“The biggest opportunities for big companies has come by far in the digitization of internal processes.” Jack welch
We are living a period of change – of uncertainty about the present and future of the industry, but at the same time a period in which we have realized the fundamental importance of digitization throughout the entire supply chain of fashion, luxury and beauty companies.
According to the latest update of the McKinsey and BOF report, it is estimated that around 20% of fashion and luxury consumers will move to online channels after the Covid-19 crisis, due to social distancing that will be maintained for months, globally. It is evident that most of the major players in the industry have already moved a large part of their efforts to digital platforms in the last two months. However, it is not exclusively about communication and purchase channels, but also about fully reinforcing the product lifecycle, and, very particularly, the management of brand assets – physical or digital – to obtain the highest efficiency during a new scenario in which any movement can impact profitability.
Managing brand assets can be complex, especially for large companies with numerous teams involved. From the moment a sample is designed until the first prototypes are produced, it passes through the merchandising and purchasing team, then to photography, eCommerce, PR, and Showroom departments… There are multiple steps through which the risks of loss of information or physical samples, and the delay in launching to market can represent a great cost for the company. For the sales team of a global brand, for example, it is estimated that delays in launching collections to market can amount to up to $1.8 million in losses.
Digital asset management: An essential component of the new industry landscape
As illustrated, in the midst of a crisis that has changed the way that consumers connect with brands, managing brand assets through digital solutions has become key. This is not only because online assets have become the only way to launch collections to the professional public and final consumer, but also because the monitoring and analysis throughout the product lifecycle offers crucial information. Information that helps brands understand the use, impact, and potential opportunity of each sample, which is translated into fast and effective decision making.
Below, we list the four main scenarios in which effective brand asset management through a digital management system, benefits the activity of fashion and retail companies throughout the product lifecycle:
1. Accelerating and optimizing the exchange of information between departments
There are many teams within a fashion and retail company that manage product information on a daily basis. Productivity is essential but so is having a synchronized, unique, and standard information workflow for all teams involved. Samples enter and leave departments more quickly – through barcode scanning systems or smart RFID tags -, the photography team receives samples and products much earlier in order to produce digital assets, the eCommerce team is able to launch these collections online faster, and the showroom or PR department can quickly distribute the collection’s galleries through the press and professional audience… In conclusion: the launch-to-market is much more agile.
A digital asset management software facilitates the flow of information, increases team productivity, and maintains greater control over each sample and product, its location, and its destination.
2. Easily share new collections and products with journalists and industry professionals
“By creating a cultural fashion platform, we are tailoring digital innovation to better suit our current needs. We are working on something that can be a global showcase for the future.” Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC) said a few weeks ago after announcing that the next edition of London Fashion Week will be held in a virtual format.
It seems that physical events, at least for some time, won’t be an option for launching collections. Consumers will tend to move to online channels for purchase, but what about the professional audience? Communicating collections and campaigns to the press, buyers, stylists, and other professional profiles will continue to be necessary in order to maximize reach. Therefore the use of digital galleries or virtual showrooms is another mandatory step that this global crisis has forced.
GPS Radar is a “window” to the international professional audience that has allowed companies to create their own profile to upload image galleries, press releases, news, and events. In 2006 we launched this platform to support relations between professionals and designers during New York Fashion Week. And now, today, the digital space will be the only way of communication between the two.
Take a look at the below video tutorial of GPS Radar in order to understand how to get started. And, if you are a brand, designer, journalist, buyer, or stylist, register with us on the platform, since it is free and accessible to any industry professional!
3. Maximizing editorial and sales opportunities through online management of your digital assets
As previously mentioned, digitally managing all the processes carried out by a fashion or retail business offers a great opportunity for controlling every step of the supply chain. Delays in the entry of a sample or the loss of products are much more unlikely and therefore, makes it easier for a team – such as PR – to cover a greater number of editorial opportunities. If, in addition, the virtual showroom offers journalists the possibility of making their requests through a single platform, without the need of endless email chains…even better.
4. Measuring and analyzing digital asset management
It may not be the most valued benefit, but it is the most impactful for strategic business decisions. Keeping your entire brand asset management system digitized represents a large amount of internal information collected that you can use to understand the different stages your product or samples go through. From analyzing production issues at certain points in the supply chain to measuring the interest that your collections generate: the most viewed, downloaded product images, the most requested products, etc.
All of this information will allow the executive and business teams make more precise decisions – something that is critical for optimizing internal processes or anticipating the production of present and future collections.
Do you want to know more about digital asset management or brand asset management? Download our eBook with the 5 Reasons to build a digital showroom.