PARIS — November 13, 2014 — Lectra, the world leader in integrated technology solutions dedicated to industries using soft materials—fabrics, leather, technical textiles and composite materials—is pleased to announce the latest release of Optiplan®, its cutting-room optimization solution for apparel manufacturing.
Manufacturers today operate in an environment that makes it increasingly difficult to remain both profitable and competitive, and an optimized cutting room can make all the difference. Designed with the specific challenges of fashion and apparel manufacturing in mind, Lectra’s Optiplan applies lean manufacturing principles to cut-planning operations and transforms the cutting room into a competitive advantage—saving time, reducing costs and boosting efficiency.
Fashion today has accelerated; retailers have moved from seasonal collections to offering new merchandise on an ongoing basis. “The trend towards smaller orders in a wider variety of styles and colors, combined with shorter-than-ever lead times, has become the industry norm,” explains Anastasia Charbin, Fashion and Apparel Marketing Director, Lectra. Production has to be fast and flexible enough to handle the higher volume of smaller orders while protecting profit margins.
Fabric is typically the largest contributing factor when it comes to garment cost, so optimizing how it is cut and processed is crucial to remaining competitive. This latest version of Optiplan builds on an already powerful cutplanning technology and evolves to further streamline operations, improve efficiency and minimize error risk—the basis of lean apparel manufacturing. By consolidating orders and connecting disparate systems from ERP to the cutting room, Optiplan facilitates the flow of information and optimizes markers, spreading and cutting operations.
Manufacturers can now also boost efficiency by running what-if simulations based on different planning and manufacturing configurations, so that they can evaluate their design-to-cost and manufacture-to-cost options. Brands and manufacturers predict the amount of fabric needed for a given production run, so that fabric orders are minimized and raw material inventories are reduced.
“With the improved workflow between order planning and processing, we are saving a remarkable amount of time. We are also able to mix more styles and sizes to better manage our fabric consumption,” observes Kais Masmoudi, Deputy Director of Société De Lingerie. The company produces for lingerie brand Lise Charmel. The speed and agility to respond quickly to change are immediate benefits of taking a lean approach to the cutting room. Stock can be replenished based on actual sales and not simply on predicted demand—a far safer bet when it comes to ensuring profitability. With guesswork taken out of the equation, manufacturers can effectively help transform a push to the market into a pull from retail, thus minimizing the risk of unsold or heavily discounted goods.
“We get weekly point-of-sale data from the stores and then decide what to manufacture. We plug it into Lectra’s Optiplan and it says ‘Cut it this way.’ Then we deliver within a week to replenish the stores,” enthuses President and CEO of Hong Kong’s TAL Apparel Group, Dr. Delman Lee.
Posted November 19, 2014