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5 Reasons Apparel Brands Need PLM Software


Immortality is a myth—all things born must come to an end. The same holds true for a product as well. A product will not sell forever; it goes through various phases as part of its life cycle. The three broad stages of a product’s life cycle are: 

  • Beginning of Life – includes design and manufacturing, 
  • Middle of life – includes distribution, use, support, repair, and maintenance, and 
  • End of Life – products are retired, recycled, recollected, or disposed of.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software is the tool that manages and streamlines the entire lifecycle of a product. 

PLM – The Productivity Gem 

The fashion and apparel industries are immensely dynamic, creative, and trends are continually evolving. Therefore brands, retailers, and manufacturers have to come up with new product offerings every season to remain relevant amidst intense competition. All the more reason to have an efficient apparel PLM software that can handle product design, merchandising, sourcing, and development—right from concept to retail. It also facilitates seamless collaboration between team members working on different elements of a project, as well as with third-party partners. Here are five reasons why apparel brands need PLM software:

1. Improve Product Quality

PLM software allows you to incorporate quality assurance checks into the process of product development. These checks enable you to spot flaws and helps weed out sub-par products, rather than finding the defects after the products hit the market. The software also allows you to install quality checks at regular intervals along the entire chain of the production process. Only a product that passes a quality check will be allowed to move forward, thereby ensuring quality consistency. 

2. Cost Reduction

PLM can help you cut down on operational costs by improving efficiency, streamlining the process, reducing wastage and errors, and elevating the overall productivity. There are many avenues in the product development process where money can be saved; an efficient PLM software figures out all these specific loopholes and plugs them. Here are a few examples where PLM helps in cutting cost:

  • Reduce errors, 
  • Avoid over-ordering of materials, and 
  • Creative logistical strategies save last-minute costs. 

3. Protection

Adhering to industry regulations and safety protocols is critical for any manufacturing company to run a legal operation. The apparel sector also has a ton of regulatory compliances that need to be followed. With a PLM software in place, you can track the agreements at all the required stages of product development, and across regions. The software also allows you to ensure that all certifications of your suppliers are valid and up to date; all your products comply with the latest regulations and set reminders for the expiration of vital certifications. PLM software also saves you from patent or trademark infringements. 

An efficient PLM software brings all the stakeholders involved in product development on the same page regarding the product’s vision and strategic goals. The road mapping feature allows you to plan your business’ future with goals and budget in mind.

5. Growth

The growing demand for your product is a good sign, but it does come with its set of problems—handling the increased production and manpower, more suppliers, and additional stock-keeping units (SKUs). PLM software provides the technological framework to handle this added pressure, support the growth, and streamline the processes to churn out more volume without compromising on the quality. 

Keep Calm & PLM

According to a recent research report, the global product lifecycle management in the apparel market accounted for $644 million in 2018. Between 2019-2027, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.5 percent, registering $1.8 million by 2027. 

The apparel industry is undergoing a significant shift—from traditional to digital manufacturing. According to this report, the rise in digital production in the a

pparel industry is expected to boost the demand for robust and reliable PLM, thereby increasing the growth of product lifecycle management in the apparel market during the forecast period. Businesses in the apparel sector, therefore, seem to be embracing this shift and are ready for PLM software. Are you?