We all know that the current global pandemic has forced businesses to re-evaluate the way that they operate, both internally and externally. No longer are we able to simply call a meeting and have stakeholders gather around a table to discuss design elements or review physical samples. And face-to-face meetings with buyers are simply not possible in many countries due to lockdown regulations.

In many industries there has been a shift from physical samples to 3D rotational images, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the fashion and apparel business. Instead of inviting buyers to a showroom fully kitted out with samples of the latest range, sales teams are now relying on high quality imagery to showcase their products.

For some brands, the change in process has needed to be swift in order to stay current and meet customer expectations. And for others, the 3D journey started long before COVID first made the front-page news.

One such brand is Odlo, a company that has been producing cutting-edge sports and outdoor wear since 1946. The favourite saying of their founder, Odd Roar Lofterød Senior, was “Always make sure you’re one step ahead”, so it’s no surprise that Odlo are ahead of the curve when it comes to utilising 3D imagery.

Odlo first started developing digital samples with Browzwear’s 3D design software, VStitcher, in 2017.  Initially, the purpose of implementing 3D within their workflows was to cut the cost of sample garments while still giving the sales team the support they needed when selling-in to buyers. While this was important when the sales reps were “out on the road”, it is absolutely vital now that the majority of these meetings are managed online.

3D design created in VStitcher

3D design created in VStitcher

3D design and accurate visualisation tools now play a much wider role within Odlo, particularly within the product development, marketing, and customer services teams. Many employees use 3D prototypes on a daily basis, so the importance of this kind of imagery cannot be underestimated when it comes to ease of access and collaboration.

At Hark we have spent time talking to our customers and understanding their challenges, particularly when it comes to supporting the sales process.  While our aWorkbook digital sales software is an established part of the commercial toolkit, we understand that not everybody wants (or is able) to download and install an app in order to view products.

On that basis, our developers have been working on a browser-based addition to the Hark product offering, and we are pleased to be able to introduce aView to our existing customers and new prospects.

aView is powered by aHub, our product experience platform, and has been designed to provide the end user with all of the relevant information about a product in one place.  And, following feedback from our customers, we are now able to hold 3D in the .GLB file format in aHub ready to be displayed in aView.  .GLB files are a universal 3D output and allow the end user to view a product from any angle and zoom in on detail as needed.  An additional bonus is that users can download these 3D models in three different sizes based on their needs.

aView is a simple but effective tool that allows users to view a range of products and the associated assets and information.  This solution is perfect for use within a business so that teams can easily collaborate on range planning, for example. And of course, the sales team can use this to approach buyers before a meeting so that they can give them a snapshot of the products they will be presenting.

We look forward to collaborating with Odlo to help them make the very best use out of the 3D collections that they are producing with Browzwear’s software and working with them to overcome the challenges that these uncertain times bring.