5 PLM Takeaways from Global Retailer LC Waikiki

LC Waikiki Store

LC Waikiki

True to its philosophy that “everyone deserves to dress well,” LC Waikiki is a name synonymous with high-quality, affordable fashion for millions of consumers across three continents. The leading Turkish ready-to-wear fashion retailer has been steadily expanding for 30 years and aims to become one of the three most successful brands of Europe by 2023.

But planning, designing, developing and sourcing styles for a network of 840 stores in 38 countries is not easy. Like many fast-growing retail companies, LC Waikiki (LCW) identified product lifecycle management (PLM) as a strategic priority to support its burgeoning operations. What can your global retail business learn from LCW’s PLM experience? Here are five takeaways.

1. Establish Clear PLM Goals

To be a world-class competitor in apparel, footwear and home textiles, the LCW team set seven goals for its PLM initiative. LCW’s objectives were to:
    • Manage different calendars
    • Reduce process cycle time from trend to product
    • Improve cost efficiency by managing a material library
    • Track planned assortments and collections in-season
    • Reduce manual work processes
    • Reach suppliers faster
    • Enhance transparency of costing and RFQ processes

2. Define Functional Requirements

Before starting its implementation, LCW focused on defining PLM needs with great specificity. During a six-week assessment workshop, the retailer identified 677 process-based requirements for its PLM solution. LCW organized these needs into 13 functional groups, from pre-season activities to workflow and calendar management.

3. Set the Project Scope

LCW determined the scope of its PLM implementation would encompass seven areas. These included:
    • Pre-season Activities (catwalk, trend boards, lessons learned, supplier visits, strategy meetings)
    • Sketch, Sketch Sign-off and Design Process
    • Material Library Management
    • Spec/Tech Pack and File Hand-over
    • Costing and Sign-off
    • Sample Management (garment and trim)
    • Buying Calendar

4. Dedicate Resources to Role-based Training

End user adoption is crucial. To help associates get up to speed on PTC’s FlexPLM solution, LCW took training very seriously. In nine months, collaborating with PTC partner ITC Infotech, the retailer trained internal teams in six main roles. This included 750 associates who were buying managers, buyers, merchandisers, designers, garment technologists and sourcing professionals. Then they expanded PLM training to 360 global suppliers.

5. Communicate Proactively

From day one, LCW focused on keeping everyone engaged and informed about the PLM initiative. The company recognized that change management required proactive communication. They hosted weekly “touch base” meetings with each PLM group, highlighted quick-win developments and boosted morale with a fun “PLM: Enjoy the Change” campaign.

LC Waikiki is one of many retailers that have made the switch to a retail PLM solution. The benefits have far exceeded  their expectations and have them on track for years of success. Are you inspired by this customer case study? Want to know how PLM can help your team? Download this free e-book today on how PLM is Solving Retail’s Toughest Challenges.

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