By Vilmer Ståhle
6 minute read
Vilmer Ståhle By Vilmer Ståhle
6 minute read
Delogue PLM Software is developed by industry insiders for all fashion and apparel, workwear, eyewear, accessories, footwear and interior brands ranging from small and mid-sized to large businesses.
What is fashion PLM software?
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a software solution to improve and speed up the product development process in fashion and apparel companies. It helps to manage product data, manufacturing workflows and collaboration from design to the final product, storing information from concept, design through manufacturing and sampling processes. PLM systems improve workflows across the value chain to improve collaboration and cut development-related costs by improving speed, productivity and decision-making processes.
Why use PLM for fashion and apparel?
The fashion- and apparel industry require a heavy combination of launching new products with very short time to market, meaning that optimal productivity and overall efficiency in the development process is very important in order to keep up with the industry demands. The fashion and apparel industry entails a complex range of size/color combinations, dedicated sourcing strategies, quality control and much more.
So, in order to improve decision-making when planning future collections, fashion and apparel companies can use PLM software to manage product data and information, improve work processes, accelerate time to market, boost productivity, reduce waste and costs, improve product innovation and quality and make supplier collaboration more efficient.
Who uses PLM software in fashion and apparel companies?
Design, production, management and suppliers. PLM software is used by everyone involved in the process of developing new products. It aligns employees and suppliers across departments and enables a more efficient development process.
What are the benefits of PLM software?
There are many benefits of using PLM software for fashion companies. Brands use PLM software to increase productivity and collaboration, reduce costs, improve quality, time to market and decision-making to ultimately deliver better products.
The 3 key benefits are:
- Improved productivity
- Reduced costs
- Improved decision-making
Read more about the benefits of fashion PLM software here.
How do I make a business case for PLM software?
To make a business case for fashion PLM software, you have to outline some current challenges before acknowledging the PLM system to address them. Here are some typical challenges that companies experience when not having PLM software:
- Overwhelming data maintenance in Dropbox, Excel and email
- Redundant information processing and data entry results in delays
- Searching for information is slowing down workflows
- Lack of full timeline and workflow overview across teams
- Data- and sample errors are a common occurrence
- External communication with suppliers is a struggle (through email)
- Creativity is limited, as administrative tasks are taking up too much time
- Delivering and formatting product data to marketing and sales is time-consuming
- Inaccurate communication of tech packs resulting in supplier miscommunication
If you recognize one or more of the above challenges, then a modern fashion PLM system will certainly be suited for implementation.
Learn more about how you make a business case for a PLM System.
What is the difference between PDM and PLM software?
PDM stands for Product Data Management and is a business function within the scope of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). PDM is only responsible for the management and publication of product data files.
PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), on the other hand, is a software tool that manages not only product-related data and information but also communication, supplier collaboration, collection planning and much more through the entire development process.
As a result of increasing complexity in development processes and supply chain management, PLM software gets more important as it creates better workflows, increases productivity, reduces costly errors and improves decision-making. In this way, PLM manages the entire lifecycle of a product from ideation through design and manufacturing to the final product.
Now, the difference between PDM and PLM, is that PLM has a larger scope than PDM and includes supplier collaboration, knowledge management, workflows, assortment planning, sourcing and much more – whereas PDM manages the product files only.
What is the difference between PLM and PIM?
PIM stands for Product Information Management and is a tool to manage the product information that is required to market and sell products through different distribution channels.
PIM provides a centralized database for product information that is used to share data with other media such as online stores, print catalogs, ERP systems etc.
PLM stands for Product Lifecycle Management. It is a software tool that manages products in development processes. As a result of increasing complexity in product development and supply chain management, PLM software gets more important as it creates better workflows, increases productivity, reduces costly errors, and improves decision-making. In this way, PLM manages the entire lifecycle of a product from ideation through design and manufacturing to the final product.
Now, the difference between PIM and PLM is that companies use PIM to create marketing texts, lookbooks, packshots etc., after the development process that is managed in the PLM system.
How do PLM, ERP and PIM integrate with each other?
PLM – where products are born
PLM is the tool to support the product development process – it is in PLM where the product is created. In most cases, fashion companies will start creating a product by name or number and add relevant data such as supplier, brand, product category, colors, and sizes.
Specific features of the product such as materials, certificates, etc. is typically only known by designers, purchasers, and suppliers. So, during the development process, it is important to collect all relevant product information in the PLM system in order to maintain efficient knowledge sharing across all departments.
Lastly, development costs and price simulations are also handled in the PLM system during the development process.
PIM – where products are prepared for release
After the development process, companies can use PIM software to create inspiring product texts, pictures, packshots, lookbooks, etc. Based on the information and input from the PLM system, companies can add additional information in PIM software and enrich their product data.
In the PIM system, the marketing team will polish the text, add translations and optimize it for e-commerce.
ERP – where products are purchased and sold
In order to bring products to market, companies need their products to exist in an ERP system. ERP software needs to know the supplier(s), cost- and sales prices, tax codes and materials of each product. Most of the information required in ERP can be created in PLM, but it depends on the organizational structure. For example, if the specialist in tax codes is only working in ERP, then it makes sense to maintain this in ERP only.
How is PLM software used in the design process?
PLM allows design, production, management and suppliers to collaborate in a single platform. When a product is in the design phase, PLM works as a collaboration tool where the design is being tested in close relation with suppliers. Designers can keep track of product data and design information, maintain tech pack accuracy, structure workflows and overviews of item libraries, bill of material and other product specifications. This makes the entire design process more efficient.
Designers can also use PLM as a portfolio and library for their work and gain an overview of former as well as in-process designs and an inspirational library for future designs.
Is PLM software difficult to use?
No. Fashion PLM software only makes it easier for design, production, management and suppliers to collaborate, improve existing workflows and create high-quality products. PLM software for fashion and apparel is developed and tailored to support the existing work processes within product development in the industry, meaning that the software is built to be intuitive and easy to use.
Is PLM software hard to implement?
No. Intuitive fashion PLM software can be implemented in just a matter of days. At Delogue PLM, we have a dedicated team to help onboard employees and suppliers and there is no need for installments to your existing systems, as everything is centralized in a cloud-based solution.
How do I get my suppliers to work in PLM Software?
Suppliers benefit from fashion PLM software as it saves them time and resources and increases tech pack accuracy, which improves workflows for both fashion brands and suppliers. In general, PLM software increases the collaboration process and enables suppliers to minimize shipment errors and misunderstandings, ultimately improving productivity and relationships with fashion brands.
How much does PLM software cost?
Investing in the right solution can help to improve time to market, reduce costs, accelerate productivity and improve overall operational savings by up to 30%. Calculate the costs of not having PLM software to support product development can be a good way to determine if is worth investing in PLM Software.
Calculate the cost of not having a PLM.