Today’s variety of product lifecycle management (PLM) platforms promise to help businesses bring products to market faster. Many of them do this well, but for retail, footwear, and apparel companies, it’s important to have a highly scalable PLM solution that can meet the needs of a business with an expansive offering of multiple brands and product categories. Businesses change, pivot, and grow quickly, especially in the fast fashion and retail world, and a scalable PLM tool with embedded machine learning capabilities that supports collaboration across the entire enterprise is key to unlocking new opportunities. To implement a truly scalable PLM solution, there are three functionalities that are necessary.
Above all, a PLM solution is a collaborative tool that makes sharing information easier. Having a single version of product information that is shared by all stakeholders provides transparency and simplifies things like supply chain complexity. PLM solutions that enable this kind of accessibility give users real-time visibility into the status of workflows as well as SKU and specification management, sourcing, and quality and compliance information.
PLM vendors that can support thousands of users and a variety of devices and browser types are cloud hosted and subscription based. When selecting a solution, look for one that would be accessible throughout your organization without burdening your IT department.
A scalable PLM solution must ultimately be one that is easy to use for all roles and stakeholders and has been proven time and time again to have a robust set of capabilities. PLM platforms can accomplish this by cultivating a positive user experience that helps to streamline communication and standardize processes to achieve best practices. Interactivity, advanced visualizations, and a system of notifications and alerts are all differentiators for best-in-class PLM software.
Additionally, PLM solutions that apply machine learning, IoT, and predictive analytics show immediate value with the ability to quickly identify trends that help retailers gain a competitive advantage. However, it’s important to have an intuitive interface that empowers both technical and non-technical users without needing intensive training and hand holding.
While better internal collaboration is a major benefit of scalable PLM solutions, the ability to integrate with partner ecosystems and other technology is significant as well. Things like digital storyboards, predictive analytics, and augmented reality can bring PLM to the next level for a true end-to-end experience, so this capability should not be overlooked.
On top of that, PLM solutions that help to facilitate better communication between external vendors and supply chain partners should ultimately strengthen valuable business relationships and accelerate time to market.
To learn more about scalable retail PLM solutions, download this Buyer’s Checklist.