The need for speed is a common denominator for retailers in 2018. The trendsetting pace has picked up, driving dramatic acceleration of concept-to-rack cycle time.
Back in 2014, Boston Consulting Group said the time between a trend’s emergence at the designer level and its mass dissemination had shrunk from one year to three to five weeks for fast-fashion producers. Fast forward four years and this reality affects not only fast-fashion players but all retailers, whether you are designing and selling apparel, footwear, consumer products or any fashion item.
In PwC Global’s 2017 survey of 24,000 online global shoppers, 39 percent said social networks provide their main inspiration for purchases. For consumers like these, the time between liking a style on social media and wanting to buy it is light-speed fast. No one wants to wait months for a beloved look. Amazon has condensed that gratification expectation down to days and hours.
If you’re a fashion designer, product developer or c-suite decision maker, you are staring down a daunting priority: shortening cycle time. The focal point for many businesses just like yours is condensing the ideation to product creation stage.
“A great deal of product information continues to exist within functional siloes, and is essentially invisible even to teams collaborating with one another internally at a company,” said Gartner in its 12th annual Apparel Magazine PLM special report. “Apparel companies face increasing pressure to move from these outdated data silos to a digital PLM platform.”
3 ways a digital design platform can help
#1 Digitally capture ideas, concepts and trends in one place. Traditional trend, mood and concept boards can all go online with digital design. It can be a seamless part of your PLM platform, but you don’t have to use a specific PLM software to reap the benefits. Transition from paper and manual methods to a completely digital environment and watch your time between ideation and product creation shrink by up to two weeks.
#2 Improve internal alignment during design and development. Rapidly iterate on ideas while making sure the underlying design direction is understood early in the development cycle. As a bonus, win over Millennials who want to work digitally and favor a touch screen and stylus over paper and pen!
#3 Collaborate virtually with internal and external partners as if you were all in the same room. With digital design, vendors have a clearer view of requirements and wish lists and can get back to you faster with pricing and production feedback.
Now that you know 3 ways a digital design platform can help. Download this infographic to view the top six digital design challenges industry experts identified modern retailers are facing.
3 Ways to Win with a Digital Design Platform
A digital design platform within PLM offers retailers and design teams a way to nurture creativity while quickly capitalizing on fashion trends.
Darren Glenister has over 20 years’ commercial experience, having worked as technology strategist and innovator in the fields of Fashion and Design. Darren is VP of Innovation for PTC’s Retail division and is responsible for PTC’s retail IoT strategy.