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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.