By Cassandra Balentine
The fashion industry benefits from software advancements and digital print technologies. The latest tools help designers automate, collaborate, visualize, and manage products easily throughout the product development process for better supply chain management and faster time to market.
Above: Cache Cache, part of Group Beaumanoir, works with advanced technological software solutions from Lectra to develop its apparel line. This includes 3D visualization software, Modaris 3D.
Founded in 1985, Group Beaumanoir is an European-based fashion retailer and solutions provider of logistics, ecommerce, consulting, and marketing for retail. The company has more than 2,850 sales points for its popular brands including Bonobo, Bréal, Cache Cache, Morgan, Scottage, and VIB’s. Created more than 35 years ago, its primary distribution center is located in Pleudihen-sur-Rance, France, close to its headquarters in St. Malo, France.
Group Beaumanoir partners with Lectra, an integrated technology solutions provider dedicated to industries using fabrics, leather, technical textiles, and composite materials to manufacture products. Of Lectra’s solutions, Group Beaumanoir utilizes Lectra Modaris, a fashion industry software solution for product development and pattern making designed to meet industry demands for shorter lead times, perfect fit, and streamlined development. The company also utilizes Lectra’s Diamino pre-costing and marker-making software solution.
While the company has partnered with Lectra for more than 15 years, in 2014 it turned to the technology solution provider’s 3D visualization software in search of a better way to envision and share prototypes for its Cache Cache brand.
Cache Cache is one of the retailer’s six fashion brands and is present in 21 countries with 14,000 collaborators worldwide including 1,500 stores located throughout France and across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Because it is part of a global operation with more than 2,700 stores nationally and internationally, competent supply chain management—starting from product development—is essential to its continued success.
Group Beaumanoir looked into Lectra Modaris 3D virtual prototyping software specifically for Cache Cache and decided to invest with a goal of saving time, reducing the number of samples produced, and increasing its volume of products for the womenswear brand.
As an existing Modaris user, the 3D virtual prototyping solution was appealing. Therefore, Modaris 3D was implemented in design offices located in St. Malo as well its Shanghai, China office.
Lectra created Modaris 3D to provide true collaboration through shared visualization. The company says its product development solutions are designed to give control early on in the product lifecycle to help manage costs and volume fluctuations. Lectra adds that 3D virtual prototyping shortens the fashion product development cycle by reducing the need for time-consuming physical samples, manual grading, and physical fitting sessions.
3D Product Creation
Group Beaumanoir’s St. Malo office is where the creation and development of Cache Cache products occurs. With Modaris 3D, the company reacts rapidly to evolving demand from its customers and suppliers. The technology allows its stylists and product managers to easily collaborate and make choices while on the same screen based on 3D prototyping.
While the Modaris 3D solution was first rolled out for dresses, it was soon extended across all of Cache Cache’s collections. A decision the fashion company says was driven by the reduction in the number of prototypes possible. Manufacturing for the brand is sub-contracted out to a network of suppliers, so by replacing the need for physical prototypes with virtual prototypes, exchanges between the design office and sub-contractors are simplified to save time, materials, and reducing stock—enabling high response rates.
Claude Pigearias, product officer expertise, and process director, and Jeannine Guillaume, technical manager, Cache Cache, explain that with a sketch from a designer, the model maker creates a pattern in Modaris 3D. The correct fabric is selected in the Modaris 3D software, which is used to create a virtual sample. When the virtual sample is ready, it is sent to the designer and product manager for approval. Once a virtual sample is approved, including the pattern and technical files, they are sent to the supplier to create the first physical sample.
Modaris 3D has improved the collaboration between model maker, designer, and product manager. The company plans to continue to use Modaris 3D and create more virtual samples.
“Highly responsive, Cache Cache is permanently adapting to developments in fashion across its many markets,” shares Guillaume. “3D is the right choice for our brand. By advancing more quickly at the product development stage, our teams have more time to dedicate to new creative ideas. In addition, we achieve considerable all-round savings thanks to improved exchanges between our suppliers.”
While Group Beaumanoir greatly benefits from the 3D prototyping solution, the deployment of the software did not come without challenges. When Modaris 3D was first implemented, Pigearias and Guillaume say they worked to improve the quality of the virtual sample to obtain a result that was as close to the actual product as possible.
Additionally, Pigearias and Guillaume explain that while all of the fashion company’s products are well suited for product development with Modaris 3D virtual prototyping software, some finishes are not very visible in the virtual sample.
With 3D prototyping software, Cache Cache and Group Beaumanoir—major contributors of the accessible fashion market in France—are able to move quickly through product development, allowing for a quicker time to market. It also brings cost savings due to a more seamless process for supplier communications.
Mar2018, Industrial Print Magazine