Is your fashion business ready for PLM?

Recognizing when it is time to turn product development processes into a system.



Running a fashion business is demanding beyond belief. It’s probably true that nobody who really knew what it would entail would start the process that demands attention 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and depends on the vagaries of weather, international affairs and even what a particular celebrity wears on a particular day when the media is focused on him or her. There are surely easier ways to make a living!

But it’s equally true that running a fashion company may be the most fascinating, rewarding and potentially life-altering decision any of us ever make. So how do we maximise the benefits and reduces the risks as our fashion enterprise grows and matures?


Click here for a bit more about Product Life-cycle Management

PLM stands for Product Life-cycle Management

We think it can save fashion businesses from the tyranny of spreadsheets.

The fashion industry is ever changing and constantly developing,  but it often still chooses old fashioned and time consuming ways of working rather than adopting new technology.

By using a good PLM system and combining this with solid processes your team can always be up to date and efficient, in real time. This avoids costly mistakes, incorrect versions and lack of information driving your business and puts you in control.


Whether you’re the CEO of an established fashion brand or the founder of a brand new fashion business, there will come a day when you need to be able to answer some real business questions:

  • Do you need a PLM system?
  • How do you know if the time is right for you to invest in PLM?
  • Which system should you choose from the crowded marketplace of PLM offerings?
  • Is the whole of your business fit for PLM or do you need help to get everyone PLM ready?


One of the most difficult things for any organisation is knowing how to recognise the optimum time to move forward. Risk assessment is a well-developed business but opportunity assessment is still more of an art, particularly in creative enterprises. Uncertainty about readiness to step up can inhibit an enterprise from investing in the next stage of development, such as PLM.

PLM evaluation from 1970i for fashion business

In any industry, product life-cycle management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire life-cycle of a product from creation through design and manufacture to delivery and the eventual disposal of product.

Many fashion businesses simply fail to recognise the advantages to managing this process because their attention always remains at the first stage – ‘creation through to design’. There is never a shortage of brilliant fashion start-ups, but the process of becoming a successful and established fashion brand requires recognition that product, not creativity, is the real revenue creator. This recognition means that the advantages of managing product lifecycle will free the creatives in a business to do more of what they love, whilst empowering others to demonstrate their own talents, abilities and strengths to grow the business at every point in the process, not just at the design stage.

So if you can’t be sure for yourself – especially if your talents might not spring from the management end of the spectrum – it’s vital to involve specialist support to evaluate whether your organisation is ready to move forward.

PLM – the options for successful implementation

1970i offers a further stage before implementation, where the consultant is part of your team in the vendor evaluation process:

  • attending PLM system demonstrations,
  • participating in the internal evaluation meetings,
  • assisting with both the decision making process and the preparation of budgets and system implementation preparations.

Cloud-hosted, web-server options or even hosting inside your physical premises are alternatives that need to be compared or explored, business by business.

This, along with the process of evaluating readiness and introducing the options, may bring some of your key team members to full PLM awareness for the first time, helping you and your business become confident about, ready to invest in and prepared to implement the right PLM for you, for your business and for your future growth.


Standard Evaluation

A standardised approach, based on decades of analysing the readiness of fashion businesses for PLM. This evaluation assesses the business structure, methodology and supplier relationships across many departments. The outcome will be a written recommendation that outlines the level of preparedness for PLM and some indicators of what may need to change before an effective PLM solution can be identified for the organisation.

The in-depth Evaluation

An in-depth evaluation. This drives deeper into the organisation, taking time to go into more detail with each department and the management. The outcome could already start indicating which vendors might be suitable for the business and this would give potential budget requirements. In addition an idea of the complexity and potential required timeline for a successful implementation would be discussed.

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 Standard Evaluation In-Depth Evaluation


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