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The Changing Role of PLM

The Changing Role of PLM

August 2, 2017

Looking at recent headlines, you’ll see that former leading retailers are now facing store closings, liquidations and layoffs. In large part, this is due to changing consumer buying trends that have taken over traditional methods of shopping. For example, Gen Z and millennial consumers are purchasing products from Instagram or trading clothes with people online. Additionally, stores are downsizing and landlords are leasing out space for experiences rather than selling products, making malls an entertainment complex rather than purely a shopping center. In order to survive, retailers and brands need to ensure that their product development and supply chain operations are able to reach to evolving sales trends.

For decades, retailers have been managing their supply chain using a linear route, much like a traditional production line. However, one retailer is the exception: Zara. Inditex, Zara’s parent company, has seen sales grow more than 15% to €20.9 billion. According to Bloomberg, this is because Zara is “guided by daily data feeds showing what’s selling and what’s stalling.”

In order to follow Zara’s success, retailers and brands must learn an important philosophy in retail: planning the reaction. Most retailers want to react, but they’re not positioned to react. Retailers must start asking themselves, “If this sells, what am I going to do?” and, “If it doesn’t sell, what am I going to do?” Planning both sides of the equation is the key to success.

The problem is, most companies do not have the systems or the DNA in place to make a quick decision. In a typical PLM footprint, there are disconnected sectors in the enterprise. Users aren’t able to figure out what’s selling and what’s stalling. But the role of PLM is changing. In order to solve this issue, retailers should implement a Digital Supply Chain approach where all information and all users are linked so that everyone in the production process can be notified of sales.

By planning the reaction, retailers are able to efficiently make store-to-store transfers, replenish from regional DCs, expedite shipments for high-demand products and much more. NGC’s Andromeda cloud-based PLM solution can help brands and retailers transform design productivity and reduce lead times to enable a Digital Supply Chain, allowing you to plan your reaction.

For more information on NGC’s Andromeda cloud-based PLM solution, or to request a demo, contact us here.