From Disconnected Data to Real-Time Decision-Making: The Power of PTC Flex Insights
Written By: Blake Simms
10/24/2023 Read Time : 5 min

In retail, footwear, and apparel industry, having the right data to rely on has always been critical. From hitting margin targets to achieving the best possible speed to market, everything hinges on information. And in a fast-paced market, where product success and profitability are both paramount, surfacing new, data-driven insights has become more important than ever.

For many of the world’s most successful and iconic names in retail, PTC FlexPLM has been the engine of choice for centralizing and consolidating their essential product information, uniting their in-house teams, and connecting their global supply chains for over two decades. It’s put all the key, live data they need in one place, where it’s available for their own users and their partners.

Now, the scale and the scope of the data brand and retail organizations like yours must capture is changingand so are your demands for how you need to interact with and leverage insights from that data.

Challenges of fragmented data in the retail sector

Sustainability and compliance regulations, remote working, complex intersecting calendars, cross-continental collaboration, provenance and traceability, supplier relationships - all of this is considered critical data, and for many companies it’s compounded across multiple product categories and multiple product development steps and stages. That data is often spread across different business systems and platforms.

For enterprise users, that translates into poor visibility and collaboration, limited collection and business-unit level insights, and slower, less informed decision-making. That lack of insight has a tangible impact on product outcomes, making it harder to get the right products to market at the right time and the right price point, with the right level of transparency.

Flex Insights: PTC’s innovative solution to real-time decision making

As a workaround, lots of organizations are turning to off-the-shelf AI and integrations to connect and conform data that lives in different silos. But those solutions are not integrated with the systems of record for their core product design, development, sourcing, and production processes.


To solve that problem, PTC has unveiled Flex Insights, a collection of visual and easy to use apps that makes it easy for the thousands of major brands and retailers that already use FlexPLM to power their routes to market, to achieve a radical leap-forward in visibility, and to drive faster and better decision-making through AI capabilities. These apps include critical path management, compliance tracking, visual line planning and sustainability analytics. Personalization features improve the user experience and put real-time data, imagery, and actionable insights at user’s fingertips.

Let’s look at how Flex Insights can help global organizations make that change from disconnected data to real-time insights.

Flex Insights taps directly into the critical product data you have stored in FlexPLM and other business systems, and delivers new, personalized, accurate insights from the full spectrum of product lifecycle informationsurfacing the right data to the right users, at the right time.

The critical path management app casts a wide net across categories, seasons, collections, and lines to provide an at-a-glance, trustworthy overview of the progress of each product in one location, as well as identifying potential risks, allowing enterprise users to take proactive decisions to improve efficiency and product outcomes.

“We’re constantly striving to improve business processes to drive speed, collaboration and efficiency,” says Corina Brügger, Service Transition Manager at Intersport. “The Critical Path Management application shows everyone the status of each product and the steps that need to be complete to get our products to market faster.”

For large-scale retailers and multi-category brands with complex, international sourcing networks, the compliance app can track and manage the full spectrum of information needed for regulatory reporting and disclosure - avoiding a scenario where products are trapped at the border.

The seasonal line review app brings together all the information brand users need to plan, collaborate, and automate the decision-making processes needed to keep lines moving.

And the sustainability app draws on industry-leading integrations to services and standards like Worldly and Made2Flow, delivering the insights brand and retail users need to work proactively towards impact targets.

“More than 300,000 people use PTC FlexPLM every day from the greatest retail companies in the world - so Flex Insights has had the best possible input when it comes to meeting today’s business challenges head-on,” says Bill Brewster, SVP and General Manager of PTC’s Retail Business Unit. “We’re proud to offer a market-leading insights platform that’s flexible, quick to deploy, and can connect data across a wide spectrum of business systems, and that’s already proven at scale by PTC’s enterprise customers to deliver the right insights, right where they need to be.”

Find out more about how Flex Insights can extend the value of PTC FlexPLM, and how you can benefit here.

Tags: Retail and Consumer Products
About the Author Blake Simms

Blake is a high-performing, results, and data-driven, strategic marketing leader with extensive international experience in B2B technology marketing, specifically enterprise SaaS, Cloud, and subscription solutions in Retail, Footwear, Apparel, GM & CPG sectors.

With a bachelor’s degree in marketing management, strategy and communications, Blake has worked for a variety of leading global organizations and supported them by developing and delivering their Go-to-Market strategy, with measurable outcomes in new ACV bookings and ARR growth.

As a Marketing Director, Blake has a proven track record of nurturing teams and building highly successful, best-in-class, innovative marketing programs from the ground up, driving real results against KPIs in the areas of lead generation and pipeline creation, brand awareness, product launches, customer engagement and retention, product marketing, communications, sales-enablement, and account-based marketing.