COVID19 leads to increased demand for Frontier platform

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With COVID19 causing travel restrictions and trade show cancellations, Frontier, a co-working software as a service (SaaS) developed to digitise fabric materials, enhance supply chain management and boost 3D design capabilities, is in great demand with an overall growth of 300 per cent among textile mills and brand partners since its launch in April 2019.

The Frontier platform is one of the largest databases of searchable online fabrics in the world containing 20,000 materials and growing from mills around the Asia Pacific area. These databases are created by allowing users to easily upload their textile products with a scanner. The heavy lifting is maintained via cloud computing to reduce upfront investment. The platform allows members to communicate, collaborate, and develop products seamlessly and cost-efficiently without having to get on an airplane, visit a convention centre, or spend costly express delivery charges incurred by shipping samples back and forth.

“We’ve seen a big jump in the adoption of our platform during the coronavirus as more mills and brands have wanted to move their businesses to the cloud, cut costs, and work as efficiently as possible from home,” said Bob Ryan, Frontier sales president. “Frontier is unique in that our technology visually brings fabrics to life. As touch and handfeel are such critical aspects of selecting fabrics, we’ve collected enough information where we can attempt to build up the language around the handfeel of materials to help designers grasp their properties. In terms of drape, with the images and data we collect, our tech team will soon be able to compute how a material will fall around a silhouette.”

According to Steven Proulx, VP Global Sales at Sues International, a developer of functional materials for the activewear market, Frontier focuses on three pillars to make its platform as user-friendly and productive as possible.

The first is collaboration. Frontier makes sure its files can be easily shared to eliminate the barrier of entering digitisation. The company plans to integrate chat messenger into the platform soon to encourage interactive data sharing. The second is search. As the largest digital fabric library on the planet at the moment, Frontier wants to make sure users can easily discover and find the fabrics when they need them.

The third is compatibility. Frontier encourages connecting with other digital applications that require fabric data. It presently partners with Bespokify, virtuality.fashion, and C-Design PLM, a PLM SaaS based in France. Frontier anticipates ongoing growth with similar SaaS partnerships.

“While we look forward to the economy opening back up and getting back to our new-normal, we want to make sure our online interaction continues to build community between suppliers and brands with regards to fabric samples, inventory, price quotes, general questions and answers and more – all of which are part of Frontier,” said Ryan.