While I was going through my altMBA experience (cohort 28!) in February, two of Seth Godin’s core questions for doing anything of meaning stuck with me:
- What’s it for?
- Who is it for?
All too often it is assumed that ngnINE will help Designers. I guess this is based on the fact that I’m an apparel designer. Yet being a designer and utilizing design thinking was instrumental in creating ngnINE.
So what’s it for then?
ngnINE is laser-focused on the development processes. Not design, not warehousing. It is a powerful, intuitive and above all, visual communication tool that we created to help minimize tedious editing of excel sheets so apparel professionals can focus on what they love to do: refine fits, perfect the workmanship and make some beautiful pieces that resonate with fans and customers.
ngnINE captures each component from materials to measurement specs including technical drawings and you are finally ‘done’ searching for the latest tech pack. Whenever you log into ngnINE, the latest tech pack is always front and center. But don't worry - it also captures the version history too.
Basically, ngnINE is a visual and smart ‘Dropbox’ for apparel.
Smart, because at its core it’s a powerful database management that captures all components that go into a piece of apparel. Any material and any information about this material, from minimum order quantities (MOQs), salesmen sample (SMS) or bulk order requirements, test reports, artwork, etc. is stored in the database.
Each bill of material (BOM) pulls the information from the database and any change or update to the database is immediately updated on the individual style level using that particular material.
Specs or blocks are handled somewhat similarly too. You have the ability to create a set of standardized measurements (blocks) as your starting point. You can then pull this set of measurements into your individual style. From then on you can manipulate and adjust each of these points of measurements to accommodate for materials used, stylistic differences and design needs.
And who is it for?
ngnINE is for developers, garment engineers, tech designers, material managers, sourcing experts, and factory merchandisers. And yes, it’s for designers too in one very unique way: multi-artboard illustrator files can be uploaded through simple drag-and-drop. No more tedious exporting, screen shooting, re-saving and then uploading of individual sketch views. Check it out!
Why now, why you?
The biggest question I asked myself before embarking on this journey: How come we can book and check into our flights using a phone? How come we can use online banking using our phone? Or sign complex legal documents all using a phone but we can’t look up a button detail on a BOM using our phone?
Wouldn't my life as an apparel-pro be easier if I could answer a product-specific question from anywhere without logging on to a PDM system from within an office building?
What if I could be working in a coffee shop and reply to an urgent question without being stressed out and head for a computer that has access to a PDM system?
So I thought to myself, why not now and why not me? I had the experience, the right testing environment in the design and sourcing agency to test and refine such an undertaking and I had a vision for what it could look like. And most of all, what impact it would make on people I work with and the quality of the product in the end.
If you want to find out more, send me an email - I'm happy to show you around!