• Digital Transformation Strategy Conference For Decision Makers and Directors

    This conference provides a clear roadmap to help those overseeing and managing brand 'digitization'—from where to start to how to improve current digital workflows to increase productivity and efficiency—for beginners to those already deep in digital. Specifically for footwear executives, managers and directors starting or already overseeing digital transformations, this conference goes step by step to help solve your digital dilemmas and solve your digital roadblocks.

    Rescheduled 2020 Date TBA | Columbia Sportswear HQ, Portland OR

  • Background and Why You MUST Attend!

    STRATEGY—Solving Digital Management Dilemmas

    Not sure where to start? Got a digital roadblock and not sure where to go? Everyone has these problems, and it's why this conference is happening! The conference centers around presenting clear digital transformation roadmaps that can be applied directly, starting from beginner level through highly advanced, holistic digital solutions for the entire supply chain. Every brand simply must have a presence—whether you are starting a new program or you are in the middle of a digital transformation—everyone will get key ideas, tips and best practices critical to the success and bottom line of your company.


    Several software and hardware solutions for the footwear industry are connected in logical, practical scenarios that offer both low- and high-end solutions. They not only address which kinds of software to choose strategically and why, but also focus on organizational aspects such as: how to change the current workflow in order to accommodate for this innovation, what kind of people and skills will be needed, how to decide whether to outsource this new digital work or do it in-house, and how to best train people for these skills. Each scenario centers around one question, but these questions—and answers—become increasingly complex as we progress through the days.

    Who Should Attend

    Upper management to operational level in product development, design, innovation to manufacturing, sales, distribution, retail and human resources should attend. Examples of job titles this conference is relevant to: Design Directors, Directors and VPs of Product Development, Heads of Human Resources and Development, Sourcing Executives, Manufacturing Directors, IT/Software Integration Leads, Innovation Teams.


    Speakers include: innovation directors and digital program directors from leading shoe brands sharing tips and best practices, software providers developing digital tools for brands, and professors and digital experts.

  • The Program will FLOW as follows:

    Day 1: Introduction and Intermediate Step-by-Step Examples—how to think about ‘digitization’, how to strategize and set up a program and optimize the workflow to make it successful

    • ​​​Scenario 1: Digital Materials & 3D Design 
      What software is best for my digital design needs—how do I set up a digital creation team or get buy-in? How can we digitize our material supply chain? 
    • Scenario 2: 3D Prototyping & Visualizing for Sales Teams
      How can we optimize our current physical prototyping process through merging digital design with 3D printing? What software and hardware can we use to visualize digital designs in virtual prototypes to help development teams, get faster more cost effective line reviews internally among sales teams, and in sales pitches to retailers? 
    • Scenario 3: Virtualizing for Online Retail - Consumer Input and Increase Online Sales
      How can we use 3D designs/virtual prototypes that are consumer facing for more engaging digital marketing? How can we use 3D designs for crowdsourcing sales before shoes have been manufactured to create better inventory efficiency? 
    • Scenario 4: Digital Tools in the Factory
      What technologies (3D scanners, molding tools, robotics) can we help implement in the factory to speed up manufacturing and reduce quality issues and costs? How can we create a digital design archive so we can make optimal use of the tooling we already have?
    • Scenario 5: Customizing for Current and Digital Manufacturing
      How can we best create a digital workflow that allows for customization by the consumer—for size and/or aesthetics—within our current means of production? How can we best create a digital workflow that allows for customization by the consumer—for size and/or aesthetics—using (local) automated digital manufacturing?
    • End of Day 1: Attend a networking reception allowing professionals to meet and find new connections to help them with their transformation.

    Day 2 (Morning Sessions): Advanced Ideas and Concepts

    • Scenario 6: Automizing and Generating Design and Manufacturing Through Big Data
      How can we create a holistic workflow for both digital design and manufacturing that is fully automated based upon big data? How can we gather relevant big data both inside and outside our company? How can we turn data into actionable information? How can we translate aesthetic preferences into automated design systems?
    • Scenario 7: Increasing Sustainability and Generating Circularity 
      How can we create a holistic digital system that fully optimizes what we make as a company, including both the product's beginning and end of life? How can we use artificial intelligence to minimize or even eliminate industrial waste? Which international data systems exist that track consumer waste streams that could be used as a resource for footwear? Which systems exist that give insight into where we can find the most sustainable natural resources in our region? How could we automatically find the best partners to buy our waste streams? 

    Day 2 (Afternoon): Demos and Roundtable

    • Roundtable for experienced digital users and technology suppliers: A Roundtable will immediately follow the FLOW conference. We will bring together experienced users and developers of digital applications for footwear with the aim of improving current systems and how to connect them, as well as identifying gaps in the market that still need to be filled. This Roundtable is exclusive for FDRA members and invited guests. Please contact us if you feel you should be present!
    • Digital Demos for digital beginners and intermediate level professionals: Immediately following the FLOW conference, attendees will have the opportunity for in-depth demos from software companies at exhibit booths to see how their software works, examples of uses, and ample time to get your questions fully answered from the software providers you may have been looking at but have not yet had the chance to engage.