Can PLM Systems Help Apparel Companies Catch Up With Fast Fashion?
Sourcing Journal recently caught up with NGC’s Mark Burstein to talk about PLM systems and how they can help companies with Fast Fashion. Here are some quotes from his conversation:
“Don't buy a PLM system to build your processes. You should build your processes and then make sure the PLM system can match your processes. PLM can provide a lot of efficiency to companies that have at least five designers that are doing business with at least 10 factories”
Today’s consumers want fast fashion and they want it now. They want more choices, more often, at bargain-basement prices—and such demands have caught apparel companies in a chokehold. To keep their trend-conscious customers coming back regularly, retailers are requesting faster fashion cycles, a wider range of SKUs, cheaper prices and shorter lead times from their suppliers.
For many apparel makers, the latter part has proven the trickiest hurdle to overcome. To keep costs down, global sourcing is the norm, and the lowest prices are usually found in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Honduras. But the supply chain is complicated and lead times are long, and every time a designer or merchandiser makes a change, it slows down the factory and hurts delivery time—not to mention the business’ bottom line.
In order to compete with the steady stream of on-trend styles stocked at the likes of fast-fashion giants Forever 21, Zara and H&M, many large apparel brands are turning to a high-tech software solution to save time, lower costs and increase speed to market: product lifecycle management (PLM) technology.
Essentially, it’s a tool that keeps everyone in all departments—from concept and design to production and merchandising to sales and distribution—connected and updated in one place in real time, no matter their location, not too unlike a social network. So, for instance, when a design or merchandising tweak is made, the entire supply chain knows about it instantly without the need for confusing e-mail threads. Or if a fabric suddenly needs to be replaced because it’s not within budget, the whole team can take action before it affects the bottom line. [[more]]