What is Retail PLM?

This is your complete guide to PLM for retail, how it works and why modern retailers need PLM to stay competitive, speed up product launches and work more efficiently.

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Product is key and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) drives product innovation, product diversity and successful product launch. PLM is no longer a nice to have, but is now a foundation technology that drives operational efficiency and business growth by uniting all product and retail contributors from buyers to merchandising to design, development sourcing, compliance and quality, retail and more. Providing one source of the truth of product related information, people use PLM to collaborate and work together when ideating, developing, producing and bringing products to market for all channels and geographies. Without PLM, companies are faced with a chaotic collection of spreadsheets, file storage, emails, telephone calls and meeting where people try to align and collaborate, often working from wrong or out of date information. It is impossible to make good decisions when you are constantly fighting fires.
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Meet Some of Our Retail PLM Customers

Retailers all around the world trust Centric Retail PLM solutions, which include core PLM, extended PLM, PLM mobile apps and PLM digital boards. We have developed our PLM software and retail best practices hand in hand with our customer innovation panel and Customer Advisory Board. Hundreds of live and happy projects later, we are retail PLM experts. Who are some of the companies that helped us develop Centric Retail PLM and drive our technology roadmap?  

What Does Retail PLM Do?

Your questions about PLM for retail, answered based on the extraordinary opportunity we’ve had to work with so many market-leading, innovative retailers.
What is PLM?

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the digital technology that links every aspect of retail from product concept/design brief to supplier quotes to stores, wholesale and e-commerce with a single source of up-to-date, reliable product information. Everyone from product designers to merchandisers to manufacturers aligns, reducing time to market and costs.

Read more in our blog: What is PLM Software

Why do retailers need PLM?

Retail PLM dramatically improves collaboration, information quality, product quality, product compliance and time management across the business so you can focus on getting more products to market, faster. Retail PLM is essential for healthy product diversity efficient, global communication and transparency, with a transformational effect on everything from compliance to quality to innovation. It even helps manage tariffs, changing costs and fluctuating exchange rates.

Need more reasons?

How can retail PLM drive digital transformation?

Retail PLM is the foundation of digital transformation as PLM manages the heart of any retail business (multi-channel retailing, omni-channel retailing or omni-retail); products & people. Boost product innovation, drive supply chain efficiencies, reduce waste, speed the pace of product introductions and a whole lot more!

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How does PLM help retailers ensure brand longevity and retail & digital transformation?

PLM drives retail & digital transformation to ensure brand longevity by helping retailers to increase product introduction success, streamline private/white label and co-created product development, improve product margins with high-volume sourcing, deliver high-quality, desirable products and maintain brand consistency. PLM also includes a change management component to ensure that teams are fully aligned.

How can retailers keep up with the accelerating pace of change?

To get ahead of the competition and manage change, retailers need strong, easy to use digital tools. Retail PLM makes it easier to optimize assortments faster, streamline product sourcing and ensure that quality standards are upheld as product volume increases. Whether creating apparel, fashion, footwear, furniture, packaged foods, cosmetics or any other type of fast-moving consumer goods, the right PLM offers universal benefits.

Get up to speed with 5 ways PLM empowers retail transformation

What are today’s winning strategies in retail?

Leading brands and retailers are executing digital transformation strategies and applying innovative technologies such as touchscreens, mobile apps, artificial intelligence and micro-services to get closer to consumers, increase product innovation and variety, offer made-to-measure options and become more agile.

Discover how to compete with the retail giants!

How does PLM help cope with changing tariffs?

Changes outside of your control will happen and you need to be able to react quickly. Tariffs are one of those situations. Centric Retail PLM helps retailers be more agile in the face of changing economic conditions such tariffs, raw materials pricing, exchange rates and more.
Find out how US footwear company Cobian uses Centric Retail PLM to tackle tariffs on goods from China

How can PLM help retailers speed time to market, reduce COGS and boost product introductions?

In the rush to embrace consumer-facing digital innovations, it’s easy to lose sight of the basics of retail: the products you sell. Centric Retail PLM empowers your ‘back of house’ teams, digitally transforming the process of planning assortments and creating, sourcing and launching products, and connects product development with buyers, merchandisers and sales teams for a smooth, fast workflow.

Peek behind the scenes and discover the power of PLM

How does merchandise planning work in retail PLM?

Merchandise planning in retail PLM provides merchandisers with the accurate and up-to-date information they need to develop financial plans, structure new collections, efficiently carry over styles from previous seasons and collaborate with design, product development, sourcing and buying teams. Merchandisers can stop guessing and make decisions based on accurate, actionable information. Skip the spreadsheets forever!

See it in action in our Merchandise Planning webinar discussion and demo

How can retailers tackle sourcing challenges?

Use retail PLM to track and manage compliance with complex regulations and quality requirements, fight margin pressure with streamlined sourcing practices, drive high-volume sourcing, collaborate with suppliers and source from a single platform with up-to-date supplier and materials information. Even factory audits and product quality can be managed via Centric PLM mobile apps with information instantly shared with product teams to be able to take swift corrective action.

Read on to find out how PLM eases sourcing headaches!

What is digital collaboration and how can it be a competitive advantage?

Digital collaboration is just what it sounds like – collaboration using digital tools and information. Innovative collaboration technologies like PLM break down information silos, connect teams in the same office or around the world, enhance communication with suppliers, leverage knowledge from all product related contributors and help optimize time.

Discover how Fashion, Retail & Consumer Goods Brands Reap Big Rewards from Digital Collaboration

Can PLM help with sustainability and compliance initiatives?

Yes! Retailers use PLM to directly track the environmental and social impact of the creation of each product, improve visibility to effectively assess whether sustainability initiatives are working and manage compliance programs, ensuring adherence to social and guidelines internally and in the supply chain as well as more transparency for consumers.

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Retail PLM Empowers Strategic Decision Making & Operational Execution

Centric Retail PLM is an innovative software technology, collection of best practices and change management initiatives that help retailers achieve strategic and operational retail transformation goals. Get the in-depth details on how and why it works.

Leading Retailers Trust Centric Retail PLM

Discover our retail PLM success stories! Think you could be the next one in line? Get in touch with our retail experts to find out more.

Fancy a demo to learn more?

Want to see Centric Retail PLM in action and get expert advice about how PLM transforms your retail business? Get in touch today!