Embroidery Embraces the Cloud

Embroidery becomes extraordinarily easy with mobile solutions.

Embroidery becomes extraordinarily easy with mobile solutions.

Brian Goldberg is the president of Pulse Microsystems.

Cloud technology is making a huge impact around the world, and the embroidery industry is no exception. This exciting new technology has been harnessed by apparel decoration software experts to create Web applications where users can manage, edit and browse their embroidery artwork from anywhere in the world. Accessible from your smartphone, laptop, tablet or any other device connected to the Internet, cloud technology enables businesses to take their productivity on the go and access important files securely whenever and wherever they’re needed.

For the technological novice, the term “cloud” refers to computing that is done over the Internet, which in most cases is used to describe online software services. Moving to the cloud means that data is not confined to a hard drive on one user’s computer or even on a local internal network. Files are stored in server farms and can be accessed, shared, edited and saved over the Internet. Microsoft, Apple, Google and other leading technological innovators are all offering numerous cloud-based services to their customers and partners to emphasize collaboration and mobility with their users.

Being able to work from home and from the road is an essential part of business, especially when dealing with international customers or personalized one-off orders. Decorators now have the ability to bring their designs with them to client visits anywhere thanks to some amazing innovations in cloud technology. The ability to edit designs on the road is another important new feature available to decorators because it makes it possible to personalize designs right in front of a customer from a mobile device, a great tool to help close the sale.

“It makes it possible to personalize designs right in front of a customer from a mobile device and close the sale.”

Let’s say you’re visiting a client that runs the local equestrian club. You can bring your tablet along with you to the visit and search your cloud account for all of the designs that you have tagged with “horses.” Once the client chooses a design that they like, you can personalize it within seconds to demonstrate how each club member’s name would look on the garment. This ability turns cloud technology into more than just file storage – it also becomes an impactful sales tool.

The ability to tag and organize designs is essential for businesses with a large design library and those that make frequent customer visits. Smaller companies with only a few hundred designs would have a tag for all of their “animal” designs, but larger businesses with upwards of 10,000 designs would require more specific tags like “horses” or even “Clydesdales.” Tagging is useful when working with a customer who wants to browse all of the designs they’ve ordered in the past or search for a specific type of design. You could pull up anything from your “monogram” templates to your “sports” designs on your phone or tablet.

Now let’s say you run your own shop that includes a storefront and a production room with a couple of embroidery machines. If you’re tasked with taking care of the storefront and production at the same time, it can be very difficult to keep track of progress when dealing with customers. With new innovations in cloud technology, embroidery professionals can now monitor the status of their machines while they manage the storefront. Check in to see if a design has completed sewing, see what’s next in the design queue and be informed if any of your machines have stopped or encountered a thread break or other error. New designs can be sent to machines directly from the cloud if a customer places a rush order, too.

Moving business processes into the cloud also opens the door for various mobile and social marketing possibilities. Cloud technology is often integrated with various forms of social media so that users can upload their designs to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest with the click of a mouse. Post your designs to your business page to impress potential clients and boost customer engagement, or add them to your personal page to get valuable feedback from your friends.

Whether you’re working from home, at a client meeting or relaxing on the beach, you can stay connected to your business and access your design library. If you haven’t already, now is the time to investigate the cloud technology options that are available to your apparel-decoration business. The advances that have been made in just the past couple of years have been remarkable, and apparel-decoration businesses that implement cloud technology into their processes will quickly see the benefit both in terms of profitability and efficiency.