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PLM stands for Product Lifecycle Management and is the foundation technology that links all people associated with making products such as merchandising, planning, design, technical design, product development, materials development, samples, fit reviews, product testing, product quality, sourcing, manufacturing, retail presentation and more.
Using PLM speeds time to market, improves efficiency, reduces waste and product costs, improves product innovation and design, improves product quality supplier collaboration and more. It is an enterprise solution meaning that its job is to connect people and give them a place to collaborate, share, give approvals, track changes, etc. Using it reduces the need for emails, spreadsheets, multiple types of document storage etc.
In short, anyone involved in product merchandising, design, development, manufacture or selling. Designers, merchandisers, product teams, management, IT, finance and execs. PLM today is used by companies of all sizes, ranging from 5 to 10,000 users.
No. PLM is a company-wide project which means that it involves many people so coordination and communication are key. Having an experienced Fashion PLM project manager who understands best practices for your particular company and product types along with Agile DeploymentSM cuts implementation time significantly.
No. PDM or Product Data Management is a technology whose scope is more or less tech packs only. Any modern company today needs a solution with a larger scope that also includes planning, merchandising, product assortment allocation/development, product quality, sourcing and e-commerce/retail. This is what PLM covers, in addition to spec packs.
Yes! It manages product specifications, material libraries, supplier quotes and a whole lot more!
Yes! While designers can be very specific about the tools they use and especially user interface, they do use PLM! Especially when PLM is embedded in tools designers know well like AdobeTM Illustrator. In fact, they don’t even know they are working in PLM, the interface is so good!
Many moons ago, PLM was created to help large groups of people create very, very large objects that required a ton of specifications, parts, details and changes like cars, airplanes and trains. This was a good idea! And as technology got better and better, PLM could do more and more and finally, a PLM specifically for fashion was born – Centric! Fashion and other fast moving consumer goods also require large groups of people and a lot of information but we don’t have the time (years) that those other industries have.
PLM just for fashion was created and…..
Good question! So good in fact, that we wrote a nice white paper on the topic! The short answer is that PLM is where products are ideated and born, and ERP is where they are tracked once they are produced.
Digital boards are a new technology that was first brought to market by Centric in 2017 and is pretty awesome. Digital boards bring many ideas to life that would normally be found only on paper or buried in piles of soulless spreadsheets. Digital boards eliminate foam core boards, post-its, stickers and other bits of paper as well as manual spreadsheets and other documents and bring them to life on large touch screens, web browsers, ipads and other mobile devices via a sublime, easy to use interface. They bring joy!
Understand more about digital boards
Yes!! In fact, Centric was the first company to develop mobile apps for PLM in 201x. Mobile apps are awesome because they are easy to use, very convenient and enlarge the scope of who can contribute to bringing products to market like product testers, quality assurance, those evaluating product presentation at retail, taking product orders and more.
Excellent inquiry! Fashion is a very unique business requiring a heady combination of very rapid new product introductions with a short time to trend, complex range of SKUs (size/color combinations), sophisticated sourcing strategies and overlapping calendars. The complexity of the fashion industry is unique and so are the ways of working and best practices, depending on what products are offered and how they are made and sold. You need a solution specific to this market or you will constantly feel like your technology doesn’t fit.
Learn more about what fashion PLM really means
Can PLM help fashion brands deal with US tariffs on Chinese goods and similar challenges?
Centric PLM helps fashion companies handle changing economic conditions such tariff modifications, changing raw materials pricing and fluctuating exchange rates with tariff, costing and compliance libraries, cost/margin analysis and supplier management to be more agile and have tighter control over logistics.
Implementing fashion PLM is an exciting investment in your future. Is your business PLM-ready?
PLM helps fashion businesses drive and track initiatives that make a positive impact on our world. Empower sustainable business practices while reducing time to market, improving efficiency and cutting costs.
See Centric Software PLM and other Centric innovations in action. Just request a demo and our super-friendly team of industry wizards will amaze you!