Gerber Technology and IoT: The Future of Apparel Manufacturing is in the Cloud

By Erika Malzberg May 23, 2017

What do the pants you’re wearing, the couch you’re sitting on, and the footballs on the field in the NFL all have in common?

There’s a good chance that they were all manufactured on cutting-edge industrial equipment produced by Gerber Technology, the 50-year-old manufacturing company that serves more than 78,000 customers in the fashion and apparel, transportation, furniture, packaging, aerospace, and textile industries across 130 countries.

When the GERBERcutter® System 70 was first introduced in 1967, it played a huge role in bringing automation technology to the apparel and allied industries. Fifty years later, Gerber Technology is again transforming industries.

Their state-of-the-art machines already power a huge percentage of the apparel manufacturing industry. But today Gerber Technology is moving beyond the product, into services with intelligent solutions that pair the creative process with sharp, efficient product cycles. At the same time, they’re moving beyond ownership and perpetual licenses into subscriptions to make their products and services more widely available.

In short, they’re inserting IoT into the manufacturing process and embracing the Subscription Economy.

Their Product Lifecycle Management solution, YuniquePLM®, was developed to enable organizations to connect creative teams with their supply chain to get the right products to market, on time, and at the right cost.

YuniquePLM gets Gerber Technology closer to their customers so they can help them to more effectively manage and connect the supply chain, from product development and production to retail and the end customer. YuniquePLM started as a traditional on-premise offering, but Gerber Technology soon realized that offering a cloud-based subscription version would be more accessible to a wider range of customers, so they made the decision to move their technology to the cloud and sell their new capabilities as a monthly service.

Offering their software as a service (SaaS) enables them to reach both established brands as well as tens of thousands of small to medium businesses that can’t afford to pay for big hardware and upfront, perpetual licenses.

As Mike Elia, CEO of Gerber Technology, noted, “Cloud-based technology is one of the most important trends in the industry. We believe offering YuniquePLM In The Cloud at an affordable monthly rate will remove competitive barriers between large and small companies and empower our community of users to achieve optimum results.”

Because YuniquePLM In The Cloud offers a flexible and scalable product lifecycle management software, without the costly IT infrastructure, it is a platform that businesses of all sizes can use – from independent designers to Fortune 500 companies.

Designers, brands and manufacturers collaborate effectively through YuniquePLM. They can also use Gerber’s expansive computer-aided design software suite AccuMark® to execute a multitude of time-saving tasks, such as:
• Making garment patterns and grading them into various sizes
• Translating orders for thousands of garments, consisting of multiple sizes and colors, into efficient cut plans
• Creating files that drive Gerber spreaders and cutters to cut anything from a single custom printed dress to 10,000 jeans at one time
And these are just the latest components of the suite to be offered as a subscription this year.

Making their products and services available through subscriptions is a way for Gerber Technology to extend their reach to a broader, more nimble audience. This benefits their bottom line, for sure, but it also benefits the innovators and small businesses who now have access to Gerber Technology’s products and services.

And, by extension, it benefits all of us end consumers. Because, though we may not understand the complex workings of Gerber Technology’s specific hardware and software, we do care deeply about the wonders they produce: the materials that clothe, support, decorate, protect, transport, power, cover, and delight us all.

Continue reading success stories from the Subscription Economy in the latest issue of Subscribed Magazine!