COLLABORATION – HOW IT IMPACTS WORK CULTURES
As professionals from the Industry part of our mission here at RangeRoom was to impact new, more intuitive and creative ways of working. How could we give back teams their creative time, the type of time that gets teams discussing game-changing ideas? Surely if a design technology was going be useful it had to allow us to flex the time we have so that it’s as efficient as possible?
I’m sad to say there are more incredibly beyond-qualified designers and buyers out there cutting and pasting mini cut outs of garments and pinning them onto foam boards for meetings across cities or state lines than I care to mention. Why? When we have the technology to take a photo of a flea on Pluto (like you do) are we still restricting ourselves to analogue practices in a world where the consumer of today is demanding speed and convenience from us as an industry?
And this is why RangeRoom wanted to change ‘all that’!
As if the ability to communicate in real-time about your product ranges, their development and decisions aren’t exciting enough – now you can see all your inspirational mood boards; sketches; fabrics; street shots; trims along with all of those from your cross-functional teams (domestic and international) in one place.
Beyond this you can add the ability to discuss issues in real time, cutting out lengthy e-mail threads, gaining alignment and getting decisions made. Fast. What that means to designers, buyers and product developers is a fundamental, game-changing shift away from lengthy processes towards a tangible increase in design-time, shaking off unnecessary, time-sucking meetings.
After all, surely the main reason we’re so tied to our cross-functional partners is to be able to make better decisions faster, with more understanding of what we need to achieve to meet our goals and deadlines?
Here at RangeRoom, we understood that by offering visibility in real time, across categories or lifestyle ranges and job roles (from Design Assistant to the Head of Buying) we can actively remove some of the effects of opaque work practices.
Work practices that often come from fragile, unsupported, complicated or dysfunctional communications or cultures.
All these can impact on large or small companies, where ranges are only revisited at long meetings that tend to happen toward the end of the selection process, sometimes twice or at best, four to six times a year. Within our platform, you can now work on various ranges simultaneously – in clearly packaged palettes (or boards) allowing work in progress to be viewed, discussed and evolved.
At the same time with decisions being made quicker and more easily through the RangeRoom platform, by the time you have those range review meetings, large amounts of the work have already been done. This frees up your team’s time, allowing for discussions surrounding other issues such as white-space opportunities or important company initiatives to thrive.
It can increase the discipline within buying and product development teams and allow them to be more effective with their time, doubtless being reflected in the resulting products. As designers, we know that in a time of belt-tightened budgets and greater scrutiny across departments, it’s crucial to ring-fence fundamental design-phases such as creative thinking time and story-telling, giving oxygen to the variety of abilities designers and product developers bring to a product/range and ultimately a brand.
With all this information being visually available anywhere on the RangeRoom platform, you can reduce not only product duplication and fabric proliferation, but also keep incongruent pricing across categories and in-house brands in check.
This visibility also encourages a culture of open and transparent discussion about products and their development. Leading to greater communication and accountability across teams.
What happens if you have date and time-stamping as a built-in part of your processes? And also the means of communication are made as lean and as easy as possible via chat – with the agility to be able to add people into conversations? If we can bring more emotionally-intelligent ideas into the design of tech then hopefully it is easier to build those into our process. If transparency is part of our work processes then those habits build habitats and our culture becomes more transparent – encouraging more trust and more accountability. Sounds like a plan.
Along with this – what if you can then also search any element of the platform so that you can find a product, collection or conversation that included that product? Making e-mail redundant and keeping the visual of the product front and centre of our experience – because we all know how image-sensitive we become and often recognize a product we’ve been working on faster than the style number it’s been given. This visual nature is a key element that means collaboration across territories helps to focus on common knowledge rather than differences in languages or cultures? It’s this approach to the way we designed RangeRoom that we think can really change the nature of collaboration in what is a very sophisticated and fast-paced, demanding business.
From a thought leadership perspective, if technology brings us anything, it must bring about healthier, more inspired work processes and cultures. We know ourselves, that transparency is one of the most important aspects of what we do within fashion – on both sides of the development pipeline – and at RangeRoom this is one of our driving forces. We hope to work with all our customers in this way (both on the supply and the retail side) and become instrumental in facilitating and innovating around this core value.
So Thank you in advance for our joint collaborations and if you haven’t had the chance to explore more please visit us for a free trial at www.rangeroom.com