In The Face of Market Disruption, Make PLM Your Most Reliable Partner

Written By: Blake Simms
  • 12/13/2018
  • Read Time : 3 min

At a time of unprecedented disruption to supply chains, retail channels, workforces and production processes, a strong collaborative PLM platform is your lifeline to operational stability.

Whatever volume of styles and new designs you throw at it, your PLM solution should be able to cope and respond. Wherever you source, it should offer you real-time insights into manufacturing, so you can respond to market demands and evolving geo-economic shifts. Whatever variety of product types you offer, it should support your growth and diversification strategy and allow you to shift production – even to producing personal protective equipment – at a moment’s notice, with no customization. And wherever your teams are in the world – especially now, with many of them are unable to work in an office environment – your PLM should be the collaborative engine at the center of your corporate culture and product development cycle.

But not every PLM platform is cut out for this type of rapidly changing world. If your PLM is approaching, or past, legacy status then it could be working against you rather than working for you – at a time when every brand, retailer, and manufacturer needs to rely on technology and a reliable, proven PLM partner you can trust.

There are many legacy PLM implementations still out there. Some fell short on their business transformation goals and have become under-used after extensive customization. Some have now passed the cut-off point for maintenance and support and are considered legacy at best, and risky with security vulnerabilities at worse. Some will be creaking under the extra load and slowing down designers’ and tech developers’ workflows. Some were never rolled out into the supply chain, cutting a vital link in international collaboration with suppliers and production partners. Many were too heavily customized in an effort to adapt to new market or channel opportunities. This made it impossible to get back on a feasible upgrade path, preventing brands from leveraging new features and integrations.

And most legacy PLM systems will have not taken meaningful, measurable steps towards new innovations like 3D product design or built-in artificial intelligence and machine learning that provide data-driven predictions and recommendations. Others simply don’t have the capabilities to leverage augmented reality and apply this to product development processes. Some PLM systems will not deliver the promised results. The slick sales pitch you received is long gone and reality hits home that the functionality and ability to scale and perform were never realized. Your vision for PLM is now just a replacement for email and excel documents. If your legacy PLM fits any of this, you could be facing extra, unnecessary uncertainty – with in-house teams and suppliers disconnected at a time when digital and remote working is at its most essential, and with no way to turn the product development data you manage into insights and other data-driven tools to power better-informed decision-making.

As the most widely-used PLM platform in retail by far, PTC FlexPLM has been offering certainty, stability, and scalability to the world’s biggest brands for decades in footwear, apparel, sports and performance, home décor, fashion and multi-category retail. More than 200,000 people rely on FlexPLM every day to power their product lifecycles – from concept to first stitch to full supply chain management – across more than 1000 iconic global brands. They trust PTC to manage huge volumes of concurrent users, anywhere in the world. And they trust PTC to ensure top performance and enterprise-grade uptime, all the time.



Today, the retail landscape is shifting on a daily basis, and retailers can respond by identifying new gaps in the market and shifting their operations to respond – provided their PLM can support it. While other PLM software requires costly customization projects to add support for new product categories and hierarchies, PTC FlexPLM has multi-category support as standard – with no limits, and no new statements of work.


Legacy PLM implementations are almost all hosted on-site, adding a huge burden to retailers’ in-house IT teams, and forcing users to jump through hoops to sign in. As a SaaS offering, FlexPLM runs in the cloud, giving customers a seamless way to on-board new categories, new brands, new processes, and new users (internal and external) without adding extra hardware. All users can work from anywhere – powering visibility, accountability, and collaborative working while the world is in lockdown.



And because FlexPLM is part of the multi-billion-dollar PTC business, our support and innovation-driven R&D strategy are second to none. During the coronavirus outbreak, PTC has given all of its customers access to its remote collaboration tool Vuforia Chalk, and as a total technology partner we have real in-house expertise in AI, AR, IoT, digital product creation and much more – all adapted for the complex requirements and unique challenges of retail.

Both core FlexPLM and PTC’s new innovations are now more accessible than ever, thanks to low-cost, high-speed upgrades that are keeping more FlexPLM customers than ever on the cutting edge.




Additional change might not be top of mind in a difficult time like now, but if your PLM is making things worse or hampering your product development, this could be the ideal time to consider switching to a solution that could help your business not just survive, but thrive. Feature richness, stability, and scalability has already made FlexPLM the platform of choice (and PTC the key technology partner) for more than 150 of the world’s best-established retailers.

Read below to hear what our customers have to say!
PTC Talks to L.L. Bean: An Interview with Lindsay Clunie
The Future of Product Design and Development: PTC Talks to Deckers Brands



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About the Author

Blake Simms

Blake has an extensive international career in marketing and business development within the technology, fashion, retail and consumer products industries.

With a Degree in International Marketing Management, Strategy & Communications, Blake has worked for a variety of leading global organizations and supported them in developing and delivering their strategic vision and corporate goals.

As a Marketing Director, Blake has designed, implemented and executed both international and regional go-to-market strategies, with a strong focus on increasing brand awareness and reputation, developing acquisition/lead generation initiatives and delivering powerful sales-enablement tools.