great Q&A style session with Sarah Dorsett of New York's Century 21. She discussed the importance of engaging content on eCommerce websites in order to immerse the client with movement and motion, via video and interactive images. When discussing whether or not online could cannibalize their brick and mortar sales, Sarah pointed out that it can be minimized by treating the online channel as a separate experience with its own product lines.
Ask the Experts - Fashion Technology Panel
Next up was a panel discussion entitled "How Technology Will Help Us Win the Consumer". Charles Benoualid, Visual 2000's V.P. of Research and Development, sat in to contribute some of his knowledge on where the industry is currently and where it is going. There was a lot of discussion around the supply chain and how technology can help to facilitate customer expectations, like in-store pick up and online returns.
The panelists also discussed the ability to use data to target customers with cross selling and up selling. The conversation then shifted to the concern about privacy issues and the responsibility that companies embracing these tactics have to ensure their customer data is secure.
Breakout Sessions & Round Table Discussions
Another unique aspect of this conference was the round table discussions. It allowed attendees to break out into smaller groups and discuss a variety of issues related to operations and technology in the apparel business. Topics covered included wholesale engagement, merchandise planning, sourcing, logistics and much more. The Visual 2000 team moderated a table on product lifecycle management and product information management entitled "Does your PLM, PIM?," and a second roundtable on Two-Way PLM Adobe Integration.
The in-depth, informal chat touched on many of the issues facing companies during production. Participants talked about the challenge of using similar styles across different brands and production facilities as well as the difficulty of managing design files when there is no agreed upon standard. The comments reinforced the idea that a successful PLM deployment requires both technical and strategic change within a business.
Skyline Photo by Anthony Quintano