A PLM-system is vital for any business involved in designing, manufacturing, or distributing clothing, footwear, and home textiles products. It is a well-known fact that apparel businesses start off doing this via spreadsheets. However, as your fashion business expands and your number of product lines increases, the number of people, teams and third parties required to manage them also grow. Eventually, you will reach a stage when spreadsheets are unsuitable to your tasks, and a dedicated PLM system is required to maximize efficiency and enable your business to grow.
The fashion industry is one of the biggest, yet most challenging industries impacted by hundreds of factors, including economic uncertainties and digital transformation. In response to this new digital wave, consumer expectations have reached an all-time high. Shoppers are no longer content with the simple purchase transaction; they want to have an experience attached to it. For fashion brands, this means that they must become digitally savvy to be successful.
Forward-thinking IT decision makers are obtaining increasingly more direct business benefits with cloud deployments compared with applications delivered by traditional on-premises solutions. For many of our customers, Infor’s CloudSuite for Fashion has provided the opportunity to transform how they operate—not just at a technical level in the IT back room, but in all aspects of their business.
It is a SaaS based native cloud solution and comprehensive cloud service of industry-proven fashion capabilities built specifically for apparel, footwear, home textile, and fashion accessories companies. A complete and flexible service which offers deep, proven end-to-end capabilities for all critical business processes whether you’re a manufacturer, brand owner, or a private brand retailer.
Here is our five-step guide of what you need to know before implementing Infor CloudSuite PLM for fashion.
Here you will find:
- Adopt a global business mindset
- Start with collaborative workshops
- Define your PLM strategy
- Supplier maintenance
- Material, trims & design flexibilities
- Commitment to sustainability
Adopt a global business mindset
Being global and having different work sites around the globe can be a real challenge – with buying offices in one country, production offices spread around the world and decisions taken on the go. Relating back to the importance of having collaborative networks as part of your PLM strategy, it is a known fact that communication happens via e-mail and phones. Meaning, it’s difficult for everyone involved to know what the last decision might have been and be able to act on that. Ultimately, this might lead to quality issues, and lack of traceability that makes your company vulnerable. This is where PLM for Fashion comes in because it is a known fact that PLM systems can help you overcome such communication breakdowns.
Start with collaborative workshops
I would recommend starting with workshops where we gather people from different parts of your business. Very often, the same issues are apparent in different departments and it is important always be clear and honest – a true motto to live by. We can then find common processes and a framework that shows how you would benefit from a PLM system the most.
Define your PLM strategy
CloudSuite PLM for Fashion is a system that helps establish a strong lifecycle management process, by managing fabric compositions, collections, and design specifications. The beneficial rewards for your company result in achieving faster time-to-market and deploying a core data hub that brings together planning, design, sourcing, production, logistics, and replenishment. It will help solve problems associated with miscommunications, development time, quality assurance, longevity, and time to market. A PLM system also help you optimize the design to the sales process by:
• Managing planning, design, and development
• Providing designers with creative ideation
• Encouraging real-time collaboration with suppliers
• Deploy digitization of design and development with 3D design
Your PLM strategy should therefore incorporate information, data, and feedback from other essential systems departments to prevent and break down silos across all areas of operations.
CloudSuite PLM for Fashion enables partners in the product development process, such as suppliers, to access relevant information from the application trough partner collaboration. Using this feature, suppliers can engage within the application and work on requests and further contribute to the style development within the system. Actions that partners can do are controlled by different access rights that you can grant to partners.
Material, trims & design flexibilities
The materials and trims modules in CloudSuite PLM for Fashion contains different type of information for the design development of material and trim products. An important part for materials is the definition of composition and construction information, that can be specified on high level or detailed with information about yarn level. You can add colors to materials from the color library. Lab dip request can be sent to suppliers and the result is stored in the PLM system. Other features that are available is sizes, care information and artworks.
Commitment to sustainability
Just as your people need to be connected in a collaborative network, so do your technology solutions. Your company may already rely on an enterprise resource planning solution to house foundational functions and master data. But can it withstand the rapid developmental, transactional, and digitized industry of the future? To meet the rigorous demands of demand, supply, financials, inventory management and needs of a collaborative network, your ERP solution needs to have flexibility to meet changing business models, encapsulate industry best practice processes and integrate in real time with other key applications.
CloudSuite Fashion PLM offers customers a scalable, and flexible solution that can support rapid rollout as the business grows and evolves. We are proud to offer one of the first of its kind cloud-native, multi-tenant PLM for large fashion enterprises. Cloudsuite Fashion PLM Cloud offers enhanced security infrastructure with a competitive cost of ownership so that companies can more quickly, take advantage of new software innovation without the need for a major upgrade. It is designed to provide a foundation to apply the latest digital technologies to the fashion development process.
The software also supports the centralization of product design as well as development activities through more streamlined collaboration. Moreover, the software runs on the Infor OS technology.