The Benefits of PLM Revealed in Latest just-style ArticlesOctober 4, 2019
This month, NGC’s president Mark Burstein was featured in three articles in just-style’s online magazine,“What’s next for PLM?”, “Leveraging 3D and PLM to speed design and development” and “How to plan for a pain-free PLM implementation.” The articles were additionally abridged to “How clothing firms can fuel growth through strategic PLM,” which was published on the just-style website.
To celebrate these articles being published, we’ve included highlights of Mark’s thoughts on the state of PLM in the questions and answers below.
Q: In your view, how much more powerful have PLM programs for clothing manufacture become?
Mark Burstein: They are far more powerful, and the scope of PLM has expanded exponentially. Today, PLM should be a seamless part of an enterprise platform that incorporates a wealth of information and services spanning product and material creation and compliance testing, vendor capabilities and capacity, material positioning, production WIP and quality control, and finished good distribution.
Q: What is the best way of using PLM in a clothing business?
Burstein: To take full advantage of PLM, it should be incorporated into a digital, enterprise platform that breaks down organizational silos and enables faster decision-making by bringing together planning, design, sourcing, production, logistics and replenishment into a single, connected ecosystem. This provides a single platform that spans product and material creation, factory capabilities and capacity, material positioning, vendor management and onboarding, production WIP and quality control, finished good distribution, and much more.
Q: What are the steps needed before selecting a PLM solution and then planning how to use it?
Burstein: Companies must evaluate PLM vendors on three criteria: their knowledge and experience in the retail and fashion industry, the technical features of the PLM solution and whether it meets the company’s needs, and the experience and expertise of the vendor’s professional services and support teams.
Getting maximum value from a PLM solution begins with the implementation. Companies must make a commitment, from the executive level on down, to provide the resources needed for a successful PLM implementation. This includes a strong executive sponsor and a supporting team that has the right technical and business knowledge to work in partnership with the vendor on the implementation.
Q: What about cost benefit – how expensive are they and what extra profits can they generate and what costs can they save?
Burstein: The cost of PLM implementations depends on the exact configuration and the number of user licenses. The ROI varies from client to client. However, we have seen clients increase workforce efficiency 25% to 40%, shorten cycle time by 50% or more, reduce cost of goods sold up to 10%, improve outgoing quality levels to almost 100%, and most importantly, reduce the number of markdowns and stockouts by 30% or more.
Q: Looking to the evolution of PLM technology, how much more powerful could these systems become?
Burstein: When fully implemented, cloud-based supply chain platforms will become more vital than ERP systems to running a successful global operation. There is no way to eliminate time zones, distance, and the analog decision-making processes that exist today; in order for companies to quickly deliver products in high demand, execution speed is paramount.
These platforms will have the ability to instantaneously evaluate all distribution options throughout the supply chain and implement the optimal solution, including reprioritizing factory production orders, booking transportation services and directing delivery destinations (including direct to consumer right from the factory). Today, ERP systems are considered the enterprise foundation and backbone. In the future, the sole purpose of an ERP system will be order fulfilment and financial settlement.
Q: How can I learn more about how PLM can benefit my organization?