I’ve made no secret that I love StyleFile for creating technical packages and managing your production from soup to nuts so I’m very pleased Patternworks is now offering a fully functional 30 day trial of the program. To take advantage of this free offer, select “solutions” from the website or to request your fully functional copy of the software. There’s also several videos on site which you can view singly or download for viewing at your leisure. Not mentioned on site is a tremendous resource, the wiki. The wiki is the place to learn how to set up and operate the program.
Increasingly, a PDM/PLM program is a necessity to manage your production, particularly if you outsource work to others or provide services yourself. I’ve written about many PDM/PLM features (and StyleFile specifically) in What is a Bill of Materials (BOM), What is a tech pack and Giving instructions to a pattern grader. PDM software is practically a necessity these days if you’re using a sewing contractor because your technical package complete with sewing specs defines the absolute requirements of your product which in effect becomes the sewing contract. But sewing is only a small part of it. You and/or your pattern service and sewing contractor can use it to manage patterns, textile testing, grading, inventory; all facets of the production process. The neat thing about StyleFile is it’s designed to be used by manufacturers and service providers.
As I’ve also said repeatedly, one of the only positive outcomes of CPSIA is that children’s wear designers will adopt more standard practices to become the definition of professionalism in the industry due to the CPSIA tracking label requirements. The first program to be fully compliant with CPSIA, tracking and labeling is built in as is the issuance of GCC certificates. There’s no cost to try it so check it out. If anything, it will show you how you’ll need to manage your operation more professionally even if you do it manually.
If you buy:
StyleFile is the least expensive software by far. It’s so inexpensive I hesitate to mention the price (@ $2,000) lest you think it’s not as robust as comparable programs ($10,000 minimum). “Suspiciously cheap” comes to mind (I don’t know about you but if something doesn’t cost much, I worry it’s not any good). Implementation is faster and easier too. You won’t have to pay thousands for training or take weeks to learn it and roll it out. In short, you don’t have to settle for a lower functioning product because of price. It is better than the other programs on the market and while originally intended for small to medium sized firms, it scales (really). And no, I don’t make any money if you buy it. In fact, I like the program so much I ran their ads on site for free. Okay not free, I billed them a token $12 because it’d be a tremendous loss if this product had to be abandoned if it didn’t take off. Plus, a lot of you need impetus to streamline and this is the tool to do it.