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September 13, 2022

Coats Digital launches buying, cutting solution to cut apparel sector waste

Technology solutions company Coats Digital has unveiled its FastReactFabric solution, which connects buying and cutting operations in one single platform to reduce waste and cut fabric costs by up to 2.5%.

By Laura Husband

Coats Digital’s FastReactFabric solution for cutting apparel waste, which launched last week (8 September), is expected to shrink fabric buying and planning times by 95%. It is also said to provide 100% fabric tracking, which will advance sustainability credentials and reduce overall fabric waste that could otherwise end up in landfill.

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The solution delivers data insights that can track and optimise real-time fabric usage and wastage, and it enables efficient planning for complex styles and colourways.

Coats Digital states: “With FastReactFabric, the apparel industry can reduce the fabric required which will have a positive impact on the environment while boosting profits – putting people, planet and performance into the very core of the fashion supply chain.

“The real value of using accurate, digitised historical data is that it enables manufacturers to predict their precise needs in the future, which greatly helps to support effective longer-term planning and trend projections.”

How does Coats Digital FastReactFabric solution reduces apparel waste?

The new system combines Coats Digital’s previous IntelloCut and IntelloBuy solutions into one single platform, providing a closed-loop, continuous 360-degree feedback ecosystem between buying and cutting operations, so that fashion manufacturers can accurately procure and use fabric effectively. The company says this equates to reducing waste, boosting efficiency and significantly increasing the bottom line.

Coats Digital managing director Akash Shah explains: “We listened carefully to what our customers were saying about the fabric challenges they face, and realised that it made perfect sense to amalgamate and enhance our fabric cutting and buying solutions into one comprehensive single platform to eradicate key pain points in one swoop.”

He adds that with 70% to 80% of fashion manufacturing outlay attributed to fabric costs, the digitisation of fabric-related processes is the most fundamental way that apparel manufacturers can make a real difference to their profits, as well as reduce the impact of fabric waste on the planet.

Shah believes the solution will prove instrumental in redressing some of the financial damage suffered during the pandemic, whilst helping the apparel industry future-proof against incoming global legislation around waste and sustainability compliance, at the same time.

Coats Digital’s senior sales director Wesley Ekman points out: “Buying too much fabric is a costly mistake. In such a volatile trading environment, fashion manufacturers simply cannot afford to buy the wrong amount of their largest cost investment, if they want to keep up with increasing consumer demand for fashion in a variety of style and colour choices.”

He adds: “A more streamlined production process using accurate fabric data significantly frees up warehouse and shop floor space, reduces inventory, and enables manufacturers to adapt effectively to increasing garment complexities and colourways, and we expect our new solution will prove a highly compelling proposition to companies looking for a sure-fire remedy to mitigate rising costs fast.”

FastReactFabric is said to increase fabric utilisation by automating and optimising the estimation of fabric consumption at the buying stage, together with accurate cut planning and execution on the production floor, to eliminate time-consuming manual tasks and reduce fabric, water and energy consumption.

Coats Digital hopes the new offering, will ultimately unlock fabric buying and cutting data to deliver meaningful insights that drive confident decision-making.

The company says it will enable apparel manufacturers to:

• Optimise operations – by capitalising on fact-based buying processes that eliminate redundant stock
• Make fast data decisions – using 360-degree feedback loop to plan and cut more styles with accuracy and speed – thus creating precise fabric forecasts that meet demand for increasing colourways and complexity
• Streamline processes – delivering comprehensive visibility, removing bottlenecks and unifying booking and cutting functionality
• For merchandising teams – FastReactFabric delivers accurate fabric forecasts by applying advanced intelligence to fabric data. These insights help apparel manufacturers to quickly overcome the challenges caused by complex new styles, increasing colourways and shrinking lead-times.
• For the cutting floor – FastReactFabric uses advanced algorithms to generate optimised cut plans from millions of possible combinations in one click. Manufacturers can gain complete control over their cutting rooms by optimising key processes such as the generation of cut and lay plans and the allocation of fabric.

Coats Digital claims that unlike other fabric purchasing solutions, FastReactFabric aggregates historical, past performance and real-time data from fabric utilisation processes, so that manufacturers can always have the most accurate, up-to-date view of the cutting floor.

It aims to provide access to accurate operations data to ensure manufacturers can make the right decisions about their buying and cutting processes at the same time.

Earlier this year Argentinian apparel manufacturer, RA Intertrading, implemented Coats Digital’s GSDCost, to meet growing demand by improving labour efficiencies in response to regional labour shortages.

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