This whitepaper explores how today fashion and consumer lifestyle products companies must work faster and more efficiently than ever before, perhaps more so than in any other industry, due to time, cost and other competitive pressures that leave little room for guesswork and mistakes.
Typically Unstructured 'Front-End' Processes
Whether companies source products from full-package providers or take a more hands-on approach to manufacturing, most recognize that the design, product development, and sourcing processes represent the greatest opportunity for business improvements.
Not only do these activities account for a major percentage of overall cycle times, it is also when key decisions are made that dictate the vast majority of costs and eventual sales performance of their products. These and other factors have driven companies to integrate these tasks and foster greater collaboration among teams and vendors that participate in these mission critical activities.
The Value of Total Visibility
Increasingly, small and large businesses alike have turned to Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software to reduce cycle times and increase control over the historically unstructured product development process. Some of these companies began their quest decades ago by implementing Product Data Management (PDM) software, which later gave way to the promise of the more comprehensive PLM solution.
But after making significant investments in time and money in “best-of-breed” PLM systems, few retailers and brands have actually realized their goal of a single, integrated system capable of managing the complete product lifecycle. While it is clear that PLM has brought significant improvements and value to the development process, the promise of integrated merchandise planning, design, sourcing and production capabilities has advanced rather slowly and remains largely unmet.
By extending the footprint of PLM from product development to a more robust Design and Sourcing Suite, this newly defined combination of PLM and ERP capabilities enables fashion companies to more effectively manage the entire fashion process; from an image to a design, from a design to a style, from a style to a collection, from a collection to a merchandise plan, from a plan to manufacturing requirements, and from MRP to automatic purchase order generation.