Byline: Jeanette Hye

NEW YORK — The Isfel, a manufacturer of private label girls’ apparel supplying such chains as Wal-Mart, Kmart and J.C. Penney, is using computer-aided design software that speeds up the design process and provides sophisticated retailer presentations.
The company, based here, is using its CAD system to generate presentation sheets, otherwise known as sell sheets, for showing designs and prints to prospective retail customers.
Prior to using this software, which is from Glendale, N.Y.-based Monarch Designs, the company created large presentation boards by printing designs from its former CAD system, reducing them on a color photo copier and then hand pasting them to a large poster board.
Using the new software, which interfaces with Photoshop software, the company imports designs directly from its CAD program into Photoshop, where it creates presentation pages.
“Buyers are really crammed for space these days,” said Dianne Pilate, a merchandiser at The Isfel. “They no longer want huge presentation boards. They want it shrunk down and put on paper.”
Pilate said that an even more current trend is that buyers are asking for presentations on disks, which the company can deliver.
The ability to import CAD designs electronically also speeds up the presentation process, said Pilate
What used to take at least three days can now be done in one.
This, she said, becomes particularly important as retailers demand shorter turnaround times.
“You’ve got to be ready with a design when a buyer is ready to buy,” said Pilate. “It seems like the one that gets there first is the one that gets the order.
“We have the prints and designs already stored for the most part,” said Pilate. “With this CAD program, it’s just a matter of going in and remanipulating them and putting them into presentations.”
Pilate said the program has realized significant cost savings for The Isfel.
The technology has been so successful, in fact, that the company is purchasing two more CAD workstations. In addition, it has invested in home workstations for two of its designers, including head designer Jean Fong, a proponent of the technology.