ASBCI Conference: A Digital-first Future

GSD were recently represented at the ASBCI spring conference by Glenn Littlewood, Commercial Director for Coats Global Services. The theme of the conference was “Digital Revolution – Virtually taking over fashion”, at which the ASBCI invited the global apparel industries most successful and innovative professionals to discuss the changing digital landscape, highlight relevant and effective technologies available and give invaluable insight as to how it can and should be implemented and applied to the industry.

Collaborate to work smarter.

During his talk Glenn emphasised how critical it is for businesses to commit to the digital future to speed up product development; thus ensuring design to delivery times become more closely aligned with customer expectations.

“Competition has never been as intense as it is now”, Glenn Littlewood Commercial Director for Coats Global Services, told attendees at the conference. “People always talk about the Amazon threat and what they are doing about it but critically, of all the brands and retailers we talk to, a lot are unprepared from an investment point of view for being able to compete with these sorts of organisations”.

“Brands and manufacturers have to commit to doing things digitally, and that has to start with killing Excel. We’ve got to get to the point where analogue is the opposite of digital.


We’ve got to challenge our mindset, our thought processes and our internal processes and accept there has got to be a better digital way of managing our processes going forward.”


“That said, there are plenty of companies pushing forward. Pioneers like Adidas are near-shoring using automation and robotics, looking at IoT from a customer and store point of view. There is also an increasing use of 3D and digital printing in bulk, RFID and voice-assisted technology”.


“The pure plays are winning because they have an advanced business and sourcing model that, for the most part, is based around data”, Littlewood explains, “to compete, retailers and brands need visibility and collaboration up and down the supply chain, and that means investment in digital platforms. Data is the currency of the digital fashion business, and catering for the new worldwide market depends on the brand’s is ability to make use of it. Working smarter is a critical part of end-to-end approach”.


5th May 2018

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