By Ashish Gurnani
With more and more startups foraying into the online space, the technology made available to us and the kind of innovation flooding the market is increasing by the day. Things are becoming more and more convenient for both the companies and the consumers. In the garment manufacturing space, online startups have brought in a revolutionary change in how the industry functions not only at the mass producing level but also for small time business owners.
Cut down on expenditure without a physical retail space
Any retail space, no matter the size, requires a certain amount of inventory, investment in terms of infrastructure and display and staffing. All these things require constant investment and planning. It isn’t something that you can switch overnight in case one feels it’s not a good fit or something that’s a burden on the resources of the company.
The online space provides the freedom from such restrictions and allows a more dynamic and free-flowing approach to retail where we can choose to sell in a different manner to each consumer that interacts with us. It’s personalised, direct and requires a fraction of the budget than that of a retail space. Also, any retail space requires a minimum budget to run, while the money spent on the virtual space is dynamic and can be altered as per the available resources and needs.
No middlemen reduce the burden on costs
The cost of production and the eventual cost of making it available to the consumer falls on the customer. In such cases, the easiest way to cut costs and keep the prices minimal is by reducing or entirely removing the middlemen involved in the chain. Online startups are a great platform where they help manufacturers to sell better at the same or possibly even lower prices. With the need for middlemen eliminated, the prices are more transparent, like at PostFold, and the company can provide better quality and better designs at similar prices. Whereas earlier one was indirectly paying the middlemen, now they solely pay for the product directly.
More effective and efficient cycle of production
With these startups bringing in newer, better and more affordable technology, the room to innovate and grow is also expanding for all. From low-wastage manufacturing to seamless inventory management, the ideas created have helped the manufacturers to save time and sometimes even money, which in turns helps them focus better on the quality of production over other menial logistical issues.
Better interaction with customers helps the manufacturing process
With a reduced number of middlemen, the manufacturers now have a more direct interaction with the consumer. This enables them to know what the consumers like and want, and what styles they don’t like and why. Even though the sales volumes are a direct indicator of what styles do well, the direct interaction lets the manufacturers understand why some styles do better than the rest. For example, globally some trend might be doing great as per there design research, but the direct interaction with the local market might paint a different picture where women in India might not be as open to trying out the trend. In our case, being online has helped us build very personal rapport and a bond of trust with our customers.
While the startup scene in India is seeing a boom, the garment manufacturing industry is also switching gears with it. Lead times are declining, new technology is taking over, and what’s made available to the consumer is now the largest it has ever been—all available at the tap of a finger. We have been a proud part of this boom and only see it grow further in the years to come. And hopefully, the billion dollar garment industry as we know it today would have grown exponentially.
Ashish Gurnani is the co-founder of Postfold.
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