Growing Fashion Brands

How PLM software enables small to mid-size fashion companies to grow faster

To release your creative potential and grow your business you should try to establish processes and workflows to streamline your operation and minimize risk. In this article, we will explain how you can easily activate your growth chances by using a cloud-based PLM platform as your product development backbone.

Challenges small to mid-size fashion companies face during product development:

  • Pressure to deliver products faster to market
  • Lack of full timeline and workflow overview across teams 
  • Overwhelming data maintenance of product information in Dropbox, Excel and email
  • Sample errors due to misunderstandings with suppliers
  • Back and forth communication with suppliers due to incomplete style specifications
  • Wasting valuable time for collection planning on administrative tasks

Throughout the past year we have been in dialogue with more than 200 small and medium-sized fashion companies and have put together 6 common questions that explain how a PLM solution can help you to optimize the above points:

1. How costly mistakes can be avoided with a PLM platform?

Receiving wrong samples because of miscommunication or incomplete tech packs is an easy fix, if you build up all of your product data on a PLM platform. Illustrations, measurements, BOM, certificates or amendments on samples can be gathered in an automatically generated tech pack that your supplier can take out with one click, giving him or her precise product instructions. A shared communication platform eliminates the search for product information, latest design changes, attachments etc., saving valuable time and reducing the risk of costly errors.

2. How can we create collections faster with a PLM platform? 

Having all of your data stored in one single source of truth that gives access to all stakeholders and lets you coordinate workflows throughout the whole product development, speeds up the exchange of data, and aligns information and decisions in the collection planning process. You’re working with real-time data, meaning all changes by teams are instantly visible. Getting rid of spreadsheets means getting rid of micro risks through manual data entry, helping you to share correct product specifications and making the development of new collections faster.

3. How will PLM impact collaboration with manufacturers?

Fewer mistakes mean better collaboration. Having your suppliers connected to the PLM platform enables you to discuss samples, prices and orders in one place and lets you trace back all previous communication through time. Changes and sample updates are shared within the platform and are visible to the brand and supplier, which reduces the chance of mistakes and the number of pricy samples. PLM helps with the transparency in price negotiations, keeping your prices and margins consistent and building trust with your suppliers.

4. How does a PLM platform help us to boost sales in marketplaces and e-commerce?

PLM provides an automated data flow from marketing and product information to your marketplaces and e-commerce in the required data format or in multiple languages without having to maintain multiple spreadsheets that constantly need to be updated. Having the data built up already during the product development and instantly transferred to your marketplaces, means that Sales can react quicker and products get faster to the end consumer, boosting time-to-market and sales.

5. Is it difficult to learn how to use a PLM solution?

 A cloud-based PLM solution can be quickly implemented, as existing product data can be set up and employees and suppliers are onboarded and educated online in just a matter of days. Intuitiveness is what makes the difference – creating and copying style specs with one-click or speedy commenting on samples is easy and can be quickly learned by new team members as your company grows. Equally hassle-free is the integration of a PLM tool into your existing software package, that will stream your data in no time to retail and the final consumer, enabling you to reap the financial benefits from short lead times. 

6. How much does a PLM tool cost?

On average a PLM improves productivity by 30% and on top of that, you need to add the value of fewer errors, better margins and pricing, improved time to market and that all knowledge is managed in one place. What costs you money at the moment is the loss of time by working with unstructured processes and a constant search and maintenance of information. Working inefficiently quickly adds up costs, causes errors and hence requires more resources, putting a break on your potential growth.


Use a few minutes to calculate your cost of not having a PLM here. 


To learn more about how we can help your company to streamline product development with a PLM platform, book a free consultation where we will discuss your key issues and give ideas on how to solve them.


Request a demo consultation and see how a cloud-based PLM solution can help your company.