Gerber Technologies: Reinventing the Fashion Business Lifecycle

Michael Elia, President and CEO Bequest with an interesting start, Gerber Technology’s history can be traced back to 1967, when H. Joseph Gerber introduced the GERBERcutter System 70, officially bringing automation technology to the apparel and allied industries. Even today, the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. commemorates the GERBERcutter System 70’s momentous contribution to textile industry by permanently displaying its first production unit. Exactly a year after the technology’s inception, Gerber invented the world’s first fully automated cloth-cutting machine that revolutionized the apparel industry worldwide. Even in the present, Gerber Technology stands as a towering figure in the textile industry endowing a slew of integrated software and hardware solutions to more than 78,000 customers worldwide. With its headquarters in Tolland, CT, the company’s automation solutions are popularly sought by firms from diverse industries like construction, furniture, fashion and apparel, transportation, technical textiles, packaging, wind energy, and sign and graphics across 130 nations.

With technology turning the wheels of the entire fashion industry, making trends more accessible to a large spectrum of consumers, it is becoming a challenging task for fashion and apparel brands to stay ahead in a highly competitive environment. Keeping in mind the fact that fashion industry today holds little similarities to that of a decade ago; Gerber Technology casts a keen glance at the intersection of fashion and technology, which are profoundly surprising and transformational. “For nearly half a century, we have been helping companies around the world develop, manufacture, and take their products to market smarter, faster, and more efficiently,” says Michael Elia, President and CEO, Gerber Technology. “Our leading edge systems support customers to maximize productivity and minimize errors and waste,” affirms Elia.

Supporting Brands Gain Competitive Edge

While big brands and apparel companies are wrestling to catch up with latest technology trends and stand out in the crowd, Gerber Technology believes in enabling organizations to leverage current trends by delivering Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Product Data Management (PDM), computer- aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM), software and hardware solutions. These offerings speed up time to market for the customers. “Our sophisticated software and hardware solutions have been helping the world’s leading apparel brands and manufacturers to maximize quality and profitability,” says Elia

In order to help organizations untangle the complexities around interacting with multiple sections of people and managing the workflows and processes, Gerber Technology builds the integration required to connect with the customers’ businesses. In a nutshell, the company’s solutions cover all facets of fashion business lifecycle from planning and designing to development and pre-production, sourcing, production, and tracking.

Gerber Technology’s flagship product, YuniquePLM, a product lifecycle management software helps organizations synchronize the product line and financial plans, and maximize productivity of their design and development teams. “We help organizations to seamlessly communicate with their global vendors about their creative direction much earlier in the product lifecycle,” explains Elia. YuniquePLM enables designers to sketch out plans for colors and patterns for the upcoming season, allowing them to easily share information early in the development process. This data sharing process gives sourcing teams and vendors the sufficient time to carry out preliminary costing and textile process, which in turn help eliminate the need for designers to re-enter fabric specifications into another system later.
Countering Fierce Market Competition

In a fiercely competitive environment, the fashion and apparel companies are vying to increase sales and customer satisfaction, amidst the volatility in apparel retail and lack of visibility across supply chain and shop floor. In such a scenario, Gerber Technology supports such organizations by delivering a plethora of solutions and consulting services. The company has assisted a myriad of popular brands from all over the world untangle the intricacies associated with technology. To throw light on one of Gerber Technology’s customers’ success stories, ICICLE, a vertically-integrated firm committed to offering eco-friendly products, wanted to counter fierce market competition. Additionally, ICICLE wanted to efficiently manage its own designers, technical designers, product developers, and pattern makers. However, it was increasingly difficult for ICICLE to manage the entire product development process while importing high-quality, natural materials from all over the world.

For nearly half a century, we have been helping companies around the world develop, manufacture and take their products to market smarter, faster and more efficiently

ICICLE partnered with Gerber Technology to seek a solution that can help them improve overall management and product lines alongside enhancing pattern design, sample making, technical design, material procurement, costing, and supplier management. Gerber Technology assisted ICICLE through YuniquePLM’s expansive library of technical drawings, style images, concept images, and material images to promote collaboration and stay ahead of the design curve. Subsequently, ICICLE connected the business process with the creative process through YuniquePLM. “We were able to make the collaboration easier, thereby decreasing concept-to-prototype time,” says Elia.

"YuniquePLM, a product lifecycle management software helps organizations synchronize the product line and financial plans, and maximize productivity of their design and development teams"

Since implementing new enterprise-wide software platform affects all areas of business, Gerber Technology provides YuniquePLM business management and implementation as well as enterprise management and consulting services. “We emphasize on amassing the best practices from many successful PLM implementations we have managed,” says Elia, “And thus, we have developed a broad knowledge and deep expertise of the day-to-day product development process.”

Next Generation Pattern Design Software

Gerber Technology goes beyond resting on its past laurels and introduces effective products to fulfill the never-ending demands of fashion industry. The company’s innovative product— AccuMark 10.0—an intelligent pattern design is raising the bar for design, grading, marker making, and production planning. “This groundbreaking software solution helps organizations unleash their creative vision and streamline production process,” says Elia.

AccuMark 10.0 aids companies in saving significant time by automatically processing orders from beginning to end, fulfilling the highest production volume requirements, and importing CSV or XML cut files from the database of their choice. It also saves significant costs the customers have to incur by accurately estimating garment costs with flexible costing functionality and integrating with spreading and cutting systems to ensure faultless work order processing. “AccuMark 10.0’s pattern making tools help organizations validate patterns prior to production,” says Elia. “It easily defines and adds points of measurement, and manipulates the fabric image for matching purposes.” Additionally, AccuMark 10.0 allows the customers to improve collaboration by enabling them to share patterns, specifications, and instructions with colleagues and partners in any language. These measurements charts are exported to non- AccuMark users as TXT, CSV, or XLS files.

In order to help tailors and manufacturers of custom-fitted garments deliver perfectly fitting products in record time, Gerber Technology provides AccuMark Made-to-Measure (MTM). “This software offers real automation from pattern modification through advanced rule-based specifications and order creation,” briefs Elia. Moreover, AccuMark MTM delivers a range of benefits to the customers from accelerating delivery of custom garments, to simplifying business process, and increasing production efficiency. To create patterns, AccuMark MTM uses measurements that are derived from either high-tech, three-dimensional body scanners or traditional tape measures. The solution automatically generates and exports cut data by importing order information from various sources like mainframe computers or web pages. To help organizations generate markers automatically, maximizing productivity, and material utilization, AccuMark MTM also integrates with Gerber’s AccuNest automated marker making system.

Gerber Technology intends to continue its success spree in the coming days by harnessing the power of best-in-breed practices from around the world. “Drawing on a rich history of innovation, Gerber Technology’s leading-edge systems will continue to help customers outdo in the vehemently competitive market,” concludes Elia.

Gerber Technologies

Tolland, CT

Michael Elia, President and CEO

Provider of hardware and software systems to automate and effectively manage the product design and manufacturing processes