Most people think of quality assurance as inspection and testing of the finished product. However, it really begins much earlier.
The product’s life-cycle starts from the moment an order is placed with the supplier - beginning with specs indicating which raw materials are to be used by the mills, and the required process to construct the fabric, through to the manufacturer, the shipping, and every step in between.
It’s a 360-degree approach, according to Stephane Boivin, Founder, and CEO of Pivot88.
Founded in 2009, Pivot88 is a full suite of cloud-based supply chain quality management tools. They are present in 38 countries, with the software available in eight languages and used by over 5,000 factories.
Measuring What Matters
“One of the challenges buyers face in this fast-paced world is the ability to process vast amounts of data, and not only that but to know what to look for and understand the facts you’re being presented with, in order to make the right decisions,” Mr. Boivin told Inside Fashion.
Equipped with the right tools, this process can be turned from chaos to confidence. The right software can supply the user with analysis and actionable data, allowing buyers to make informed decisions with confidence.
A leader in the sector, Pivot88 is not just a software company, but a processes-first business, with change-management and best practices embedded in the program, taking its users through a step-by-step process from the get-go.
In terms of supplier relations, most countries have come a long way in the last decade. Even though dealing with some factories in countries can still prove difficult, the overall landscape is a lot more transparent and relations have improved on a global scale.
Still managing an increasingly complex supply chain – in terms of the number of styles, seasons, shorter lead times, and much higher compliance standards – is putting a lot more pressure on buyers.
Machine Learning Drives Better Decisions
Machine Learning, more commonly referred to as artificial intelligence, is one of the fastest growing global technology trends. It is also being adopted by the quality assurance sector.
The technology is used in a number of ways - from recognition software, to identifying fabric and product defects, as well as color matching, and pattern inspection, to software analytics, helping users make better decisions now and in the future.
This is where Pivot88 really shines as they strive to take advantage of the most advanced technology combined with their vast experience, and up to date compliance and best practices knowledge.
Among a plethora of its state-of-the-art tools, providing actionable (real-time) data, Pivot88 is the only software also able to provide ROI information. This allows users to track their investment activity, and make the required adjustments, to ensure future investments are even more profitable.
In a real user case, Under Armour - with 259 factories and over 300 thousand products shipped on a yearly basis - were able to increase the number of annual inspections from 875 to 143,976 - a 300% difference. They also experienced an increase of 22% in on-time delivery.
Sustainability is an ever-evolving trend driven by consumer expectations and demand for information about the product’s origin and manufacturing process. This is another area where manufacturers and brands now need to monitor both raw materials and process to be sure that they meet new higher criteria.
“The success of your business depends on your ability to solve problems in the most efficient manner, but Pivot88 has taken this one step further, we want to help you prevent them from happening in the first place,” said Mr. Boivin.
“Whether your brand is small or large, you need to equip yourself with tools, which will allow you to run your business more efficiently, to support your decision-making, meet compliance, and help you identify future opportunities,” he added.