The current state of disruption in the global apparel industry presents a huge opportunity for Bangladeshi manufacturers to secure a larger share of the global RMG export market.
A recent webinar hosted by Serai discussed how manufacturers can attract new business by enhancing their digital presence and effectively showcasing their products, capabilities, and credentials online.
Serai is also helping manufacturers build their online profiles for free. Interested companies can sign up here.
What do international buyers look for in a manufacturer?
Although the industry has a relatively low digital quotient, apparel supply chains in 2020 are changing dramatically, largely driven by a rapid acceleration of digital tools. This adoption of technology has started to influence buyers' sourcing strategies and is changing what attributes they look for in a manufacturer. Three primary considerations a buyer would have are innovation, technology, and transparency.
Product innovation is key for manufacturers to differentiate themselves, but the process is equally important. A willingness to innovate and invest in new technology to improve manufacturing processes is something buyers value highly. Furthermore, developing the technical skills of their workforce and investing in R&D are key activities that are perceived to be necessary for all manufacturers to stay relevant over time.
Technology enhances collaboration and can help strengthen relationships. Sharing information digitally and embracing technologies such as 3D sampling is essential for manufacturers. Suppliers, too, need digital capabilities to facilitate co-creation and the design of products.
A good digital profile can help manufacturers showcase their capabilities, certifications, and compliance standards and match these to the needs of the buyer. A degree of industry openness will help both sides identify the right partners. Buyers are increasingly screening information on sustainability, compliance, and capacity when choosing a manufacturer, and transparency on the manufacturers' side facilitates this process.
Manufacturers looking for international buyers must make technology work for them and not the other way around. This can require a change in mindset and can be achieved by making the technology extremely user-friendly and leveraging it to be agile and nimble.
Digital transformation is not just about the tools but getting people to change their thinking. Part of this is understanding the unique brand-building opportunities that online methods offer to manufacturers. For example, digitising and promoting a product through a high-resolution flatbed scanner to recreate fabric texture or 360-degree photography to examine a garment, both of which can be shared online.
Finding the right tools to build a digital presence
Showcasing is the point of connection for manufacturers and buyers, and digitising this process will help increase transparency. Even smaller manufacturers with fewer resources can professionally showcase their business and promote their products and innovations, if given access to the proper tools and the right training.
This is where platforms like Serai which was built to help suppliers build and amplify their digital presence, can help manufacturers around the world. At a time when buyers are expecting to see a full range of information to quickly gauge what a supplier can offer; Serai provides the flexibility for manufacturers to showcase their points of differentiation.
The company also launched a free initiative in November to help Bangladeshi apparel manufacturers build strong digital profiles. The initiative has received over 300 registrations from manufacturers and buyer sourcing offices in Dhaka so far.
Working closely with the BGMEA to support Bangladeshi apparel manufacturers in securing a larger share of the global market, the initiative connects local manufacturers with digital agencies in Dhaka, who will create marketing assets to promote their businesses online. The agencies will produce promotional assets such as videos and photos of products, facilities, fabrics, and other items that are crucial in building a robust online presence.
Companies interested in strengthening their digital presence can sign up for free here or scan the QR code below.