Threading the needle to success: Step 1 - PLM

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November 3, 2020By Greg Davis

The fashion business has unique demands, and one of the most critical is the need for a collaborative design and development process. This process must be able to function in an environment of complex global sourcing, whether a company is in high fashion, luxury goods, apparel, footwear, home textiles, accessories, or any other style-based products. What makes this unique—and quite complicated—for fashion companies, is the sheer number of varieties that typically exist within product lines, such as styles, colors, and sizes. This complexity compounds further when additional lines and collections enter the mix.

In this  blog post, we’ll explore the first step in reinforcing a collaborative network which is to establish a strong product lifecycle management process that helps manage collections, sustainable fabric compositions, and design specifications. 

Collaborate, don’t complicate

 Your PLM strategy or process should incorporate information, data, and feedback from other essential systems departments to prevent and break down silos across all areas of operation. A strong product lifecycle management process can help you solve problems associated with miscommunications, development time, quality assurance, longevity, and time to market.

You should also be able to share data with suppliers for enhanced collaboration on product specifications and costs. Since suppliers are central to many fashion businesses, a modern PLM system should contain information on ethical sourcing and compliance to meet audit requirements and help protect brand integrity. With all of this in place, fashion companies can share critical information and collaborate in real time throughout all offices and internal departments, as well as across the entire value chain.

Ultimately, the PLM process should help you optimize the design to the sales process by:

- Managing planning, design, and development

- Providing designers with creative ideation

- Encouraging real-time collaboration with suppliers

- Deploy digitization of design and development with 3D Design 

As industry thought leaders like Just-Style Managing Editor Leonie Barrie have observed, companies can reap rich rewards with a PLM system, achieving faster time-to-market and deploying a core data hub that brings together planning, design, sourcing, production, logistics, and replenishment.

To learn more about this topic and gain some practical information about how your organization can create a connected and collaborative digitized network, check out this best practice guide.

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