Micro-Factories are the Next Manufacturing Trend

By CIOReview | Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Traditional textile manufacturing is witnessing a transition. Manufacturers can choose from multiple technological options to achieve sustainable growth. The conventional textile business model is best suited for mass production which carries intensive risk. Manufacturers are shifting to a lighter footprint of the textile micro-factory where printing and manufacturing are on demand. This process minimizes stock and the risks associated with it.

The traditional textile workflow doesn’t meet the demand of the millennial marketplace. In the conventional model, the manufacturer takes a design and creates a product in large quantities generating huge stocks to meet retail demand. This model seems simple, but it is fraught with risk at every turn.

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The manufacturer and the retailer are exposed to risks such as speed to market, the value of the stock, or something as simple as consumer relevance. The fashion market has faced these economic difficulties continuously. Textile manufacturers cannot use this model to predict the outturn of their investment as this model leads to reduced yields and offers minimal returns on investment. The dynamics of this model consists of slightly growing profits while stocks are increasing at the same time. The unsold inventory becomes a burden to the manufacturer, and the historically dead stock has zero return on investment resulting in a loss.

The new micro-factory business model is a digital textile revolution. Technologies such as augmented reality software, laser cutting, and online workflow allow an organization to be lean in its consumption of resources. The main difference between a traditional model and a micro-factory model is “Sell, Produce, Deliver,” whereas the traditional model follows “Produce, Sell, Deliver.”  In the modern system, the product is produced after the sale has been made online. The client selects, buys, and pays for their product way before the product is manufactured. Fast image processing, computerized workflow, digital printing and cutting, computerized sewing and dispatching allows a manufacturer to deliver in 24 hours.

The return on investment is predictable. The company will have no overstocks, no credits, fast speed to market and in the end, increased profits. This business model is quick, light on risk, and boosts optimum use of resources, and scalable in modules to suit business size. Micro-factory offers the solution to the millennial consumer demands. The AI-driven model provides an infinite range of design and products to the consumers and further provides a sustainable and profitable environment.

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