Managing Multiple Brands with PLM
Pam Buckingham: Deckers Outdoor is a lifestyle brand company that manufactures five different brands of shoes. And we have shoes for every occasion you can possibly imagine. My role is a PLM/Process Improvement Manager for product development across brands.
Jamie Tantleff: My name is Jamie Tantleff and I'm a Project Analyst for product development. Our footwear and apparel brands are Ugg Australia, Teva, Ahnu, Tsubo, Sanuk, and Mozo.
Driving Company Goals with PLM
Pam Buckingham: We realize that we're not going to do that by doing the same old thing that got us to be a billion dollar company. Those business processes were great and got us to where we are, but they're not going to get us to where we need to be. So it was time for us to get out of our siloed huts living in Excel and move into one big house together in PLM to share information and be much more efficient.
Jamie Tantleff: We have to be able to communicate with all our global partners around the world, and doing that with emails and spreadsheets is nearly impossible, which is why being on a PLM system is of the utmost importance for our company.
Pam Buckingham: With the explosive growth that we've had, Ugg has grown from one spring season to the next over 84 percent. We know that we could not manage a line of 500 to 700 products in Excel, over five brands, with multiple locations. We needed our executive team to be able to have one central location to look across the development landscape to understand what was going on across brands, and PLM gave us that.
Realized Value from PLM
Pam Buckingham: One of the great values that we've realized from PLM is a great savings in our raw material purchasing. Through PLM, our material sourcing team has been able to consolidate all of the materials by brand and start leveraging economy of scale. This was not previously available to us before the PLM tool. And in 2011 we saved over a million dollars in leather negations alone. We're pretty proud of that.
PLM & ERP Integration
Pam Buckingham: PLM is specifically for product development. It's for everything from the crazy idea in the designer’s head all the way through manufacturing, where ERP actually pics up at the point of production. So to have these two systems talk to each other is really important, because what's happening now is we're exporting all of that style definition from PLM and manually hand-keying all of it into our ERP system. It's completely inefficient. This interface that we're building is going to save literally two full months of time for our product inventory team who builds it in our ERP system. So there will be 40 working days they will get back based on this integration.
Selecting a PLM Solution
Pam Buckingham: When choosing PLM, it's very important to do your homework. The most important thing you can do is define your requirements before you even shop. That way you're not wowed by some amazing feature that you'll never even use in real life. So do your homework, know exactly what your business needs, know what your growth needs are, and make sure you choose a vendor that is going to partner with you for the long term. PLM is not something that you can plug in in five minutes and you're off and running. It's a very large system and it requires a lot of dedication from an entire team. And it needs strong partnership from your vendor in order to be successful.