A ‘energy’ app in a day: How Arvind is ushering India’s textile trade into the digital period


Ahmedabad, Gujarat, INDIA: The journey of each piece of style clothes begins with sourcing the suitable textile. This entails sifting by means of swatches of voile, denim, velvet and extra to search out simply the suitable weave, thickness, color, sew and so forth. For a significant textile producer like Arvind, with its world shopper roster of excessive avenue manufacturers, the variety of samples of their warehouses can run into the tens of millions.

And, when a shopper returns with a request for a weave made for them, say, a decade in the past, the staff, in a great world, ought to be capable of dig into the samples to search out that precise match.

“Your entire course of was time-consuming, and personnel-intensive,” Nitin Parmar, CIO at Arvind mentioned, “And since it was handbook it was extremely susceptible to data loss and errors. This had direct monetary influence on the enterprise as a result of we’d usually miss our deadline to the client.”

Photo of a phone scanner being pointed at a label on a roll of fabric
The personalized cell app constructed by Bitscape on Microsoft Energy Apps has helped Arvind digitize its whole sampling course of. Photograph by Amit Dave for Microsoft.

For many years, this work was finished on sheets of paper. However because the enterprise grew, so did the complexity. Because it turned out, one in every of their greatest ache factors could be resolved in a day with Energy Apps, a low-code app growth platform from Microsoft.

That is the story of how an almost 100-year-old textile firm in India is ushering an trade steeped in custom into the digital period.

Based in 1931, Arvind is one in every of India’s oldest textile corporations with a income of over USD1 billion and greater than 25,000 staff. Its sprawling manufacturing amenities in Gujarat, a state in western India, now provide materials for the worldwide manufacturers that line excessive streets from New York to Singapore.

Till a number of years in the past, the Indian textile sector had remained largely tech averse.  “Whereas companies will spend money on the suitable equipment, software program takes a backseat,” Parmar mentioned.

The pandemic took conferences with clients and others on-line, however the greater push for digital transformation got here from worldwide shoppers who have been rolling out sustainability targets.

Portrait photo of a spectacled man sitting in his office with colorful abstract art in the background
Arvind CIO Nitin Parmar is now taking a look at extra makes use of for Microsoft Energy Apps to speed up the group’s digital transformation journey. Photograph by Amit Dave for Microsoft.

“For this there was a necessity for lots of traceability in how a product would get made and producers have been required to provide a number of proof,” Parmar mentioned. “This isn’t attainable when your programs are handbook. Which is when a number of ERP got here to be put in place.”

Migrating to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud service, and implementing Dynamics 365 CRM have been the primary steps, and helped advertising and marketing join with clients. Subsequent got here the manufacturing unit flooring.

The sampling division of Arvind specifically performs a vital position in bagging shoppers and preserve them coming for extra. It not solely serves as a repository of all the material samples that the corporate has ever made, it additionally serves as a large catalogue for future gross sales.

However up till final yr, the method was archaic.

Papers with particulars of orders would get misplaced, resulting in incorrect specs and different errors. With no central pattern library, the corporate would find yourself recreating samples they already had, losing time and material. It was practically unimaginable to trace the standing of any order in real-time, resulting in a poor buyer expertise.

That was the problem Parmar and his staff positioned earlier than Bitscape, an Ahmedabad-based consulting agency and Microsoft companion, after they participated in an “App in a Day” workshop final yr.

Photo of a person working on a laptop on a desk with a rack of shirts hanging in the background
Each motion on a sampling order is up to date on the Dynamics 365 CRM in real-time, decreasing errors and material wastage. Photograph by Amit Dave for Microsoft.

Consider these workshops as pace relationship periods the place clients can get prototype of apps to unravel particular issues utilizing Microsoft Energy Apps. Throughout the workshop, the Bitscape staff created a working proof of idea to digitize the whole sampling course of.

“At Bitscape, we’ve at all times believed within the energy of expertise to rework,” mentioned Kartik Shah, chief govt of Bitscape. “With Energy Apps and its built-in AI capabilities, we’re not simply simplifying processes – we’re enabling smarter selections, sooner outcomes, and true digital empowerment for our shoppers.”

The answer, which runs on each PCs and smartphones, creates a QR code for each sampling order that the advertising and marketing staff receives. The code is mapped to the prevailing CRM entry for the order, which has all the small print of textile specs, timelines, and others.

In contrast to earlier, when sheets of papers have been handed from the advertising and marketing to design to the manufacturing flooring that led to data loss and delays, a easy scan of the QR code now tells them what must be finished and transfer it ahead to the following staff. Each transfer is up to date on the CRM, so the advertising and marketing staff can observe the standing of the order and take away roadblocks.

Crucially, staff on the manufacturing flooring can now check with the precise specification for each order, decreasing errors and material wastage.

Photo of a spectacled man holding up a book of fabric samples for the camera
Raju Patni, a advertising and marketing supervisor at Arvind, inspects material samples that may run into tens of millions on the textile producer. His staff can now shortly determine a match within the Energy Apps-fostered digital pattern library. Photograph by Amit Dave for Microsoft.

The staff additionally began a digital pattern library, which has thus far amassed particulars of greater than 40,000 samples since Energy Apps was deployed in October final yr. The advertising and marketing staff can now shortly see if there’s a match, earlier than going by means of the whole design and manufacturing course of for every shopper request.

Most significantly, it’s straightforward to make use of. Raju Patni, a advertising and marketing supervisor and self-described non-tech savvy worker, has been with Arvind for quarter of a century. “The gadget I exploit essentially the most is a cell phone,” he says in Hindi, “This is rather like that.”

Since implementing Microsoft Energy Apps in October 2022, in accordance with Parmar, human errors in sampling are down by 90 %, manufacturing errors by 70 %, and the turnaround time for orders is as a lot as 30 % shorter.

His staff is now taking a look at extra makes use of for Energy Apps, equivalent to making a portal for distributors to submit bids for contracts, in addition to streamlining the cotton buying course of.

High picture: An worker scans a QR code on a material pattern utilizing a Energy Apps resolution to replace an order on the CRM. Photograph by Amit Dave for Microsoft.


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