Champions of change
By Damin Babu, April 11, 2019
Jason Wang, a member of Alvanon’s founding family, oversees global operations for Alvanon, and has played a pivotal role in driving Alvanon’s evolution into a mainstream apparel-technology company. Jason drives the business strategy of all new product and apparel tech innovations. He oversees Alvanon’s in-house technology team consisting of software engineers, machine-learning/AI experts, data scientists and 3D experts. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in body shape analysis and 3D avatar creation. Jason graduated from Babson College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, specializing in Management Information Systems
TDE: Thank you so much for taking our questions! Tell us a little about your business and its history?
Jason Wang: Alvanon is a apparel-technology company, focused on the body, it’s application and implications in the fashion industry. We empower brands – helping them make clothes fit better, create efficient and sustainable processes, and train their people more effectively.
TDE: What are your thoughts on the current pace of digital transformation in your industry? Do you feel overwhelmed with the prospect of introducing technology solutions to manage & streamline parts of your business?
Jason Wang: Digital transformation in the industry is still in its early stages, but it’s making a lot of progress. Businesses of all sizes are starting to adopt 3D, and are learning new ways to integrate it into their businesses. Digitization presents a huge opportunity to change legacy design and product development processes, if we are all brave enough to take the step towards 3D virtual sample creation, development and approval. The impact of this change cannot be underestimated. Approximately 50% of all developed samples never even go into production, and up to three samples are typically required as part of a standard fit approval process – we could make a radical, once-in-a-lifetime impact on waste management in the fashion industry.
TDE: What is the one technology trend within your industry that cannot be ignored?
Jason Wang: In recent years, we’ve seen a huge increase for client bodies (which are a retail brand’s fit standards) in the form of 3D virtual bodies. Our 3D virtual bodies allow brands and retailers to monitor fit and sizing within the digital supply chain. One of the immediate examples of how product development teams can benefit from 3D is being able to develop and view their products on a full size set of 3D virtual bodies without the need to produce physical samples. This would drastically help reduce waste and enhance the product designer’s ability to evaluate their garment grade and product fit on all sizes, especially the extremities on the size scale.
TDE: What has been the most significant technology integration/implementation so far, at your organization? Why? (could have impacted your employee efficiency, customer satisfaction, profit margins etc.)
Jason Wang: The Alvanon Body Platform (ABP) was developed by our technology teams to specifically meet the fashion industry’s 3D digital design needs. ABP will enable apparel design and development teams to access their proprietary fit standards. It will also provide a fast, accurate, and consistent way for brands and retailers to access and share their 3D fit standards with their entire supply chain partners, enabling them to go digital.
TDE: Do you have a dedicated in-house IT team? What are some of the challenges your IT team and employees faced before, during and after bringing in this solution? How did you resolve them?
Jason Wang: Yes, we have a team consisting of software engineers, machine-learning/AI experts, data scientists and 3D experts. These different disciplines are necessary for us as we continue to develop our body technology. The team faces the challenge of constantly evolving and improving our technology to satisfy our customers needs. As such, the team is required to be flexible and open minded when it comes to thinking about possible solutions, yet focused when it comes to implementation.
TDE: What’s the internal technology challenge your organization aims to resolve in the immediate future? (could be internal workflow/workforce automation or having internal operations such as CRM, HR, Inventory powered by front end mobile apps)
Jason Wang: Internally, we are implementing more and more automation into our workflows. This is being done on many fronts, from our ERP/CRM solutions to our factory to our technology teams.
TDE: How do you keep yourself updated? What are some of the websites or magazines or apps that you subscribe to or read regularly?
Jason Wang: Axios, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine and WIRED are my go to titles.
TDE: What’s your favorite social network – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter?
Jason Wang: None of them. I’m not on social networks and choose not to share information publicly. As Banksy famously stated: “I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public, they forget that invisibility is a superpower.”
For more DX insights follow Jason Wang on LinkedIn
This interview was originally published on The Digital Enterprise.