Is your PLM solution “plugged in”?

May 9, 2017

Accelerate the entire product lifecycle, from concept to consumer

Fast fashion is no longer a novelty, it’s the status quo. And it’s not just millennials who expect to see runway looks in their favorite stores a few weeks after debut. In fact, it’s been proven that inexpensive purchases like fast fashion apparel actually make shoppers happy—and that hunt for instant gratification and more affordable, trendier styles is changing the retail landscape for shoppers and retailers of all shapes and sizes.

With more control, insight, and means of purchase than ever before, shoppers are choosing the path of least resistance to curate personalized supply chains based on their unique desires: lowest price, fastest shipping time, available sizes, frequency of assortment updates, most sustainable suppliers, or even the prettiest packaging—which more than half of consumers say leads them to make a second purchase.

How fast is fast enough?

In this market, there’s the quick and the out of business. Or as Ricky Bobby so eloquently put it, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

Shoppers are so plugged in across every channel that when they see something they want, they’ll find a way to get it as quickly as possible. Hot celebrity sporting a new trend? Plenty of websites are dedicated to helping you find and purchase the same “look for less” before it goes out of style. On, fans of Kate Middleton can buy copycat pieces to recreate the Duchess’s most recent looks—from formal gowns to accessories to maternity wear. Remember Ken Bones and his red sweater? Within hours of the second presidential debate in October of 2016, the IZOD garment completely sold out on Amazon.

With consumer expectations so high, meeting the demand for instant gratification and competing with the H&Ms, Zaras, and Forever 21s of the world can be overwhelming—especially amongst a sea of technology solutions, a constantly changing market, and endless unknowns.

Retailers know that faster time to market is essential to keep up … but without insights and collaboration across the global supply chain (and the power to instantly respond to fluctuations) how can they possibly hope to achieve “concept-to-consumer” retailing in the timeframe of just a few weeks?

Ideation to showroom floor in weeks: it’s possible with modern PLM

Traditionally, retailers and fashion brands have used PLM as a standalone solution to accelerate time to market. But these days, most PLM solutions alone aren’t fast enough to keep up. Leading retailers have figured out that by plugging modern PLM solutions into the power of machine learning and a global supply chain network, they can become agile enough to make drastic changes in assortment, shipping, and distribution at a moment’s notice.

By aggregating data from across the enterprise, a PLM solution that’s “plugged in” can predict market fluctuations and trends, create forecasts based on countless attributes, and recommend optimal strategies to make adjustments across the supply chain in real time. Storm approaching off the coast? Reroute an ocean-liner shipment. Unseasonably warm weather in December? Shift product distribution to meet local demand. Taylor Swift flaunting a new lip color? Mix up your cosmetics assortment in a flash.

With a fully connected PLM solution, retailers can spot trends and get them to market before their competitors do, quickly restock high-performing items, pull products that aren’t performing, and even reuse the material from those that aren’t. And when efficiency is optimized, it means a seat at the table for the future of retail.

Our recommendation: Because retail product lifecycle management solutions are not one size fits all, it’s important that retailers choose an industry-specific partner—not an agnostic vendor—to get the most out of PLM technology. Learn more about Infor’s revolutionary PLM solution for retailers.

Fashion design with PLM
  • Fashion
  • Retail
  • Worldwide
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