1. How well are you prepared to elevate yourself digitally?
There are two aspects of it: Mentally; our mindset, and actual resources.
1. Mentally we are 100% elevated and always ahead; thinking outside the box and a must for quite a few years now to facilitate coordination between our offices in Dubai, the Hague and HQ in India.
• In terms of actual action and resources we have inclined ourselves and have virtually adapted for professional showroom meetings with the right camera and speaker equipment, in fact, with upgraded bandwidth virtual meetings are now totally seamless as if were in the same room with the other meeting participants.
• In terms of product, sample presentation also we go for professional photo and video shoots every month as complemented by regular virtual showroom meetings.
For sample development we are using 3D design proposals with the help of suppliers for now, and to see observe how it is perceived by customers. It certainly helps us establish design understanding, colours, fit, embroidery placement to nail a perfect proto sample in one go.
• IN sampling / design aspects closed by us by making CAD’s. Development stage and the presentation of new design collections. It is a very powerful tool as you reach out with same sample to so many clients at the same time as compared to the past when one sample would be stuck with one buyer or salesperson for
• Sample communication at merchandising stage – with the suppliers and to the extent they have 3 D design, only around 20% do and use it well.
• Fit closures via virtual meetings
• Production sample approval by uploading all relevant information on a web portal / extranet of the buyer.
2. What major challenges you are facing in the current times in terms of technology?
The mindset to change and evolve – some embrace, for others scarcity kicks in; the fear of modern technology replacing job. Finding the right educated team to handle it in the SMARTEST WAY – especially when it comes to 3D design.
• The right equipment comes with a price tag and not everyone can afford to invest in that now when the general business scenario is less.
3. How can you become more digitally advanced and become a preferred sourcing partner for your vendor?
At Continuum, we do all sample patterns in-house and share digitized patterns with factories to help them speeding up samples and saving manpower in pattern making. Saves supplier from rough fit and misunderstandings.
• We embrace the virtual meetings and are always available to resolve any issues questions via zoom meetings – with suppliers and internally, quickly pulling in who is really needed in a meeting without wasting hours in commuting.
• We assist with CAD’s to help factories understand sample execution better for a specific customer. We aim to serve information to factories on silver platter, and this way we also ensure that our unique, beautiful product handwriting will be transmitted and not be diluted.
4. How fast a company can become digitally viable and independent?
• Digital and traditional work process will run parallel to each other in the “new normal”. One will not replace another.
• There will be no set formula that can be applied on all brands, customers and buying agents – it will be customized according to expectations, mindset / willingness to advance and financial resources and ability.
• What matters is to just start, take a first step and get going and always keep moving, never stagnate. Be engaged as an owner, and build professional team which is not necessarily your son or daughter.
• To eventually transform each the set goals, it requires right mindset, some financial resources to invest in the right equipment and not least the right skilled people and a lot of grit.
It is always messy in the middle and gorgeous in the end!
Contributed By Linda Augustsson, Founder & Owner of Continuum Buying Agency