Fashion Software

PLM Benefits for Collection Planning: How to successfully realize collection plans

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Vilmer Ståhle
· 3 minute read

Gathering collection plans in Excel often means that brand managers, design managers, financial controllers, buyers, and designers lack a real-time overview of the collection themes, creative direction, quantities, price points, financial targets, categories, features, size ranges, fabrics, and colors – a method that can cause increased development cost, sample cancellations, and unfulfilled minimum order quantities.

On the other hand, a real-time overview of all the collection data can increase profits and cut out unnecessary design work that does not match the collection plan. This way, brands can minimize cancellation rates, easier meet MOQs, improve time-to-market, and reduce the overall development costs.

Therefore, it is important to have a clear framework for making sure the collection is developed according to the plan.

In this article, we will have a look at how PLM can provide the framework for successfully realizing collection plans and sticking to them.

PLM benefits for collection planning:

Minimize cancellation rates and meet MOQs

Unstructured collection planning can lead to a 40-50% cancellation rate in sampling processes and can result in a collection where brands end up having too many styles, missing price points, categories, and features, leading to unfulfilled MOQs and accordingly risk compromising on supplier relations and quality consistency.

With a PLM system, designers have a full overview of collection specifications providing an organized framework for them to maintain a streamlined process, with a real-time and clear overview of the collection plan, how it needs to unfold and what styles, price points, categories, and features need to be developed to fulfill the collection requirements and meet MOQs.

Through updating and sharing the collection plan in PLM, designers can easier stick to the agreed specifications, meaning that brands can rapidly minimize those unintended development costs that come from sample cancellations.

Avoid waste of resources

Making the collection plan takes time and requires research to be based on valid insights of former collections and market trends. If the plan is not realized as intended, it is a waste of resources and may ultimately adversely affect how the collection performs when it hits the market.

Even though a lot of time is spent developing the collection plan, brands working in Excel may end up with a collection that does not match the planned parameters and specifications.

So, it can be an expensive waste of resources if the mix of themes, categories, styles, features, price points, and colors is not adhered to. Failing to deliver the agreed collection can lead to commercial failures and revenue loss in the end.

With PLM, designers have an accurate database for the collection plan, and can always access the specifications in order to see what styles need to be developed next. This way, brands avoid waste of resources and motivate the designers to stick to the plan in order to avoid missing price points and ensure the right mix of commercial and creative items.

Maintain the process overview

When brands work in Excel, it can be difficult to gain an overview of the entire collection plan. Following the development process and streamlining all parties, requires a database where both managers, controllers, designers, buyers, and manufacturers can follow the process in order to see what styles the team is working on, what samples are pending, and when they arrive, etc.

With PLM, brands get a solution for gathering the collection plan and all other product data from the very beginning of the development process, making it easy for all involved parties to follow. Through working with real-time data in a platform where designers gain an overview of the collection plan, PLM creates the fundament for better and more structured collaboration between managers, controllers, and designers in the development phase.


When planning collections in Excel it is difficult to provide designers with the necessary overview they need in order to follow the agreed quantities, styles, categories, features, colors, labels, etc.

Collection planning requires a structured framework for designers to follow, and it is important that the collection plan is respected and realized as it is based on time-consuming preceding insights and analysis of the former collection performance – if not, brands risk that the collection is underperforming, which can lead to revenue loss.

So, in order to avoid waste of resources, meet MOQs, minimize sample cancellations and revenue loss, it is evidently important to respect the collection plan and make sure that designers stick to it.

PLM provides a tool to overcome this challenge and aligns managers, buyers, controllers, and designers with a single source of truth where all stakeholders can easily follow the process and overview the collection plan.

PLM helps create the best setting for launching successful collections with minimized risk to increase the outcome when it hits the market.

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