How DXM makes apparel production fast, efficient and scalable.

Carhartt customization DXM BMI 1
We speak with Josh Boddiford, CTO of DXM, to find out how DXM is developing a patent-pending industry standard.
 

DXM is transforming the apparel industry with an open SaaS platform that allows localized, on-demand manufacturing. Brands, retailers, and creators use the DXM platform to offer highly individualized apparel, footwear, and more and build brand loyalty while eliminating unnecessary waste.

We speak with Josh Boddiford, CTO of DXM, to find out how the company is developing a patent-pending industry standard.

 

Josh boddiford dxm carhartt (1)

1: What was your biggest challenge when you started at DXM 

When I started working with the DXM Team, I had yet to learn what was involved in making any of the clothes we wear. I'm one of those guys who, when I find a brand that fits me well, I'd buy 3 of each color shirt or shorts and don't go shopping again for a few years.

So, deep diving into the clothing industry, how clothing is designed, and how that translates to manufacturing them was a fun challenge.

I visited clothing brands and learned about how tech packs convey the design and details of a product and how the digital patterns for those products are created. I also toured many manufacturing facilities to learn about the people, processes, and equipment that work in unison to make these complex garments.

What I found from that research was the missing link in most complex processes.... so we created and patented it! The "DXM Standard," as we call it, was born from that 18 months of research.


  1. What is the value DXM’s capabilities provide brands beyond speed to market?

We have created a standardized way for a designer, a brand, their customer, and the manufacturer to communicate their requirements for a product. We take all the inputs from those sources, create the digital assets, and transmit them to the manufacturer anywhere in the world in under 60 seconds. 

This all-digital standard maps a customer's preferences and body/fit data and generates all of the digital assets required for the manufacturer to make that product. Digital pattern files can be sent to a fabric cutter, the panels are cut and sewn, and the embroidery files are sent directly to the embroidery machine with color and stitch details ready to go. 


  1. How will the industry transform in the next 3-5 years? Will MTO / customization be a model that apparel brands increasingly pivot towards not so much out of choice but as a necessity?

The competitors in the apparel industry will continue to complement the bulk offerings with MTO/customized products. We expect that it will grow as brands understand how to understand better and manage costs and delivery.  The benefits of MTO/Customization are clear: providing consumers with the product they want, lower returns on MTO, lower markdown costs in aggregate, better speed and agility, and better sustainability via make-for-you and local production.


Speed to market in a more sustainable way

A technology (SaaS) and manufacturing (MaaS) platform, DXM connects the consumer to commerce and links up a company’s supply chain to shorten lead times. 

With process flexibility as an option, the company helps brands streamline information to error-proof the process and cut down on excess inventory and waste. Leveraging actionable data effectively lets DXM enable companies to quickly test and react to optimize their inventory even as they improve sustainability efforts.

 

How?

DXM enables brands, retailers, and creators to custom fit, personalize, co-create or test products and optimize inventory with delivery in days through the following solutions.


Configurable User Interface

A 2D/3D model of the product gives the consumer a user interface to make choices like what fabric to use, color options, pocket placement, and embroidery options.


Virtual Tailoring - where Bold Metrics comes in

Bold Metrics’ industry-leading AI Body Modeling technology is one of the tools that power DXM’s body data capture so consumers can leverage Artificial Intelligence to capture accurate measurements and get the right fit.


Digital Pattern Creation

The company’s proprietary pattern engine will generate all the digital assets required for manufacturing.


Scalable, Sustainable Manufacturing

DXM’s best-in-class manufacturing partners produce locally and sustainably, with a "unit of one" or small batch for the test market, with the capability to scale and meet demand.

“Bold Metrics' experience and fit data have added tremendous value for DXM and our customers. Tapping into the virtual tailoring that Bold Metrics offers allows DXM customers to be size-inclusive, something that many in the industry struggle with when balanced against excess inventory issues. Consumer feedback tells us that offering products for all body types are important. MTO and Customization can only work if brands can access "fit" data and tools. This is where the collaboration with DXM and Bold Metrics can help shape industry change.”

 

- Josh Boddiford, CTO, DXM

 

Use case: Carhartt X DXM

Carhartt customization DXM BMI 2Carhartt teamed up with DXM to create a personalization process for key items that members of their community could test out and customize according to their individual needs.

Carhartt wanted to provide its dedicated group of consumer product testers - the Carhartt Crew, with personalization options to meet its different needs. 

To achieve this at scale, Carhartt partnered with DXM, to create localized on-demand manufacturing in a pilot program that allows the Carhartt Crew community to customize select workwear items from the comfort of their homes. The pilot was so successful that it is now live on the Carhartt site, allowing anyone to design their own unique Carhartt piece.

Customizable elements accounted for work function and usage type and included: 

  • Fit and fabric
  • Pockets
  • Utility bands
  • Safety elements (protection layers) 
  • Hammer loop
  • Size

The DXM customization software was integrated directly into the Carhartt website to ensure a seamless user experience. Crucially, fit and sizing were an important part of the process. The personalized fit experience addressed customer demands for a wider range of sizes and more customized fit options. With Bold Metrics powering the fit experience, customers could get accurate fit recommendations based on what would fit them best, along with personal fit preferences.

 

Carhartt experience new SSC survey

 Carhartt experience new SSCBold Metrics AI sizing solutions help customers find their ideal fit quickly, accurately, and from the comfort of their homes—creating a smooth online experience when personalizing apparel items.

 A recent Forbes article covering the pilot program highlighted the level of personalization the partnership presented and the instant value-add for Carhartt’s customers.

“One advantage of customization is that it allows the company to offer specific size cuts for its most popular products. For example, a pant traditionally offered in inseam sizes of 32 or 34 can now be ordered in size 33.” - Alex Guerrero, senior vice president and general manager of global products, Carhartt.

As one of the partners that powers fit on the platform, Bold Metrics solutions is part of the technology helping to connect customers to their ideal size in their preferred fit. With a simple online survey, customers get accurate and almost instantaneous results from the comfort of their homes. No need to step into a changing room or use a measuring tape.

Bold Metrics industry-leading AI solutions are fast, accurate, and easy to use. Our solutions power fit at brands like Canada Goose, Men's Wearhouse, and UpWest, to name a few, and helps apparel brands and retailers reduce average return rates by 32% while boosting conversion by 20% on average.

 

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