These are exciting, and challenging, times for many fashion and consumer products retailers and brands. From Amazon to Uber, disruptive forces are reshaping industries and business models at an amazing pace. For most who are trying to adapt, it’s not enough to make a few changes here or there. Transformative change is in order.
Connected product lifecycle management (PLM) can help retailers methodically transform core processes and become strong competitors in today’s retail economy, with its omni channel complexities. Connected PLM is both a technology platform and an overarching approach to PLM. Its secret sauce: The ability to draw on information from disparate systems and data sources to unlock valuable insights that keep fashion retailers on trend, on time and on budget.
In our recent series of connected PLM posts, we have offered practical tips, steps and strategies for how connected PLM can be utilized in fashion and consumer products retailing. Here is a summary of some key points:
Plan and Create: Connected PLM empowers retailers to accelerate assortment planning, design and product development. Teams are more digitally connected, with the PLM platform serving as a central repository and collaborative hub for concepts, raw materials, story boards, social media trends, tech packs and even retail POS highlights. Thus armed, designers, planners, merchandisers and product developers are better positioned to offer fresher, season-less fashion targeted to different customer personas. By offering smaller collections much more frequently, retailers can cater to “people who want to personalize what items they wear together, when they wear it and what colors they wear,” says Nancy Johnson, founder and CEO, Optimize LLC.
Source and Produce: With a connected PLM approach, product information doesn’t get stuck in silos or lost in translation after the last sample is approved. When all trading partners can connect to a common cloud-based PLM platform, there is no need for data to be re-keyed, attached to emails or called in. Seamless, speedier collaboration means that styles can progress much faster from inception to purchase order to retail rack. “Simply put, connected PLM allows for multiple parties around the globe to work simultaneously and collaborate on products, enabling speed and agility, both of which are required to respond quickly to trends,” says Sonia Parekh, senior manager, retail, Kalypso.
Sell Products and Engage Shoppers: Connected PLM is integral to the store of the future. In the connected store, there are sensors, magic mirrors and beacons feeding a constant stream of insights straight from the selling floor back to fashion decision makers. Connected PLM is an Internet of Things-enabled technology, which can be leveraged to analyze all of this data, converting it into actionable information. “Before, you would have to wait an extended period of time to see this consumer behavior. Now, it’s all integrated into the PLM ecosystem,” says Victoria Brown, senior research analyst, retail supply chain, IDC Retail Insights.
Read the full summary of the Connected PLM Series HERE and learn how you can leverage connected PLM to develop truly trend-driven fashion.