The Biggest Trend in PLM Today is SCM

The Biggest Trend in PLM Today is SCM

March 1, 2019

What’s the biggest trend in PLM software today? In a word, it’s SCM: supply chain management.

As NGC noted in Technology Evaluation Centers’ Supply Chain Predictions 2019 report,incorporating product lifecycle management (PLM) software into digital supply chains was a big trend in 2018 and will only continue to get bigger in 2019.

We recently shared our thoughts on the integration of PLM software into digital supply chains with TEC principal analyst PJ Jakovljevic for his annual report. Our viewpoints highlighted the reasons why PLM increasingly means SCM.

PLM must be part of the digital supply chain to align supply and demand 

The reason PLM software must become part of a digital supply chain is relatively easy to explain, but complex to achieve. Incorporating PLM into a digital supply chain allows brands and retailers to more closely align supply and demand and increase sales. As fashion continues to change at a faster and faster pace, information must flow seamlessly through the supply chain, from concept to consumer—and that includes PLM. This seamless data allows retailers and fashion brands to react to constantly changing demand signals and make quick, data-driven decisions to align, and continually re-align, supply and demand.
The life cycle of many products, especially for fast-moving and fashion-oriented businesses, continues to shorten as consumer preferences quickly change. We’ve gone from four seasons a year to eight, 12 or even more micro-seasons for some companies. Moving faster from product concept to customer delivery has become a make-or-break reality for many companies.

Digital supply chains reduce planning cycles by 50%

In 2019, we increasingly see companies embracing a single platform that takes them from design to quality and compliance to forecasting, sourcing, and production out to distribution and customer delivery. The benefits can be significant: companies will be able to reduce planning cycles by 50% and ensure the right products are available at the right time and locations to delight customers.

With a digital supply chain, users have to access a single point of entry to get information from all the various systems in the supply chain—including fashion PLM software—without ripping out and replacing their existing systems. This is essential for reducing lead times and better aligning supply and demand. It’s also a prerequisite to achieving cognitive or autonomous supply chains that will further improve decision-making and help retailers achieve the holy grail of a near-perfect balance of supply and demand.

Much of the information above is excerpted from information that NGC shared with TEC for the Supply Chain Predictions 2019 report. The full report can be found at