LONDON, UK  – March 16 2023 – Coats Digital is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), based on a shared vision to support the ongoing digitalization of the global fashion industry. Coats Digital has worked closely with the MMU Senior Lecturing Team to customise VisionPLM specifically for use in an educational environment. The solution enables students to learn how to use critical fashion planning and product lifecycle management software to provide real-world, industry simulated project briefs. The ultimate objective is to support graduate employability by ensuring students have practical experience of solving real industry challenges with the very latest digital tools and skills.

Manchester Metropolitan University’s Manchester Fashion Institute is one of the largest Fashion Schools in the UK and a top modern university for research quality. Ranked second for the power of its research in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2020), the institute has an impressive portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate fashion courses developed with international industry partners and informed by world-class research. The institute offers the latest cutting-edge digital technologies to collectively support the ongoing digitalization of the fashion industry through the development of responsible future-proofed graduates,  ready to champion inclusive and sustainable practices.

Jackie Rayner, Senior Lecturer, Manchester Fashion Institute, said: “Our partnership with Coats Digital will enable us to prepare our graduates for an industry that is rapidly being powered by technology and driven to deliver more sustainable practice across all areas of business. As a provider of innovative, digitally focused education, we are truly excited to be working with Coats Digital’s industry experts who have worked tirelessly to engineer a fully tailored solution focused on our students’ digital skills development.”

Coats Digital’s VisionPLM is a powerful digital platform that is used to improve the way that products are managed from concept to delivery. The solution is supporting today’s fashion businesses to develop sustainable and socially responsible and socially compliant products faster, at the right price and quality whilst eliminating waste, loss of revenue and reputation associated with incomplete, inaccurate, or missing information.

Configured to reflect industry best practices, VisionPLM offers core product lifecycle management and extended sourcing functionality, creating ‘one version of the truth’ – from design, material and product development (including tech packs), to sampling, approvals, costing, vendor capacity management, order allocation and purchase order status updates.

Anita Mitchell, Digital Lead, Manchester Metropolitan University, added: “Manchester Fashion Institute is long regarded as a trail blazer with regards its adoption of digital fashion technologies.  Our continued success has been based on strong collaboration with international fashion brands and leading technology providers which play a vital role in helping us develop the rapidly changing workforce requirements of an increasingly digitised global fashion supply chain. This latest collaboration with Coats Digital further strengthens the Manchester Fashion Institute’s goal to support the Fashion Industry by preparing a steady stream of future-proofed fashion professionals that are ready for the real world where Product Lifecycle Management is a de-facto strategic tool for the industry’s digital transformation.

On the first day of the VisonPLM system roll out on 7th March 2023,   first- and second-year BA Fashion Buying and Merchandising students were the first to start learning about the comprehensive benefits of a robust PLM to identify, measure and adapt the buying, product development and supply chain processes, whilst supporting sustainable practice across the entire fashion value-chain at the same time.

Students will be engaging further with the newly integrated software in collaboration with a number of key fashion brands to develop and communicate sustainable and socially compliant fashion products that meet the efficiencies demanded by effective sustainable fashion practice.

Julie Tubby, Senior Director, Customer Operations, Coats Digital, commented: “The future of the fashion industry is increasingly being driven by technology. Students entering the industry need to understand how the rapid digitization of the fashion supply chain is changing the way that apparel is being manufactured and how true sustainable practices can be embedded into the production process from the very start of the design process.  Coats Digital is committed to delivering robust solutions that can be easily integrated into an educational framework, so that next generation fashion graduates have the tools they need to successfully navigate the complex real world of global fashion. We are truly delighted to have secured a long-term partnership with such an innovative, forward-thinking fashion school and we look forward to integrating further advanced solutions in the near future to help students fully understand how best working practices, sustainability and fair wages are all going to play an increasingly important role in their future careers.”

Student Quotes

‘Surprisingly straightforward and captures some really great information all in one place.’

‘Something different! I didn’t think it was hard to use, once you knew where to navigate too. It is obviously going to help us in graduate roles so that motivates me to figure it out.’

‘Really good system, interesting to see what’s needed in the job.’

About Manchester Fashion Institute

A proud part of Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Fashion Institute is one of the largest fashion schools in the UK. We have over 2000 students working to become our next generation of change makers impacting on the future design, production and consumption of fashion products.

We provide depth and breadth of expertise in our subject, with an impressive portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, developed with international industry partners and informed by our world-class research.

We are developing responsible future leaders who will champion inclusive and sustainable practices.

Harnessing the power that fashion wields to connect and communicate we work collaboratively across disciplines and borders, our research and teaching cross science, the arts, business, health, sociology, sport and digital.

Our reputation and our impact extend far beyond disciplinary boundaries because this is an Institute that thrives on community, with partnerships and projects all over the world.
We are building an environment where diversity and equality flourish, where innovation is powered by a multitude of perspectives and cultures.

About Coats Digital

Coats Digital is the leading digital transformation partner for the fashion supply chain, powering sustainable processes and high value insights through connected technologies. We leverage deep industry and technology expertise to help brands and manufacturers optimise, connect and accelerate business critical processes from design and development to method-time-cost optimisation, production planning and control, fabric optimisation and shop floor execution. Used in over 3,000 factories globally, our unmatched end-to-end apparel, footwear and textile software and SaaS solutions improve agility, speed to market, efficiency, transparency and sustainability. Coats Digital – transform with 

Coats Digital is the software business of Coats Group, the world’s leading industrial thread company and a trusted industry player.