We built our company from zero to millions with Tukatech

tuka1When Robert Lohman, environmental studies degree in hand, decided to enter the apparel manufacturing business, he had two goals. “We wanted to come up with a basics brand that was all organic,” he says, “and we wanted it to be made in Los Angeles.” That was back in 2010, and conventional wisdom would have dictated that someone with no industry background or training, going 100 percent organic with recycled material, and locating his manufacturing base in the heart of the Los Angeles garment district, would likely be out of business by 2011.
tuka5Conventional wisdom, in this case, would be dead wrong. Today, Lohman is CEO of the Groceries brand of men’s and women’s organic and recycled material tops. It can be found in over 400 stores worldwide, including Kitson and Planet Blue in Los Angeles and Barney’s New York and Opening Ceremony in Tokyo.

Groceries boasts annual sales in the seven figures, a 33,000-square-foot manufacturing facility downtown at the corner of Alameda and 7th, and 64 full-time employees. In addition to its own label, Groceries also sells volume private-label blanks to big names such as Paul Mitchell and Pearl Jam. The company is doubling its size every nine months. In other words, Groceries is a rousing success.

What accounts for it? To begin with, a strong corporate vision combined with a healthy dose of stubbornness. “We’d rather go out of business than manufacture nonorganic shirts and manufacture overseas,” Lohman says. “We will not go against our DNA that way.” And Lohman credits one other key component for Groceries’ achievements. “We really wouldn’t be here without Tukatech,” he says.

“Tukatech’s staff members were very cooperative during the installation process, and provided overall guidance and suggestions for our cutting room,” said Dinesh Virwani, Group Managing Director. “While our installation process is still continuing, we have already seen our pattern makers more than double the number of patterns they can produce in one day.”

Tukatech, a name well known and respected throughout the apparel industry, is the leading provider of fashion software and hardware technology solutions. The 18-year-old company, headed by industry veteran Ram Sareen, has built a devoted following among designers, manufacturers, and distributors worldwide, having sold some 19,000 systems and replacing over 5,000 competing systems in the process. Its advanced TUKAcad software is arguably the most instinctive and ultra-efficient 3D and 2D patternmaking, marking, and grading software on the market, while its SMARTmark module maximizes marker placement with surgical precision to make use of every usable square inch of fabric. Its advantages over its “very expensive and rigid” competitors are many, Lohman says, but for him two qualities were critical: TUKAcad is instinctive and easy to use with built-in videos and self-training audio help and support for every function, and Tukatech’s prices are affordable and terms flexible. Tukatech “allowed me to rent for $200 a month, which made so much sense to me since we were getting started from nowhere,” he explains. “We didn’t purchase any hardware, like plotters or digitizers, because we could use TUKAcenters. Suddenly, we had the same powerful tools big apparel companies used. That was empowering.”

Those advantages were key, Lohman goes on, because of Groceries’ ambitious, locally based, vertical-integration business model. “A lot of brands outsource their manufacturing, especially overseas,” he says. “We think you can be more profitable manufacturing in the U.S., and it reduces your carbon footprint.”

Still, the challenges are many. “We take on all the headaches that come with manufacturing here because we gain speed, the ability to react to trends, and also to manufacture at a lower cost,” Lohman says. The company also takes a smaller margin to be able to compete with nonorganics. “We focused on price point because we want to compete not only with other organic companies but with nonorganics as well. Since there’s no middle man, we pass that savings on to the buyer. If we didn’t manufacture here, we wouldn’t be able to offer this kind of pricing and have the success we’ve had in the market.”

tuka3Renting TUKAcad “gave us an efficiency as far as saving fabric, but, more than anything, it allowed us to work on our own timeline, even all night if we wanted to,” Lohman says. He has since bought the software, and, three months ago, he added the SMARTmark module. “It’s been another transformation in our company,” Lohman continues. “SMARTmark is TUKAcad on steroids. It is really and truly amazing.” What used to take 30 to 40 hours per week now takes “less than two hours.” Expecting a 5 percent fabric savings, SMARTmark is realizing near 20 percent, which should save Groceries an estimated 100,000 yards of fabric next year. “Efficiency is a huge part of being an eco company,” Lohman says. “We save money, use fewer resources, and create more demand for organic fabrics.” And that fits Groceries’ corporate goals to a T.

Lohman also credits Groceries’ success to “immense help” from Sareen and Tukatech’s strong customer support. “We made good business decisions manufacturing here it’s not just a gimmick,” Lohman says. “But I’m not sure we’d be able to exist without Tukatech. We couldn’t compete with much larger companies, wouldn’t have the flexibility to produce and design. It’s very empowering for a small company to have that much strength in that type of software. Those are the words flexibility and empowerment that are the keys to our success.”

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PSFK Article: Kinect Could Help Online Shoppers Find Clothes that Fit Better

Raj Sareen is the CEO of the startup Styku, that would revolutionize how consumers would shop online when it comes to clothes. The ‘smart fitting room’ requires the shopper to be connected in front of  Microsoft Kinect, where the motion sensor is able to scan the user’s body and automatically input measurements online. The technology is then able to let the user virtually try on the clothes and see if the item fits well, or which areas might be too loose or too tight.

Read the full article

Tukatech and Styku Demonstrate Revolutionary On-Demand Garment Production

Tukatech and Styku were part of a demonstration of “manufacturing on demand” –
imagine not having to carry inventory. Every garment is made
according to the customer’s specification. The size is adjusted, the
colors selected, logos or design patterns are located where the
customer wants… The product is cut, sewn and ready for delivery in
about four hours!

See Styku’s video from the AM4U demonstration here.

Read the story from California Apparel News….

AM4U Unveils Demand-Activated Manufacturing Technology
By Deidre Crawford,
Technology Editor
When I was invited to view a demonstration of a new apparel technology at
California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, I wasn’t exactly sure what to
expect. I assumed it would be a clunky piece of machinery accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation and possibly a few sample products of what the machine could produce. What I didn’t expect was a full bodyscan and custom-made garment designed from scratch and shipped to my office in less than four hours.
To read the full article, click here.

Los Angeles Based Styku Selected as Finalist for Microsoft® Accelerator For Kinect™ Program

From a pool of nearly 500 applicants, Styku was chosen to participate, along with ten other finalists, in the Microsoft Accelerator for Kinect powered by Techstars. Techstars, a famous technology incubator, was handpicked to mentor and accelerate companies in developing revolutionary products using Kinect. Styku’s smart fitting room was the only fashion-focused application selected.
Styku uses Kinect technology to scan a body for measurements. Then, using advanced 3D apparel technology, Styku allows customers to create personalized avatars to digitally try on clothes, showing them how a garment would look on their exact body shape and providing size recommendations based on fit.
The Styku system can be installed in an existing dressing room, or customers can scan themselves using Microsoft Kinect for Windows at home. Body measurements are then extracted and used to create a custom 3D mannequin and an online profile accessible via the Internet or mobile device.
Styku’s smart fitting room benefits both consumers and online retailers, as customers can buy with confidence when purchasing apparel online and retailers can expect fewer returns. At a retail location, there is no need for shoppers to try on multiple sizes, as a quick scan provides a list of sizes and inventory of clothing in the store that would best fit their body. Additionally, the technology has the capability for consumers to design clothes to their preference at home and have them ready to ship in less than four hours.
“Utilizing the technology available on Microsoft Kinect for Windows, we were able to build a multi-channel, multi-platform digital fitting room that can truly change the way consumers shop and benefit the retailer by reducing online returns,” explains Raj Sareen, CEO of Styku. “We are grateful for Microsoft’s dedication to innovation and are honored to be selected to receive guidance from the industry’s best as we refine our technology and make it widely available to consumers and retailers.”
The Microsoft accelerator for Kinect is a program that supports companies interested in leveraging Kinect technology. The eleven applicants chosen to participate relocated to Seattle from April to June, where they are provided office space, $20,000 in funding, plus access to Microsoft technical resources and executive mentors. The three-month program will culminate with a demo day in which participants show off their wares to Microsoft executives, investors and media.
About Styku To learn more about Styku, please visit Styku.com or schedule a private demonstration by writing to info@styku.com. You can also watch a video demonstration on Styku’s website.
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EPIC GROUP to See Epic Growth in TUKATECH Partnership

Epic Group's headquarters in Hong Kong.

Ram Sareen, Founder and CEO, Tukatech, and Ranju Mahtani, CEO, Epic Group, pose with a rickshaw at Epic’s Central Hub in Hong Kong.

Los Angeles, CA- Tukatech is pleased to announce that the Epic Group, one of Asia’s most prominent garment manufacturers, has converted all of their CAD systems to Tukatech’s TUKAcad. The Epic Group has a reputation for utilizing advanced techniques and cutting edge technology to produce highly technical garments for a global customer base.
Based in Hong Kong, Epic was founded in 1971 and has manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. Epic Group produces over 4 million garments each month, many of which are treated at the company’s in-house facilities that specialize in wet and dry processing, embroidery, printing and wrinkle-free post-cure treatments. CEO Ranju Mahtani and his team have focused on developing and improving the science and technology of garment production, and believe that switching to TUKAcad was the next logical step in operating cutting edge production facilities.
The Epic Group is no stranger to CAD technology, and until recently, utilized garment production software from Lectra, Gerber, Assyst, Optitex, and Morgan. Ranju Mahtani, the CEO and founder, Managing Director, Dinesh Virwani, and the rest of the leaders at the Epic Group decided to convert all of their systems to Tukatech’s TUKAcad, the garment industry’s most powerful pattern making, grading, and marker making software.

Epic Group's factory in Bangladesh.

Dinesh Virwani, Group Managing Director, with Ram Sareen, Founder and CEO, Tukatech, at Epic CIPL, Epic Group’s flagship production facility in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The decision to switch was an easy one, as Tukatech’s software has improved efficiency and saved millions of dollars for garment manufacturers all over the world. TUKAcad’s 2012 edition will give Epic Group’s pattern makers the ability to quickly and easily build accurate patterns, calculate and make adjustments for shrinkage, easily verify grade on the blocks, verify measurements as per requirements, make corrections and alterations to existing patterns, and better utilize fabric during the marker making and cutting processes. TUKAcad 2012 is also fully integrated with TUKA3D, Tukatech’s standard setting three-dimensional garment designer and fit simulator. Epic Group has many facilities around the world, (CIPL, EGMCL, Epic Vietnam, and PGCL) and by replacing the multitude of CAD systems previously in place with TUKAcad, the company has instituted a standard software throughout their operation, improving both communication and compatibility between each unit.
“Tukatech’s staff members were very cooperative during the installation process, and provided overall guidance and suggestions for our cutting room,” said Dinesh Virwani, Group Managing Director. “While our installation process is still continuing, we have already seen our pattern makers more than double the number of patterns they can produce in one day.”
The Epic Group is always a step ahead of the trends in the garment production industry, and their implementation of Tukatech’s system is only the latest evidence of their forward thinking attitude. The Epic Group is a leader in providing fair and ethical treatment to their employees, and in 2006, the company’s flagship Bangladesh facility became the first in the nation to receive LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) for CIPL Project. LEED certification is awarded to manufacturing facilities that have been developed with and facilitate ecologically friendly production practices, and Epic Group’s Dhaka facility was certified in May of 2011.
“Tukatech is proud to work with the Epic Group, who are not only a leader in the garment industry but proponents of advanced manufacturing and processing technology,” said Tukatech Founder and CEO Ram Sareen. “Based on our experience in converting competing CAD systems to our TUKAcad software, we are confident that the Epic Group will see improved efficiency, enormous savings, and an even stronger output in a few short months. We have been working with Epic teams and implementing solutions for the last three months, and will continue to develop better solutions with them.”

About Epic

Established in 1971, Epic has successfully transitioned from being a buying agent to being a large multinational company with world class manufacturing facilities in Asia employing over 15,000 people.

About Tukatech
Tukatech is a Los Angeles-based company that provides 2D and 3D software solutions and manufacturing equipment to garment producers. It also provides web-based product development services and PDM/PLM systems, supported by brick and mortar centers strategically located in garment hubs worldwide. With over 12,000 systems sold and about 3,500 competitive systems replaced, Tukatech is the fastest growing garment CAD/CAM company in the world. Tukatech has been ranked by Apparel Magazine

KKCL (KILLER JEANS), the Largest Denim Brand in India, Installs TUKAsystems

Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited, the producer behind many of India’s most popular brands, finalized a deal to utilize Tukatech’s award winning garment development software. Tukatech’s advanced systems will help KKCL develop new products and streamline their production process.

Tukatech and Killer Jeans finalized a deal that will provide software solutions to Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited (KKCL), one of India’s leading producers of high-quality branded clothing for men and women of all ages.
In 1989, KKCL developed the Killer line of denim which quickly became one of the most popular brands in India. Since then, the company has implemented cutting edge garment design and manufacturing technology to maintain their dominance in the worldwide apparel marketplace. KKCL has also established a large retail presence selling their brands directly to the consumer, and currently operates more than 240 outlets across India with plans for further expansion.

KKCL’s decision to install Tukatech’s TUKAcad and TUKA3D for fit development is part of their continued use of innovative technology.

Ram Sareen, CEO-Founder TUKATECH and Dinesh Jain, Director KKCL.

KKCL credits much of their success to their large and efficient manufacturing processes. With an enormous capacity that can accommodate sourcing, finishing, and everything in between, KKCL’s ability to produce high quality garments with quick turnarounds will be streamlined by using Tukatech’s products. TUKAcad, Tukatech’s award-winning CAD system, will allow each pattern maker to make and grade patterns with better accuracy in a shorter amount of time, and SMARTmark will allow marker makers to maximize fabric usage in the cutting room.

In addition to manufacturing garments, KKCL have developed several leading brands that combine the company’s popular designs with their exacting production standards. By adopting TUKA3D, KKCL will be able to create realistic 3D prototypes that demonstrate color, texture, fit, and movement in complex clothing patterns, reducing the new product development time and allowing them to be more innovative and offer more choices to their consumers.

The Killer brand is one of the most recognized brands in India, and KKCL has been very successful in developing other brands and product lines such as LAWMAN, INTEGRITI, EASIES, and CHICA, with more in development. From shoes to hats, belts to cologne and deodorant, the stores offer a lifestyle appropriate to their brand name and fashion.

KKCL has advanced their own garment technology by developing patented seams, stitches, and washes for their own brands, all of which were created by the company’s designers. By using TUKA3D to design and test future innovations, KKCL will be able to immediately assess and visualize their work on a life-like, three-dimensional avatar that demonstrates how the clothes look, fit and drape on a human being. As KKCL continues to pioneer new ways to make garments, Tukatech will offer both technology and support to turn their vision into reality.

“Tukatech is proud to work with Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited, one of India’s most prestigious manufacturers and the home of several of the nation’s leading brands,” said Tukatech founder and CEO Mr. Ram Sareen. “We are excited to add them to our list of partners that include ‘W’ , BIBA, Globus, Juliet, Jockey , Zadex, Jade Blue, Kids Studio, Tarun Tahiliani, WildCraft, ColorPlus, Zaab, Sweet Dreams, TATA Trend and many more in our family of domestic brands in India gaining international fame.”

“We wanted to get the best technology along with experienced guidance from the TUKATECH team and Styku’s 3D systems and in-store body scanners. We are really excited to begin working together,” commented Mr. Dinesh Jain, one of the four brothers running KKCL.

About KKCL
Innovation has been the hallmark of Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited A marriage of design and technology, the company has constantly introduced new fits, finishes and fabrics. The company’s own R & D team works closely with designers and is constantly innovating – creating an exciting array of product lines in a variety of fabrics, washes and cuts, using the latest in technology and processes. The company’s own manufacturing and processing set up enables it to have a speedy ‘go-to-market’ time frame – from design to production.

About Tukatech
Tukatech is a Los Angeles-based company that provides 2D and 3D software solutions and manufacturing equipment to garment producers. It also provides web-based product development services and PDM/PLM systems, supported by brick and mortar centers strategically located in garment hubs worldwide. With over 12,000 systems sold and about 3,500 competitive systems replaced, Tukatech is the fastest growing garment CAD/CAM company in the world. Tukatech has been ranked by Apparel Magazine

From the Past- Tukatech Article from Clothesline, 2001

One Economic Unit

In this exclusive piece for Clothesline, Mr. Ram Sareen emphasizes that globalization is not new and has been happening ever since the Second World War. The clothing industry is feeling its heat only after the WTO was signed. He suggests the ways of overcoming the pressures in a competitive global market.
Mr. Ram Sareen is the founder and CEO of Tukatech Inc., one of the fastest growing CAD companies. He has a global experience of over 25 years in the clothing technology business. His company also acts as an advisor/consultant in the IT driven manufacturing solutions in the sewn product industry worldwide.

Despite protests in the US and Europe by anti-globalization elements focused upon the imagined dark side of economic integration, countries and businesses continue to pursue globalization. The idea is not new. The pioneer was Singer, a New York based sewing machine company. Founded in 1851, Singer was the first company to become a truly multi-national company. For singer and other companies like it, the advantage of scale and access to markets, suppliers, customers and, of course, new ideas, was simply too good to pass. This was earlier than most realize. It came to an end by the First World War and the Great Depression and the high tariffs that followed.
Since the Second World War, a new wave of economic globalization has swept the world. It has almost peaked as advances in digital technology have shrunk the world significantly. The world’s biggest corporations have become heavily involved outside their traditional domestic markets. Some of them have more than three quarters of their sales in foreign markets. One example is Nokia, the mobile phone maker domiciled in Finland. 64% of Nokia’s total sales are in ten countries outside the home base of Finland. Nokia may well be an American company-55% of the company is owned by US investors.
An American customer buying a German car may not be aware that the car was designed in Southern California and assembled in South Carolina with parts made in Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany and some other countries. The automotive industry adapted globalization in the early fifties itself. Even the American giants, who controlled the automotive world, were forced to retool their strategies in the seventies when they started losing market share to Japanese and European competitors.
Over the past decade, prices of apparel have declined 40% at the consumer level and yet, margins haven’t changed much. Prices may decline further in the next decade by as much as 50%. Sounds absurd? Not really. Take the example of Tadashi Yanai, President of Japan’s Fast Retailing. Single handedly, he has managed to push down the national price index, as well as the trade surplus of the entire nation. Yanai has successfully cut the complicated distribution system for selling high quality clothing at a third of what the Japanese consumers had been paying. Yanai’s Uniqlo stores often sell at 30% of prices charged by other retailers and yet they earn a margin of $12 on a $24 jean jacket. The same jacket sells at Japanese Gap outlets for $58 to $66 and up to $175 at the Matsuya department stores. With his fortune surpassing $5 billion, the 52 year old Yanai has plans to open stores in Europe and the US.
Wal-Mart created a similar frenzy in the USA in the eighties when the big department stores and some of the many specialized chains compared it (Wal-Mart) to discounters like Woolworth’s and K-Mart. However, excellent distribution, low gross margins, efficient sourcing, stringent quality standards, a whole new and different breed of buyers and merchandisers and many other innovative ideas and concepts literally forced upscale manufacturers to re-align their businesses because they couldn’t do without Wal-Mart. Yanai’s model isn’t much different. He sent the craftsmen from Japan to China to teach the latest production technology and styles to the Chinese. China’s labor costs are five percent of Japanese labor. Goods are shipped directly to Uniqlo stores, cutting out the traditional distribution channels and the incumbent costs.
The world has become so small that it is difficult to know whether the telemarketer on the other end of the telephone is calling from the same city, same country or the same continent. There are two ways to be anywhere by telephone or being there physically. Communication costs have dipped hugely and further declines are expected. Call centers in India routinely handle customers residing in the US and the customers believe they are talking to somebody in the same city? The growing globalization of services like medical transcription, development and testing of software, airline reservations, technical support for software and hardware and other services are pulling costs down.
Globalization is a win-win situation for all, narrowing the gap between people, cultures, living standards, and most of all, educating each other by sharing knowledge and information. For decades, apparel firms have traveled the world in search of cheap(er) labor. Trade lobbyists have fought for tariffs and quotas for protecting domestic industries. Some exporters and importers have become millionaires selling quotas in black markets. And some are in jails for having resorted to false labeling. Some have set up dummy fabrication units in non-quota countries.
NAFTA and other trade pacts have changed things drastically but the biggest effect is likely to be felt after December 2004, when GATT kicks out the quotas altogether. Only the best of the firms would win.
The Pre-requisites
What does it take to be a global player? Is it the cost of labor, management, skills, technical know-how, and local laws, or is it a combination of all? Cheap labor by itself is unlikely to be enough success and growth.
The biggest labor pool available is in Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia) and in the Americas (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Peru, Brazil and Argentina) with vast human resources. Most African nations are likely to become a threat to the existing players quite soon.
One thing is for sure-low price tags will not be enough to ensure business. Buyers are going to look at the total landed price, quality, efficiency of production planning, turnaround time and even communication costs at pre-, during, post-production stages.
For example, if the cost of labor, quality and other intangible factors are the same in India and China but transportation from China takes three days less (than India), you can bet that the order will go to China. And once the Chinese capacity is booked fully, the evaluation process will begin again. With internet and so many B2B services, the process of sourcing has become easier and yet more challenging. The so-called buying houses that have created their own networks of chosen suppliers will be threatened the most. AS mentioned earlier, only the best will remain in business. The rest will pay the price of being inefficient.
In order to become world class, apparel firms would have to content with several factors. Some of these are:
Strengths and Weaknesses
Identify your strengths. Is it fabric, embellishments, cutting, sewing, embroidery, packaging, delivery, styles ore whatever factor separates you from others. Then build on those strengths. Identify the weaknesses and correct them step by step.
Rapport
At the end of the day, people buy people. If your customers like you or your organization, they will buy from you. They will be demanding but would also be forgiving at times. If there is no personal relationship, you can be that price alone will not get you the business.
Team Spirit
Shifting blame to others is always easier than taking responsibility for mistakes. You may win the battle but you will lose the war. If we consider our buyers to be our partners and work towards the common goals, it will create a long lasting relationship. There has to be a common objective.
World Standards in Production Time
One of the most difficult things but mandatory. Almost all jobs can be measured in time, specially manufacturing and assembly of products. Commonly known as SAM or Standard Allowed Minutes. For example, a basic t-shirt should take an average of 7.5 AMs for spreading, cutting, sewing, examining, and packing. For calculating the cost, all that the buyer has to do is find out the cost per minute of the country and multiply with a factor of 2.5 (1.0 for direct labor + 1.0 for overheads + 0.5 for gross profit.) The fair labor laws allow the formula to be 2.0 to 2.5 of the SAM, multiplied by the local cost of labor per minute. In the USA, the cost per t-shirt will be $0.11 x 7.5 = $.0825 in direct labor, if manufactured in-house and $1.65 or more if sent out to a contractor. Any deficiency on part of the manufacturer will not be the responsibility of the buyer. On the other hand, an efficient producer stands to gain not only from lower costs but also longevity in business.
Speed
It is absolutely the most crucial element in our business. Simply stating that we will start delivering faster than other will not suffice. The complete cycle time has to be reduced. To achieve this, we need to examine each and every step of the complete process, from product development to packing and shipping.
While globalization is opening up new opportunities in hitherto closed or restrained markets, the challenges too are growing. Indian exporters would have to move on many fronts, if they are to convert globalization into more of an opportunity than a challenge.

About Tukatech
Tukatech is a Los Angeles-based company that provides 2D and 3D software solutions and manufacturing equipment to garment producers. It also provides web-based product development services and PDM/PLM systems, supported by brick and mortar centers strategically located in garment hubs worldwide. With over 12,000 systems sold and about 3,500 competitive systems replaced, Tukatech is the fastest growing garment CAD/CAM company in the world. Tukatech has been ranked by Apparel Magazine as the #1 Apparel software company in the world.

BRANDIX: Sri Lanka’s Largest Garment Manufacturer switches to TUKATECH and sees 33% increase in factory efficiency.

Dhananjaya Rajapaksha, CEO of Brandix Casualwear

After a successful test run, Brandix installed Tukatech’s TUKAcad system, streamlining their design process, increasing the success rate of fit approvals by 180% and improving overall productivity by 33%

Brandix, one of the largest garment manufacturers in Asia and the largest in Sri Lanka (suppliers to Victoria’s Secret, M&S, GAP, Banana Republic, Dillards, and more), recently installed Tukatech’s apparel software system resulting in dramatic improvement in the efficiency of their product development and production processes.

TUKA systems were initially tested by Brandix’s Denim division and showed dramatic results in the quality of patterns and the speed and efficiency in which they were produced. “We are now getting more than double the production of patterns that fit the first time, saving a large amount of fabric, and better utilizing our human resources. These changes motivated us to look at TUKA systems for our company,” said Iswaran Senthil, CEO of Brandix Denim. “Besides providing us with CAD-CAM systems, Tukatech offered valuable consulting, engineered the work flow and the pattern room, and even increased productivity in our cutting rooms.”

Though they had invested a significant amount of time and manpower into their previous CAD systems, Dhananjaya Rajapaksha, CEO of Brandix Casualwear, could not ignore the incredible changes made in the denim division, and decided to move forward with Tukatech.

Tukatech’s team provided in-person support to make the transition between CAD systems as easy as possible and worked with the staff of Brandix to customize the system to their specifications. “Tukatech CEO Ram Sareen sent his technical team from the United States and India to our offices, and many of our requests for what we wanted to see in the software were accommodated.”

“Tukatech’s team worked with us and we had a very fast implementation. I have a lot of years of experience, and I know what my team needs. Tukatech was able to give us exactly that,” said Thushad Saumydasa, Head of Product Development.

Brandix Casualwear, primarily a producer of women’s bottoms and very technically complicated products, had seen many of their customers shifting their business out of Sri Lanka to countries where garments could be produced at a cheaper price. Dhananjaya knew that in order to stay competitive, he would need to increase the efficiency of his operation by 33%, and Tukatech helped him meet his goal.

With TUKAcad and SMARTmark quickly installed, Dhananjaya was able to increase the factory’s efficiency by 33%. “I’m happy to say that we did meet our goals, and Tukatech was a part of that.”

Since the installation, Dhananjaya and his staff have expressed their satisfaction with the system, saying that it has automated much of what they once did manually, despite the fact that prior to installing Tukatech they had other CAD software, and they further stated that TUKAcad has broadened the use of CAD software throughout the company.

“Today, our people are using Tukatech’s CAD to a much larger extent than they were with our previous CAD system,” said Thushad.

“The feedback I’ve gotten from my managers is that the new Tukatech system has more functionality compared to the previous CAD systems they had and it is much easier to manage and use,” said Dhananjaya. “The most encouraging thing I’ve heard from employees is the way that the implementation of the system was handled. Tukatech’s interactions with our technical team were very beneficial. They listened to what we do and customized the systems to our needs. Many of our requests regarding the software were addressed during this period.”

“I see vast improvement,” said Thushad. “With Tukatech, everything is automated and very accommodating. Many things that I used to do manually are now automatic, and that means I can direct my attention to other matters.”

“We are in the fashion apparel industry, and fashion keeps changing fast. We must also be fast,” said Dhananjaya. “Tukatech allows us to be faster, more efficient, and ultimately improves our bottom line.”

About Brandix Casualwear
Brandix Casualwear forms the core of the Brandix group, and supplies woven bottoms, basic pants, cargo pants, 5-pocket jeans, shorts and skirts to the world’s top brands. Its seven production facilities include a state-of-the-art, fully automated denim facility which is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. Adding yet another milestone, Brandix commissioned its Green Factory in April 2008, setting a new benchmark as the first one of its kind in the country.

About Tukatech
Tukatech is a Los Angeles-based company that provides 2D and 3D software solutions and manufacturing equipment to garment producers. It also provides web-based product development services and PDM/PLM systems, supported by brick and mortar centers strategically located in garment hubs worldwide. With over 12,000 systems sold and about 3,500 competitive systems replaced, Tukatech is the fastest growing garment CAD/CAM company in the world. Tukatech has been ranked by Apparel Magazine as the #1 Apparel software company in the world. For more information, visit Tukatech.com.

Tukatech Inc. Launches Bangla Version of TUKAcad Software

Leading Asian Institutes Select TUKAcad for Several Key Features, Including Native Bangla Language

Los Angeles, CA– Tukatech, a leading provider of software solutions for the apparel industry, announces today the new offering of their TUKAcad software, training help, and tutorials in the Bangla language.  The new version adds to Tukatech’s growing portfolio of software in various languages, including English, Hindi, Spanish, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Korean and Vietnamese.

The software is continuously being updated in new languages, with more releases coming in the next year.

“Having the audio and video in the user’s native language helps them comprehend the instructions quickly, resulting in a more streamlined production process,” said Ram Sareen, CEO-Founder, TUKAgroup.

Pearl Academy of Fashion to Use TukaCAD

Ram Sareen, Founder, Tukatech, and Muzaffar Siddique, President, B.I.F.T

This announcement comes with news that the Pearl Academy of Fashion (PAF), one of the largest fashion institutes in Asia, installed 30 stations of TUKAcad for pattern making, grading, and marker making and 30 stations TUKAstudio for fabric design, print, knits, weaves, and jacquards.  Additionally, BGMEA Institute of Fashion and Technology (BIFT) will be installing 40 TUKAcad and 40 TUKAstudio software systems.  Both institutions will be utilizing the new Bangla version of the software.

”This will undoubtedly contribute hugely to the curriculum and in turn the Bangladesh garment industry,” said Garima Srivastava, of PAF International Limited.

About Tukatech

Tukatech is a Los Angeles-based company that provides pattern making, grading and marker making software and manufacturing equipment. It also provides, web-based product development services, PDM/PLM systems, supported by brick and mortar centers strategically located in garment hubs worldwide. With over 8,000 systems installed, and thousands of competitive systems replaced, Tukatech is the fastest growing garment CAD/CAM company in the world.  Tukatech has been ranked by Apparel Magazine as the #1 Apparel software company in the world.  For more information, visit www.tukatech.com.

Garment Industry Leaders Discuss Tukatech and Styku at Sri Lanka Design Festival

Colombo, Sri Lanka- On Friday, November 18, the Sri Lanka Design Festival hosted the South Asian Leadership Forum at the Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo. The forum, which culled together local and international leaders in the garment industry to discuss Sri Lanka’s place in the global marketplace was one of the key events of the Sri Lanka Design Festival, a showcase for the Sri Lankan fashion industry.

The South Asian Leadership forum, which featured four sessions and a number of guest speakers, focused on Sri Lanka’s evolving garment industry and its place in the global marketplace. Each session was hosted by a different moderator, and the panelists fielded questions from an audience composed of the garment industry’s leading thinkers. The forum was hosted by Mike Todaro, Managing Director of the American Apparel Producers Network, who frequently offered his insight into the discussions. Panelists included local business leaders and international guests from India, the UK, France, Germany, Brazil, the United States and many more countries .

“It is small groups like these that truly affect change on a grand scale,” said Todaro in his opening remarks to the hundreds of delegates and industry leaders attending the event.

The four sessions covered such diverse topics as the shifting global apparel market and economy, strategies for continuing and growing Sri Lanka’s strong garment production, new design and manufacturing  technology, and the country’s leadership in sustainable production.  Each session featured unique moderators and panels, including manufacturers, retailers, designers and educators.

One of the key topics discussed at the forum was Sri Lanka’s growth in the worldwide apparel market, and what path the nation’s manufacturers would choose to take. Many at the forum were wary of offering inexpensive services while they could as so many other countries have done, and instead opting to provide high quality work using sustainable and ethical business practices.

Though only the fourth session was initially focused on sustainable and “green” manufacturing in Sri Lanka, the eco-friendly business practices of the Sri Lankan garment industry was a theme that ran through the entire day’s discussions. Panelists and audience members agreed that Sri Lanka was setting a global example for sustainable garment manufacturing, but more needed to be done throughout the fashion industry on every level.

The marketing of Sri Lankan garments was another large topic of discussion. In addition to spreading the word about high-quality, low-environmental impact garments produced in the nation, many panel members and attendees thought that a marketing or advertising campaign directed at both the industry and customers in overall could be of tremendous benefit to Sri Lanka’s industries.

Ram Sareen, Founder and Head Coach of Tukatech, described Sri Lanka as the best kept secret in the garment industry, and several other panelists considered ways to raise the country’s profile on a global scale. Both Ram Sareen and Mike Todaro cited the example of Columbia’s Juan Valdez icon as an example of what can be accomplished with the right marketing campaign.

As part of the focus on excellence rather than affordability, one of the panels spotlighted the role of new technology in both the current marketplace and the creation of new ones. Several new technologies for design and production have drastically altered the garment production landscape in the last few decades, and Sri Lankan companies have been among the quickest to adopt, adapt and innovate.

Arshad Sattar, Managing Director for the Timex Group of Companies spoke at length about his experience using Tukatech’s TUKA3D and e-Fit Simulator while developing products to meet his customer’s time and quality expectations. He also discussed using Tukatech’s 3D technology, via Styku’s online fitting room and low-footprint in-store body scanners as one of the key elements in the success of his company’s expansion into retailing and the creation of their own brand.

Sattar also revealed how Timex has been producing over 1 Million dresses with average of 800 new styles per month, “It is a continuous season for design rather than 4 or 6 or even 12 seasons per year, an order for 2,500 garments in one style is considered to be a BIG ORDER for us now. We are doing orders as small as 65 to 240 units and that has made us a preferred supplier to major brands in fashion market”

“Our brand, Avirate, could not have happened without Tukatech and Styku,” said Sattar. “Their technology allowed us to develop our line, establish an e-commerce site, and show our styles virtually before we move into production. Tukatech allows us to be agile and quick in our development, with very little risk. We have no warehousing cost, no mark down, and none of the financial overhead or investment traditionally associated with starting a new brand. “

Sattar also announced that Avirate’s five retail outlets would be utilizing Styku’s body scanning system to help them understand their customers shapes and measurements that will allow them to make better fitting garments for every consumer regardless of their size. Avirate’s  customers will be able to shop virtually and try-on clothing in their home or mobile devices through Styku’s patents pending Virtual Fitting Room technology.

Many of these manufacturers who have expanded into their own brands had the opportunity to show off their new collections at the Sri Lanka Design Festival’s fashion shows. Companies like Timex, Hirdaramani, Star Garments, Brandix and more debuted evening wear, lingerie and children’s collections to a large gathering of international fashion industry leaders.

For more information about the Sri Lanka Design Festival, visit

About Tukatech-

Tukatech is a Los Angeles-based company that provides pattern making, grading and marker making software, 3D apparel prototyping systems and manufacturing equipment.  It also provides web-based product development services and PDM/PLM systems, supported by brick and mortar centers strategically located in garment hubs worldwide. With over 9,000 systems installed, and thousands of competitive systems replaced, Tukatech is the fastest growing garment CAD/CAM company in the world.  Tukatech has been ranked by Apparel Magazine as the #1 Apparel software company in the world.

About Styku-

Arshad Sattar Talks Tukatech

Part of the Avarite collection, from Timex

Part of the Avarite collection, from Timex

To learn more about Styku, please visit the website or schedule a private demonstration by writing to info@styku.com. You can also watch a video demonstration on Styku’s website.