Home décor and furnishings brands are under the same pressure to get more variety of trend-right products to market through more channels at lightning speed to keep up with the competition just like fashion and apparel brands.
But how do home décor and furnishings companies make sure they get products to market fast and rein in increasing complexity throughout the product lifecycle? Many of them employ Centric Software home décor Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) innovative solutions to centralize all their product information in one company-wide, accessible at any time, from anywhere digital space.
Here are eleven clear signs you need to tame your out of control data with home décor PLM and home furnishings PLM to stay ahead in the game.
1. Can’t find the email you are looking for…again.
You know the one, that email you got last week from the supplier saying something about leather availability. What was the name of your contact there? Dan? Doug? Better do a search…nope, nothing. Ok, let’s scroll back through hundreds of last week’s emails. Was it last Wednesday? There’s a big, flashing sign that information is getting hard to manage – it’s when opening your inbox feels like wading into a murky swamp. It’s a sign that it is time for a change!
2. You should have a trophy for Copy & Paste Champion of the Year
Wait a minute, wasn’t working in home décor and furnishings design supposed to be fun and creative? But by now, you could add ‘Copy/Paste Expert’ to your resume. And the trouble with manual data entry is that while it’s repetitive, you also need to concentrate…or that little copy/paste slip-up will cause big problems when the sourcing team realizes you’ve requested that desk set in pewter finish instead of chrome. Oops…
3. How do I do the ordering, again?
You see Jennifer usually fills out those order forms with the SKUs, but she’s away this week so you wander over to her assistant’s desk with fingers-crossed he knows Jennifer’s trick. Oh no, she never showed him how to do those? If information is so inaccessible it lives in your colleagues’ heads or in scribbled notes in a desk drawer instead of in a central system, it’s a foolproof recipe for half-done work, delays and mistakes!
4. Spreadsheets make you dizzy…do you need new glasses?
Having nightmares about swarms of little green squares flying at you, or being lost in a maze of columns and rows? Ok, maybe not quite, but it’s common for companies like yours to end up with hundreds of different spreadsheets each season, often with several collections in development at once. Which is the most up-to-date? Where’s the one with updated costing info? If you’re living in spreadsheet hell, you’ll know the particular pain of searching sheets for the right information and hoping no one else has updated it in the meantime.
5. The game of ‘are you a set and match’ is no fun.
Spending hours and hours meticulously designing home décor accessories and furnishings that complement and complete the whole look of the room is what you do best…but what happens when the finish or the fabric changes because of cost or supplier availability and that piece no longer fits that collection and moves to another set or is deleted altogether? What happens when you develop hundreds and thousands of products with shifting designs, colors or finishes a year and you have to keep track of all the changes? You spend more hours playing an endless game of mix and match…and feels like you will never win.
6. Your product data has no home
You’re sitting at your desk wondering how much handier it would be to have the shipping cost data from the logistics team right now, seeing as that report on costing was due yesterday and you’re getting frantic emails about it. Shame all of their stuff is in its own offline system…guess you’ll just have to wait until someone has the time to look it up and send it over. When information lives all over the place in different silos, online and offline, it gets trapped in bottlenecks that you can’t control. Talk about frustrating!
7. Google currency converter is your new best friend
Calculating the cost of products with materials sourced from Thailand, Italy and China destined for your stores in Seattle, Manchester, Cape Town, Tokyo and your e-commerce channels has you flipping back and forth between 10 windows on your laptop and at least as many spreadsheets to report it all in US dollars…is it the Baht in Thailand and Wong in China or no, that is Korea…does Turkey use the Euro? Calculating costs and prices by hand and tracking it all in spreadsheets that are out-of-date tomorrow is time consuming and tedious…and just plain hard and stressful.
8. Meeting, meetings and more meetings…not another meeting?!
Meetings about which spreadsheet is the most up-to-date version…meetings about that meeting for the people who missed the big meeting…. if there’s one thing most people want to avoid at all costs, it’s more meetings! But when no-one is sure whether you’re on version 6 or version 7 and when everyone has their own version of the ‘data truth’ that they are certain is the most recent hiding deep in their documents folder, they become inevitable. A calendar chockablock with meetings is a sure sign you’re losing the battle with the data monster.
9. You’re so tired you look like an extra from the latest blockbuster zombie movie
If you come home from work tired, stressed and overwhelmed, data overload could be your problem. Your days are spent trawling through spreadsheets and emails for that one nugget of information you need and hassling colleagues for the latest updated details…even though you know they’re working just as hard as you are. No wonder you’re tired! Getting control of your data could be the best thing you do for your wellbeing at work.
10. Because there truly aren’t plenty of fish in the sea
You know you’ve been here before…a young, new designer with amazing creative ideas is ready to close on the contract for the role you really need to fill. You know there is a good match for him and your design team…but things fall apart when he meets the team right before signing on the dotted line. He declines the offer saying he’s going to take the job with your competitor because chasing data and living with his nose in spreadsheets instead of putting his creativity to the test every day is not what he’s looking for…your professional heart breaks as another candidate jumps ship for calmer data seas.
11. Tap, tap…is this thing on?
That guy in sourcing! He never sends the details you asked for on-time and you seriously start to wonder if your email is even working! Chances are you’re not the only one having communication issues with colleagues…and they might be having the same problem with you. You know that everyone’s doing the best they can at work, but chasing down information and falling behind on goals is bound to be causing you trouble. You feel comfort in knowing that you and your colleagues are in the same boat, trying to row together while hoping the ship isn’t sinking!