The benefits of PLM for apparel industry
What is PLM for apparel industry?
PLM stands for Product Lifecycle Management. It is all about managing the entire lifecycle of a product.
A product’s lifecycle starts from the time the idea is conceived, and moves on to design, manufacture, maintenance, service and finally ends with the disposal of the product.
PLM for apparel industry involves managing the entire cycle of a fashion product right from its conception stage until the product is finally retired or disposed. PLM ensures that the entire team involved in a fashion organization can work together effectively right from planning, design, till the completion of the entire process.
PLM is a tool that allows fashion companies to carry out their operations in an effective way. It involves the use of software to manage all this and bring it together.
When software applications are used for PLM, it helps in handling the work in an easy way and helps to bring the entire team together.
Working on the project is much easy as everyone in the team are aware of what is going on.
How PLM for apparel industry works?
The apparel industry would make use of PLM using a software application. The entire team that is involved in managing the development of the product would work together on all the elements of the project.
Since it is done using software, it can be accessed at the same time by all members of the team. It can also be accessed from any location.
Members of the team can be located in different places and can work together on the same product. Their work can be integrated together easily using the software. This is the biggest advantage of using PLM in the apparel industry.
For example, a company in the fashion industry may be working on a new design for a gown. All the members of the team working on this project would be working using the software.
They would all have access to the software and login to start working. The PLM tool will allow them to accomplish many things. This includes:
Creation of the plan for the entire project can be done using the PLM tool. All members would have access to the plan and so will be aware of the activities to be done.
The files they work on will be checked into the PLM tool so that all members can access it. The access rights can be controlled so that most people can only view it and only the authorized people can change it.
The design process can be done on software that is integrated with the PLM. The designs will be stored using the PLM tool.
All team members including those from other departments can give their feedback on the design. This will help in getting comprehensive feedback on the design.
The designers can make any number of changes in the design and this will be all be updated for everyone to see.
When projects are done for a specific client, the client representative can also access the PLM and give feedback on the design.
Making changes and reverting back to old versions would be easy when a tool is used for the PLM.
Once the designs are finalized all team members would be notified of this and they would be able to work on the latest designs.
The manufacturing team can use the designs straightway from the tool and start working.
At any stage, modification of design, specification documents, and plans can be done easily and there would be no confusion as all members will have access to the latest files.
The entire post-manufacture process can also be managed using the PLM.
- PLM would handle issues post-production and delivery. This would be done until the end of the project when a decision is finally taken to retire the product and dispose of it.
Benefits of using PLM for apparel industry
When a company in the apparel industry makes use of Product Life cycle management to handle its products, there are many benefits for it. The multiple benefits make it worthwhile for a company to comply with PLM. The benefits include:
Planning for creating a new product becomes easier when PLM is used in the form of a tool.
All team members can collaborate and work together in an effective way. This will also help people from other locations to collaborate easily on the project.
Handling versions become very easy and everyone would be updated about the latest versions of the documents and the design. This ensures that the latest design is available for use with everyone. There are many instances when design would have had one version, production would work on another version, and marketing would be selling something else. A PLM will ensure that this problem doesn’t occur.
Since everything is available on the tool, everyone can work simultaneously. This will help to save time and deadlines be reached on time.
When work is done manually, it takes a lot of time. Documents need to be exchanged among team members, meetings have to be held and then changes made in the documents and once again the process continues. This is cumbersome and time-consuming. Using a PLM tool makes this very easy and the process is much faster.
Apart from saving time, using a PLM saves cost. PLM can reduce the entire lifecycle of product development. In fact, studies show that the time would be reduced by half. This translates to automatic savings in cost. Studies have also shown that revenue can improve by 13.4%, profit by 13.2% and revenue from new products by 15.8% when PLM is implemented in the apparel industry.
PLM is a great way to make the company more agile. It can work faster, more effective and ensure that new designs and products reach the market on time. This would definitely give it a competitive edge.
PLM allows everyone to track the product once it is released in the market. They can track the performance of the product in the market, feedback from retailers and users, and can know if the product is profitable or not.
In case the product is not profitable, a decision can be taken to either rework on the product or to retire it. The PLM would also have complete data about the inventory in the organization and thus can take decisions based on factors like inventory levels.
The loss in inventory can be overcome and this can help to boost profits.
When PLM is implemented, then it would become easy to get feedback from various sources. This feedback can be implemented, which would ensure quality improvement. This can again lead to more satisfied customers and greater profits.
Using PLM helps a business easily plan and sell products that the market needs. They can ensure the products that are marketable enter the market.
PLM is of great help in ensuring the effectiveness of the entire supply chain management. Co-ordination with vendors and all other parties involved in the supply chain would be easy and smooth.
The entire data on a product would be available on the PLM tool for access to everyone. The plan, designs, bill of materials, and all other data would be available in the form of files.
PLM can be a strategy tool for an apparel company. The entire development process can be managed effectively.
During product development, there would be endless meetings and reviews. All this can be cut down when a tool is used for the PLM. This would help team members to collaborate and do it quickly and easily.
Rework during production happens in most cases when there are problems with the design versions. This would be totally eliminated when a PLM tool is used.
Following regulatory requirements, especially those related to environmental compliances would be easy. This is because the PLM can have all details related to regulatory requirements so that everyone is aware and can follow them.
- Manpower savings is also possible through a PLM. Generally, in a design team, there would be administrative staff required for documentation, change control, etc. This can be avoided when a PLM tool is used. Since everything is online, requirements for administrative staff is reduced. This leads to savings in manpower and reduced expenses.
How PLM for apparel industry can be implemented?
When an apparel company decides to implement PLM, the first things to be done is to select a software tool that can help in managing the entire product life cycle.
In order to implement a software tool, a vendor needs to be selected. Selecting the vendor who would provide the PLM software is important. While selecting the vendor, it should be ensured that the vendor has a good name in the market, and provides training for users.
PLM for apparel industry is beneficial for fashion companies. Their lifecycle time reduces, costs reduce, and sales increase. Better processes also mean that companies can be profitable.
And most importantly, customer satisfaction can improve, which would be the biggest benefit.