When a fashion business should consider a Product Lifecycle Management system (PLM)
Heading up a fashion business is demanding – maintaining a consistent vision whilst keeping track of Return On Investment (ROI), producing multiple collections a year whilst ensuring consistency in production – the idea of taking time out from managing process to look at strategy can seem impossible. But there’s another way of looking at things. If any of these challenges are confronting your fashion brand, PLM could be your solution.
It’s time to consider PLM when …
Key stakeholders are urging PLM on you
From financial backers to suppliers, partners who are used to PLM are likely to start telling you that your fashion enterprise needs to be run as a successful business, not a successful vision.
As fashion brands grow, the demands on them become greater – more collections, more trade shows, more buyers demanding more product, more editorial leading to more enquiries … and without PLM it’s difficult to upscale your activity and be flexible enough to cope with opportunities.
Internal support is not delivering on the design and production process
When your own team start telling you that your design and production processes are falling down, through information errors and they can’t get enough internal support to keep pace with data. One of the key features of PLM is its flexibility.
Unlike spreadsheet based systems PLM is data-responsive, meaning you can integrate new information into your decision-making, giving you real time market sensitivity so you can benefit from opportunities and adjust delivery, supplier information and production to ensure maximum success.
You can no longer quantify results
Return on Investment is an essential part of running any sustainable business, but in a world as fast moving as fashion, ROI can be hard to focus on. The identification of key metrics isn’t so difficult, but staying on top of them in real time is tough.
This is where PLM really kicks in – tracking business performance is inbuilt into sophisticated PLM systems so that the design and production phases of a fashion business provide their own metrics, as do all other aspects of the enterprise. Without the ability to focus on ROI, many organisations simply run out of steam because they put too much energy into low return or high risk areas, whilst neglecting those lines or areas that were generating the best ROI.
You’re succeeding and becoming exhausted
There’s no way of knowing how many viable fashion brands failed through founder exhaustion, but everybody knows that industry burn-out is commonplace. Recognising how much of your vision needs to remain in your hands is one thing – being able to rely on responsive PLM to handle aspects of the business that aren’t reliant on your personal creativity is quite another.
Many fashion visionaries build small enthusiastic teams who are completely committed to the brand, but as the business grows, it extends beyond their capacities. Integrating PLM can bring confidence back to your team and free you to focus on what nobody but you can do – deliver the vision of your brand.
If any of these elements are starting to feature in your business life, it’s time to start exploring how PLM can help you stay on top of your burgeoning fashion business.
PLM implementations can be time-consuming and resource intensive. True Cloud PLM systems negate this as they have central updates that improve the system for all clients simultaneously. Check out the true Cloud providers first so you get a good idea of pricing and can head towards a swift implementation.