The apparel industry has seen a shift towards a more digitized business model, both as a result of needing to pivot from in-store to online quickly during 2020, as well as to build a more robust and resilient supply chain and engage customers virtually during a time when in-person retail was severely limited.
The past year and a half we’ve seen a lot of innovative solutions for apparel manufacturing and retail. Some of these technologies, such as virtual fit tools and AI body scanning technologies, are also leveraged by the uniform manufacturing sector to help create a more efficient production process that also improves product allocation, reduces raw material wastage and unnecessary production through data-backed actionable insights.
Bold Metrics has spent the past eight years developing AI Body Scanning technologies to help brands fit customers accurately, safely and quickly. We speak with Jeff Mergy, The VP of Product at Bold Metrics, to find out just how its technology is helping uniform manufacturers build a better business, improve margins and create less textile waste.
- Uniform manufacturers have the difficult task of producing large quantities of apparel in the same style while also needing to provide sufficient sizing options to meet demand. What are some of the other challenges when it comes to fit and sizing, specifically for uniforms?
Traditionally it’s a timely process that has involved mass try-on events, and when those aren’t possible employees guess based on what sizes they typically wear. A wrong guess and a company needs a replacement… which causes the business to over-order to support bad fits. Some businesses have required uniform companies to physically measure employees… again, a very lengthy process and expensive to support. The arrival of the COVID in 2020 really changed the ability for uniform companies to support businesses as they had done in years past.
2. How does Bold Metrics technology help? What specific technology solution does Bold Metrics have to address the issue.
Bold Metrics can help with both custom made uniforms and ready to wear uniforms. Our Virtual Tailor can provide the body measurements a human would have taken in the past. The Virtual Sizer and / or Smart Size Chart can take those measurements and map them to the product information so that a worker can select their best size. Not only is this convenient for the business, but it’s easy on the workers. The data can be stored in a system, so that when new uniforms come out or are required, the business already knows the workers size.
3. Is there more than one solution?
Bold Metrics uses years of experience developing AI and Machine Learning models based on body scans and survey questions. This approach is scalable and highly accurate. There are other solutions out there that may require a worker to change into tight clothing and take a photo. These have proven to be cumbersome for the workers and also require more time. Data security is also a factor.
4. Is Bold Metrics currently working with any uniform manufacturing clients? If so, what kind of results have these brands/companies seen since the implementation of BMI tech?
We work with a fire-fighter suit company, FireDex. Prior to launching Bold Metrics Virtual Sizer for custom fire suit fittings the sales reps would need to visit each station with a van full of suits. Today this is done completely virtual and the results have been fantastic.
5. In terms of how customers interact with the technology, has it enriched the client experience in any way?
I think it makes it easier on everyone at the start and even easier for the clients in the future because now they have accurate data on what sizes to order whenever they need to replace or update uniforms.
6. What are some of the challenges for uniform companies when implementing a virtual fitting solution?
Anytime you do something for the first time there are unforeseen issues that can arise. The challenge is in doing business a new way from what they are used to. But once they get everything set up they realize the benefits and wonder what took them so long.
7. What are the benefits of using Bold Metrics technology?
Bold Metrics provides a scalable, customizable and simple way to accurately obtain the body measurements or size of the employees wearing the uniforms. This data can be stored by the client for sure orders and can be used to onboard new accounts more quickly and accurately… reducing excess inventory and returns for fit issues.
Find out more at www.boldmetrics.com