In the digital age, luxury brands have to contend with a whole new world. Consumers have more choice than ever and expect a seamless online and offline buying experience. Average times to market get faster and faster.
Luxury brands, traditionally dependent on quality and exclusivity as selling points, are sometimes wary of technology that might compromise their heritage. However, a growing number of luxury brands have discovered that modern Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions can digitally transform their businesses while making more room for creativity and craftsmanship in the context of a rapidly changing market.
What are the key reasons why luxury brands trust PLM?
1. PLM is a foundation for digital transformation
Innovative PLM solutions manage every aspect of product design, development and distribution in a centrally accessible system updated in real time, making it easier for teams to collaborate across the globe time delays or wrong information. The right PLM solution can support luxury brands in a total digital transformation, helping them to transition to faster, more streamlined operations while keeping their focus on brand values, traditions and quality.
Saving time and streamlining the design and product development process frees luxury brands from tedious administration so teams can focus on value-added work, such as innovative design, collection development, pattern-making, fabric sourcing, quality assurance and costing. Digital tools shouldn’t erase traditional methods of design and production – they should make it easier for a brand’s unique craftsmanship to survive.
2. It’s easier to balance creativity and commerce
Original, exclusive pieces are crucial for luxury brands and quality products are expected to come at a premium price point, but companies have to be careful to manage the cost of goods sold to maintain profits. On the other hand, diluting brand DNA with low cost materials threatens a brand’s luxury status and risks making products unappealing to discerning and aspirational customers.
To retain exclusivity in the digital era, successful luxury brands use PLM solutions to balance the availability of entry-level products with iconic and exclusive (or limited time) products. Detailed reports, robust merchandise planning functions and the ability to connect to other enterprise systems such as ERP and POS supports strategic decision-making with accurate, up-to-date data and better visibility.
Consumer-led trends are moving away from traditional ideas that have defined luxury, such as wealth and exclusivity, to new values such as timelessness, individuality and sustainability. To keep up with consumer expectations, luxury brands need to prioritize innovation and creative problem-solving.
Creating products that are innovative as well as beautiful is time-consuming and requires great attention to detail. Eliminating or reducing time spent on data entry and other repetitive tasks frees up time for creative concepting and technical R&D. PLM solutions streamline design, development, production and retail so luxury brands can deliver the qualities that customers find most attractive in luxury products.
3. PLM creates supply chain transparency
PLM helps brands to ensure that the quality of finished products is consistent and of the standard associated with luxury brands. Supplier details, quality and compliance checks and even manufacturing provenance can be managed and tracked centrally to eliminate siloed information. Some brands connect manufacturers and suppliers to the system for even more tightly integrated communication and management of the production process.
Luxury brands that are following the ‘reshoring’ trend and restoring manufacturing to their home countries to bolster their heritage status have a golden opportunity to revamp the technology they use to manage supply chains. Shorter and more tightly integrated supply chains can become even more efficient with PLM solutions that fully link supplier communication, sampling and quality control with the rest of the product lifecycle.
Luxury brands need to be agile and innovative in order to gain the favor of the new luxury consumer, yet preserve the traditional craftsmanship, quality and attention to detail that makes their products desirable. PLM solutions offer a digital foundation that creates efficiencies in every part of the product lifecycle, freeing up time and resources to focus on long-term plans and refine the creative and heritage elements that make luxury brands so alluring.
Luxury brands are embracing the technology revolution. Brands such as Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Delvaux and Nina Ricci have partnered with Centric Software, choosing a PLM solution that integrates the best practices of the fashion industry with modern, mobile technology. Leading luxury brands are using PLM to step confidently into the future while staying connected with their unique past.
Want to learn more?