You can’t bring the perfect product to market without creating samples and prototypes first. Creating high-quality prototypes is critical for selling products to retailers, getting internal approvals, and reaching buy-ins for a project to go into production.
However, for many manufacturers and product companies, an antiquated digital asset management process gets in the way and slows down the design cycle by forcing users to move information about the product between disconnected systems and across functional boundaries.
Speeding up product delivery is key to consistently delivering finished products to retailers and reducing costs. But how can you speed up delivery without affecting quality? The answer is by speeding up the design process. McKinsey estimates that digital product design can shorten the fashion cycle by up to three weeks.
Digital product design makes the design process more streamlined by giving designers access to thousands of materials, alongside information like pricing, availability, and specifications. In 2020, smarter Product Asset Management is essential for maximizing productivity.
The Typical Ad-Hoc Design Process: Long Cycles, Low Visibility
For many designers, designing products is a slow process that’s frequently disrupted by downstream teams. When we talked to large consumer goods companies about product delivery, many companies reported long development cycles and a lack of visibility into available materials as significant challenges faced during product design.
Some of the challenges companies reported were:
- Change requests hurt profitability - When a retailer makes a change request, it takes time and money to action the request (particularly when relying on slow manual processes).
- New samples required for every alteration - Each alteration requires new samples. One apparel manufacturer reported three to four-week delays for each new sample created.
- Difficult to stay on top of new trends - Digital native brands and “Fast fashion” retailers can get products on store shelves without physically displaying sample merchandise for sell-in.
One company that we spoke to noted that the process for creating new samples was very convoluted and expensive. The company had samples manufactured overseas, followed by design fitting and alterations. A sample dress shirt cost $100, and designers had to wait 3-4 weeks for ideas to be finalized.
For these companies, the Product Asset Management process was the only way forward to speed up design, prototyping, and sell-in. Nuxeo’s smart unified platform approach would be critical for getting these products to market faster and taking pressure off designers.
A Designer-Friendly Design Process with Digital Prototyping
Creating physical samples and prototypes is a process that relies on handoffs and approvals to review designs. It is these handoffs and approvals that create confusion for designers and slow down product development. The Nuxeo Platform fast-tracks prototype creation with a central digital materials library.
The materials library enables designers to add new materials to designs via drag-and-drop. The platform also automatically verifies the availability of materials throughout the digital supply chain.
At the same time, Nuxeo Platform resolves the inefficiencies typical of the approvals process by allowing users to collaborate on designs within the platform, and to build custom review workflows via a low-code environment. A designer can share previews of designs for review and approval, and downstream teams can use built-in annotation to add feedback.
Future-Proof: Digital Samples and Digital Showrooming
The high cost and inconvenience of developing samples through physical processes have driven many manufacturers to adopt digital samples and prototyping. Many manufacturers opt to render 3D designs instead of physical objects to save time.
The Nuxeo Platform supports these companies with search filtering so they can view material data, such as:
- Whether a material is waterproof
- And more
The Nuxeo Platform also includes digital showrooming, which enables manufacturers to work with retail partners to manage design iterations through a product portal. Digital showrooms also offer an engaging, on-brand way to highlight new products to retail customers. It’s fast and efficient, which accelerates project delivery.
Take Control with Digital Product Design
Every product company has a different product design process. That’s why we made the Nuxeo Platform highly-configurable with a low-code development environment, Nuxeo Studio), so you can do Product Asset Management your way.
We believe you should have complete control over how you take your products to market. Our goal isn’t to just help you deliver products faster, but to make your designers and downstream teams happier and more productive.
Whether you need to manage physical or digital samples and prototypes, the Nuxeo Platform is ready to help you create and iterate sample designs faster. That means fewer reworks and more profit.
Want to find out how you can use Nuxeo to develop products faster and reduce costs? Visit https://www.nuxeo.com/strategies/accelerate/ today to discover how we can help.