A Look Back on 2016, and a Look Forward into the New Year
2016 saw vast changes, both in the global community – politics, economies, and communities coming together to support those impacted by disaster (think Fort McMurray), were all massive stories, and within FDM4 – the launch of V15, employment growth, and web based developments. It is safe to say that consumption of news, broadcasted and written is on the rise.
With that, we thought it was time to take a closer look at some of the news stories coming out of FDM4.
The Launch of V15 –Browser-based ERP was one of the biggest advances to be rolled out by FDM4 this year. With an intuitive design and added features V15 has been providing clients who transitioned over with an enhanced user experience. Some of the biggest bonuses added to this version included Dashboards – a hub for users to view live, up to the minute data displayed in visually appealing graphs, and a user resource center, geared towards providing first level support to users in the form of docs and videos.
FDM4 participated in the MAGIC, PPAI, and ISS tradeshows this year, and invited attendees and current customers alike to join them at Kumi Japanese Restaurant – one of Las Vegas’ best hubs for socializing and networking, and Hyatt – a Lobby Bar based in Long Beach that provides venue goers with a chic atmosphere, both while enjoying tantalizing apps and cocktails.
Progress featured FDM4 in a case study as one of their leading partners – demonstrating that FDM4 really does think progressively.
As we look into the New Year we can see several big announcements coming up over the horizon.
FDM4 has announced the development stage of a browser-WMS – geared towards making the software companies need to operate more accessible than ever before. The TC8000 Touch Mobile Computer is the most revolutionary piece of warehouse equipment to launch this year. We are excited to be partnering with Zebra to offer customers a WMS system that works seamlessly with this hardware.
We will be visiting several tradeshows in the upcoming year – and offer both clients and prospects the opportunity to attend more exclusive events.
What companies in the Apparel & Hardgoods industries are assessing for 2017?
The Future of Trade Policy & Free Trade Agreements
The election of a new President always causes some uncertainty with regards to international trade. With a large amount of garment manufacturing taking place overseas many Apparel Manufacturers will be keeping a close eye on how current agreements will be affected this year so they can react quickly, and make adjustments in order to lessen the impact on their business.
With technological advances and the age of a global market, it is no wonder that the pace of change is something of concern to every industry. Trends have already begun to emerge, including the digitalization of supply chains, improving accessibility, and responsive designs able to adapt to the growing base of mobile users. Apparel Companies are constantly looking at emerging trends and how this will affect the different aspects of the Apparel Industry in order to ensure they are keeping pace with change and keeping customers.
Finding Opportunities for Growth
The McKinsey Global Fashion Index suggests that the fashion industry will grow by 2.5% to 3.5% in 2017. Considering the anticipated growth is only marginal, Apparel Distributors and Manufactures will be looking for creative ways to capture some of that growth – all while striving to increase revenue from existing clientele and reduce costs by operating more efficiently. One market where many in the Apparel industry are looking to grow is the Activewear or the ‘Athleisure’ segment which according to research firm NDP has an estimated market size of $44 billion in the US. We are excited to see many of our Customers already benefiting from the growth in this trending market.
Preparing for the Unexpected
The world around us is changing; politically, economically, and environmentally. As things change it is hard to predict where the global market is heading. Technology is advancing rapidly and keeping abreast of it can be daunting: look at Blackberry; affected by the success of the Android and iOS platforms, Blockbuster; killed by Netflix, and Kodak; shifting directions because of smartphones with embedded cameras. Rapid changes in technology will affect every industry, including Apparel, and the game changer for most in the industry will be the ability to adapt, to attract new markets as they arise, and to stay connected in a digital world.
While this all may seem daunting, companies who make partnerships with solutions providers who have both apparel and technology expertise, will have all the tools they needed to excel in 2017. There are more great things to come this year, both for us, and the world – so make sure to check our blog, social media feeds, and join our newsletter to keep in the know!