NEEDHAM, Mass.–PTC (NASDAQ: PTC) today announced the launch of Material Exchange, an advanced filtering and material visualization platform, developed in collaboration with industry manufacturers, brands, Material Exchange Ventures AB, and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), the footwear industry’s business and trade association.
Traditionally, brands and manufacturers sifted through dozens of physical material swatch books to find the appropriate material for their design and development projects. Leveraging digitalization, Material Exchange is an online database of materials that can be searched, filtered, and downloaded, enabling users to reduce time and manual data entry. This platform enables companies to pull material specs and pictures into 3D design programs – allowing them to change materials and colorways instantly and continuously throughout the design process. It also enables development teams to gain line-of-sight into material costs, availability, quality, and compliance issues.
“Together with PTC and many top brands, we’ve developed a platform that has the potential to forever change the way companies design and develop shoes. For brands, using the platform will enable them to reduce development risks – allowing designers and developers to test designs and improve compliance before production, as well as reducing man hours,” said Andy Polk, senior vice president, FDRA. “Further, Material Exchange will not only enable users to lower costs, but will also enable them to increase sales as the catalyst for the next generation of stylish shoes, clothes, and accessories.”
Built by Material Exchange Ventures AB leveraging PTC’s leading FlexPLM® retail solution, Material Exchange offers a centralized repository of up-to-the-minute data and images, enabling users to reduce the unnecessary production of physical material samples and swatches. Digital material visualization during the design process can aid decision-making regarding colorways, design, and material. These decisions can be made before producing physical or virtual prototypes, further increasing efficiency.
“PTC has provided a cloud-based solution running on FlexPLM, which allows for scalability and security to meet the needs of Material Exchange,” said Chris Hillyer, director of innovation, Deckers Brands. “We can gain tremendous insight with digital visualization capabilities, enabling us to save both time and resources.”
“The industry has an incredible opportunity to take advantage of today’s advanced technologies and apply it to the material selection process,” said Eric Symon, vice president and general manager, PTC Retail Business Unit. “We are excited to be a part of Material Exchange because it streamlines an antiquated process and allows retailers to have greater control and collaboration throughout the design process.”
PTC is highlighting the new Material Exchange platform at this year’s NRF Big Show in New York on January 14-16th. For more information, please visit: https://www.ptc.com/en/events/nrf2018.