There has come a time where even fashion brands must embrace technology to take their brand to the next level. As customer needs get more unique and the pace of the industry accelerates, the need to improve agility, creativity, productivity, and customer support is imperative.
This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) can step in. From design to manufacturing, inventory to business analysis – almost every aspect of fashion manufacturing can evolve through AI.
Why is AI valuable?
In order for brands to find their niche within the fashion industry, brands need to put in the hard work and time to come up with products that fill the demands of their consumers. Identifying your audience, predicting trends, perfecting design details, and establishing a marketing plan takes time and doesn’t always guarantee success. However, by embracing AI, fashion brands can become more effective. Here’s why AI can be valuable for the fashion industry:
- Design automation: Design is at the heart of the fashion industry. AI can be the key for brands to strengthen their product development processes. Using the right AI tools, fashion brands can sift through consumer data to understand what styles and trends resonate the most with their target market. They can also leverage AI to automatically generate trends, patterns, and designs. This automation will help them meet the needs of consumers quickly and more accurately.
- Inventory management: As the pace of globalization hastens, fashion brands can struggle to cater to new markets, new locations, and new customers. By having some foresight into what styles are best sellers, brands are able to maintain enough inventory to drive consumer satisfaction, and ultimately, profitability. AI assists fashion brands to keep just enough stock to keep business flowing, but without winding up with thousands of units of overstock. By accurately predicting demand and improving product tracking and traceability, fashion brands can reduce forecasting errors, optimize inventory levels, and analyze product returns with greater accuracy.
- Production planning: Given the nature of the industry, fashion brands have to constantly cope with demand uncertainties. Since precision in planning equates to on-time quality shipments, AI can help fashion brands determine the most appropriate production schedule. This can start from fabric selection all the way up to the delivery of finished products. With brands losing about $642.6 billion every year from returns, AI-based advanced planning and scheduling can enable brands to apply optimization algorithms to come up with a more efficient plan that balances resources, materials, and quantities. Using AI, brands can ensure better planning of each production piece and keep pace with changing styles, and order volumes.
- Transparent manufacturing: Meeting customer demands accurately is possible only when brands have end-to-end visibility into their operations, customer needs, production capability, and supply rates. AI-driven intelligence systems can directly access real-time data from the factory floor and deliver reports to the target users. By combining AI with technology such as RFID, fashion brands can make smart decisions as they track their supply chain across each stage. They can refer to actionable dashboards and will eliminate the guesswork needed to stay ahead in the demand-supply equation.
Power creativity and productivity
With the fashion industry getting more and more competitive, brands need to stay a step ahead of the curve. Creativity is king and the greatest competitive differentiation is created by customer acceptance of an iconic design. But even design must follow through with delivery. In that scenario, AI empowers fashion brands with greater speed, lower cost, and increased flexibility at each stage of the supply chain.
AI has the potential to drive improvements across a slew of areas including design automation, production planning, and inventory management. It lays the groundwork for enabling transparent and responsive decision-making.