Matmarket is an international material and component supplier dedicated to innovative material solutions for apparel and footwear brands. Matmarket offers a fully integrated material supply chain that includes design, research and development, marketing support, and manufacturing expertise. Their global network of brand partners include Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Timberland, Carhartt, Mechanix, Decathlon, and Walmart. Matmarket’s philosophy is innovative development, not only in their quest for the most effective products, but also within their business operations and supply chain practices. As a company, Matmarket is constantly developing new ways to serve their customers. For this reason, they now incorporate digital material sampling to better connect to their customers and improve efficiency.
The Matmarket material supplier was founded in 2000 as a representative agency to create and implement sales and marketing strategies for brands with support from their manufacturing partners. Since then, the business has expanded to include their own proprietary, high-performance materials. Matmarket specializes in materials and component solutions for the performance sporting goods industry, including footwear, gloves, sportswear, and workwear.
It is estimated that remote working has now increased by over 400% globally, as the Covid pandemic accelerates the shift from in-person meetings to digital operations. Many brands are changing their traditional methods of selecting materials based on physical material brochures, choosing instead to develop relationships with material suppliers and manufacturers that are ‘digital ready’. Matmarket is not only working to meet this current challenge, but also continuing to accelerate development and manufacturing lead times to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry.
“The need has never been greater for Matmarket to develop a large library of digital marketing assets to complement our physical material catalogs,” says Stephen Bobbett, Marketing Manager, Matmarket.
Matmarket’s philosophy is to strive for constant innovation and excellence in their products and business practices, as stated in their mantra: “Expect What’s Next.” Matmarket strives not only to develop the most effective and best performing materials for their customers, but also to improve avenues for interacting with designers, developers, manufacturers, and end-use consumers.
Digital materials within a digital platform was the next logical step on their drive for innovation. Stephen says: “Using Material Exchange as a platform gives us the opportunity to organize these complex business relationships under the umbrella of a single user experience.”
Matmarket has successfully utilized Material Exchange for some of their larger customers and are currently in the process of digitizing many material catalogs in order to expand those benefits to their wider client base.
For many companies involved in footwear and apparel, the horizon has changed shape. In the years to come, reliance on physical materials and processes will be much less. The adoption of digitalization is a necessity rather than an option. Early adopters like Matmarket are now in a strong position for the future and are ready to provide for brands seeking digital suppliers. The task for their competitors is that of catching up rather than competing. The process of digitalization is not a swift undertaking; it’s a long process that will have huge benefits for the future of Matmarket.
Matmarket is already seeing the benefits of their digital materials. “While Matmarket is still in the process of
digitizing our existing material books, our experience with some of our largest customers has
been positive. The platform has given them an expedient means of exploring our material catalogs as well as provided designers with easy-to-use assets to speed the production process,” added Stephen.
The benefits of SaaS-based digital technologies is a small initial investment cost with big opportunities. Many material suppliers are overwhelmed by the task ahead, but Stephen’s advice is to prepare. “This includes high-quality photography, well-organized books, and familiarizing sales teams with the full potential of the platform. Using the full potential of platforms like Material Exchange makes all the difference when it comes to material sales in the digital age,” Stephen concludes.