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The right technology can save you money

October 17th, 2018 / By: / Category: Expo News

Trying to figure out which technology can save a business money can be confusing given all the options available. In his Oct. 17 Expo session, “Using Technology to Improve the Bottom Line,” Mark Stiver, manager of ecommerce, strategy and analytics for Trivantage, gave a high-level view of the primary types of technology available to specialty fabrics companies, and a general strategy for how, why and when to adopt them.

Stiver says the key impacts of technology on business include increased mobility, connectivity that allows different tools to communicate, increased efficiency and scalability. The major benefits of technology include saving time, reducing mistakes and increasing sales.

Depending on the size and goals of the company, Stiver suggests a gradual investment in technology in three phases moving from the least to most costly in terms of financial investment and training:

Phase One: Project Management and Visualization

Project Management software lets you track each stage of production and track actual costs rather than estimated costs.

Visualization software allows you to render a project realistically to show customers a project and doesn’t require specialized CAD knowledge or extensive training.

Phase Two: Measuring and Estimation

Measuring technology allows you to save time, increases the accuracy of measuring complex shapes and guarantees one visit to a job site. Using estimation software to estimate labor and materials can save time, reduce waste and encourage a more accurate understanding of real costs.

Phase Three: Patterning and Layout; Fabric Cutting and Marking; and Extrusion Cutting

Digitizing patterns allows you to create 2-D patterns for cutting tables and large-format printers. It allows you to optimize fabric, reduce waste and save the file for future use. Fabric cutting and marking technology is quite expensive, but it can have the largest impact on efficiency. Extrusion cutting, which includes an automated cutter and software for measuring and more, optimizes cutting and reduces waste.

Stiver says deciding on which investments in technology to make and when to do it depends on a company’s product line, growth goals, annual sales volume and more.