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.

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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.

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Adobe

The 3D Apparel Design Suite is fully integrated with all your favourite Adobe tools like Illustrator, Photoshop and more.

Switch between 2D and 3D designing

Images, Vectors and Patterns can be simultaneously
worked upon

Seamless File Format Integration and Support

Adobe

The 3D Apparel Design Suite is fully integrated with all your favourite Adobe tools like Illustrator, Photoshop and more.

Switch between 2D and 3D designing

Images, Vectors and Patterns can be simultaneously worked upon

Seamless File Format Integration and Support

Tech Pack

Top-down design and specification sharing to ensure all information required to manufacture the designed apparel is received in full precision.

PLM-ready Tech Pack generation

Intricate Details of fabric, measurements, patterns etc.

Notations and Annotation Support

Showcase

Taking your designs to the market requires more than just prototyping. See how your designs work in various style and store settings. Reporting and Analytics

Visual Styling of Designed Apparel

Easily Manipulate Styles like buttons open, rolled sleeves etc

Cross-check Screen Colours to procured fabric colours

Seamlessly Collaborate with Marketers and Developers

Showcase

Taking your designs to the market requires more than just prototyping. See how your designs work in various style and store settings. Reporting and Analytics

Visual Styling of Designed Apparel

Easily Manipulate Styles like buttons open, rolled sleeves etc

Cross-check Screen Colours to procured fabric colours

Seamlessly Collaborate with Marketers and Developers

fit

Photorealistic 3D Rendering

Fabric Simulation in Varied Environments (light, reflection etc.)

True Motion Fit Sessions to capture material movement

Garment Pressure and Tension Analysis of Moving Prototype

PROTOTYPE

Perfect the design game with tools that allow you to visualize how your apparel fits on real human body types through 3D prototyping

Variety of Human Prototypes based on size, skin colour etc.

Virtual Visualization of fabric textures

Accurate Draping of material over prototype

PROTOTYPE

Perfect the design game with tools that allow you to visualize how your apparel fits on real human body types through 3D prototyping

Variety of Human Prototypes based on size, skin colour etc.

Virtual Visualization of fabric textures

Accurate Draping of material over prototype

design

Easily navigate between 2D and 3D styling to add precision to fashion design.

Swift Design
Capabilities

Mix, Match and Scan fabric types

Pure Virtual
Visualization

3D Visualization of seams, trims etc.

Get Detail Levels like fabric, colour etc.

Store and Share all design elements

Style to Scale for all sizes

Real Time Sync With Adobe

design

Easily navigate between 2D and 3D styling to add precision to fashion design.

Swift Design Capabilities

Mix, Match and Scan fabric types

Pure Virtual Visualization

3D Visualization of seams, trims etc.

Get Detail Levels like fabric, colour etc.

Store and Share all design elements

Style to Scale for all sizes

Real Time Sync With Adobe

Comprehensive Analytics

Connect with real-time sales data to view Planogram performance and sales margins. With the power to visualize sales and other key metrics directly on products on walls and fixtures; Visual Merchandisers have the power to take informed decisions to improve full price sell-through and contribute to the management targets.

Performance check for both Central and Regional designers

Product Sales analysis

Comprehensive Data Views from various systems

Informed Decision Making to enable swift adaptation to change

Planogram Sharing

Empower flagship stores and retail/chain store managers to easily exchange planograms over mobile devices in 3D in real-time. Ensure compliance across different stores in different locations easily from head office.

Mobile Device Enabled Planogram Sharing

Business Metrics Visualization for Stores

Headquarters and Outlet Planning and Co-ordination

Experience Simulation

Efficiently capture and communicate the designer’s vision of how the store should look like. A delightful shopping experience, brand equity consistency and operational compliance can be achieved through 3D lifelike experiences.

High quality 3D Virtual Walkthroughs rendering

Validate with Internal teams for comments with screenshots

Share with customers focus groups to identify preferred zones

Effective communication of designer’s vision of store look alike

Smart Visual Merchandising

Perform a dry run of how your store plans work with internal stakeholders. View products at various locations in the store to see what is the best fit for each category to leave a remarkable impression for store visitors.

Generate detailed Planograms of the ideal result

Evaluate Business metrics in context of the store

Business Compliance Checks for Featured Products

Review Planograms with Central and Regional teams

Measure Sales Metrics based on assortment positioning

3D Content Collaboration

Manage Product Displays in 3D. Designing a store layout can be a frustrating experience if it does not support the physical collection once the products arrive. Merchants could take better decisions and even adjust the evolving assortments, if they could preview the store and the products earlier, using a virtual environment.

Life-like 3D Product modeling

Digital Assortment Visualization

Plan Store digitally before committing to production

Avoid expensive and time consuming assortment failures

finance and merchandise planning

Plan Company level targets and distribute them proportionately Top-Down, Bottom-Up and Middle- Out. Financial goals translate into inventory and assortment strategies that perfectly align capacities and constraints across the whole supply chain.

What-if and What-for Functions For real-time impact assessment

Workflow and Audit Trail For versioning and Approval

Support multi-channel strategy: Online, Shop-in-Shop

Support multi-level merch & location hierarchy

Link financial objectives to operations

Minimize stock-outs and over-stocks

finance and merchandise planning

Plan Company level targets and distribute them proportionately Top-Down, Bottom-Up and Middle- Out. Financial goals translate into inventory and assortment strategies that perfectly align capacities and constraints across the whole supply chain.

What-if and What-for Functions For real-time impact assessment

Workflow and Audit Trail For versioning and Approval

Support multi-channel strategy: Online, Shop-in-Shop

Support multi-level merch & location hierarchy

Link financial objectives to operations

Minimize stock-outs and over-stocks

DEMAND AND SUPPLY PLANNING

Supply Chain dashboard for monitoring, supporting and controlling the entire process

Scenario analysis to balance customer demand with production and delivery capabilities

Supplier management

Delivery Optimization

What-if and what-for analysis to forecast material and production line needs

DEMAND AND SUPPLY PLANNING

Supply Chain dashboard for monitoring, supporting and controlling the entire process

Scenario analysis to balance customer demand Increased Visibility in with production and delivery capabilities

Supplier management

Delivery Optimization

What-if and what-for analysis to forecast material and production line needs

business intelligence and analytics

Integrate Data From different sources easily

Unleash Intelligence From Data rapidly translate insights into action

Self-Service Analysis environment

Dashboards and Scorecards

Data Discovery, Data Analysis What-if scenarios, Business data modeling

open to buy and markdown planning

Monitor sales, markdown, margin, cover and closing stock on one screen. Use valuable information for in-season re forecast and markdown proposals based on actual versus idea sell-through curves.

Increase users’ efficiency through self-service analysis

Visibility of expected & required closing stock and what-if simulations

System supported achievement of required closing stock

Monitor budgets during planning and In-Season

Precise Visibility Closing stock and What-if simulations

Achievement of Required closing stock

Smart Handling of Never out of stock

Markdowns and Promotions optimization

open to buy and markdown planning

Monitor sales, markdown, margin, cover and closing stock on one screen. Use valuable information for in-season re forecast and Markdown proposals based on actual versus idea sell-through curves.

Increase users’ efficiency through self-service analysis

Visibility of expected & required closing stock and what-if simulations

System supported achievement of required closing stock

Monitor budgets during planning and In-Season

Precise Visibility Closing stock and What-if simulations

Achievement of Required closing stock

Smart Handling of Never out of stock

Markdowns and Promotions optimization

Assortment planning and store allocation

Create assortments that drive sales and margins. Making sure you have the right assortment for your customers has always been the core of retailing. Your collections need to stand out in a crowded marketplace to create future customer loyalty and sales.

Create an assortment strategy

Build pre-season buy and sales plans

Manage assortment in real-time

Automate manual tasks and execution

Improve Return on Space and Return on Inventory

Quickly gain Insights on Style Attributes

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COLLABORATE SOURCING

Increased Visibility in Supply Chain Management

Analytics Driven Insights For Effective Cost Management

Easy Collaboration With Multiple Suppliers

Study Impact of Decisions During Development

Consolidated Procurement Across Product Line

Ensure Enterprise Quality Standard Compliance

COLLABORATE SOURCING

Increased Visibility in Supply Chain Management

Analytics Driven Insights For Effective Cost Management

Easy Collaboration With Multiple Suppliers

Study Impact of Decisions During Development

Consolidated Procurement Across Product Line

Ensure Enterprise Quality Standard Compliance

collection management

product management

procurement management

Support Multiple Product Categories

Proactive Supply Chain Environment

Consistently Apply Changes Across Collections

Analytics Led Material Sourcing

Materials Management Based on Requirements

Market Specific Product Catalogs

Enterprise Level Workflow Calendars

collection management

product management

Support Multiple Product Categories

Consistently Apply Changes Across Collections

Materials Management Based on Requirements

procurement management

Proactive Supply Chain Environment

Analytics Led Material Sourcing

Market Specific Product Catalogs

Enterprise Level Workflow Calendars

DESIGN CONNECTORS

One Platform For Designers and Technical Team

Centralized Repository of Design Elements Like Trim, Material Wash, etc.

Materials Management Based on Requirements

Adobe Illustrator Integration for Increased Productivity

Connectors For Easy Integration

DESIGN CONNECTORS

One Platform For Designers and Technical Team.

Centralized Repository of Design Elements Like Trim, Material Wash, etc.

Materials Management Based on Requirements

Adobe Illustrator Integration for Increased Productivity.

Connectors For Easy Integration.

seasonal line planning

Merchandise Planning

Analytics backed Season Management

Unified Seasonal Line Planning

Current Product Information Views

Enterprise Level Workflow Calendar

Collaborate With Product and Management

Setup Sales Estimates

Swiftly Respond to Changing Trends

Real Time Marketing Analysis

seasonal line planning

Merchandise Planning

Analytics backed Season Management

Unified Seasonal Line Planning

Current Product Information Views

Enterprise Level Workflow Calendar

Collaborate With Product and Management

Setup Sales Estimates

Swiftly Respond to Changing Trends

Real Time Marketing Analysis

 R Krishna Kumar 

Founder and Managing DIrector

Mr. Ravishankara H.S is a B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Surathkal Karnataka. He carries a rich experience of over 30 years in IT functions at various capacities in large professionally managed companies. 

Some of the Brands of which Mr. Ravishankara was heading IT Departments are: MICO, ABB, Grasim, Madura Garments & Arvind Brands. The last corporate assignment was with Arvind Brands as VP –IS heading the IT function. At Present he the Founder Director of HSR IT Solutions Pvt Ltd offering services from ERP evaluation to IT Operations management for companies in Textiles, IT Service, Apparel & Retail.

K Ganapathy S

Board Advisor

Ganapathy, an entrepreneur turned advisor, has over 18 years of experience in technology investing at ICICI Venture and Jump Startup. He has successfully nurtured more than 40 companies. 

Ganapathy advises Simbus on corporate development and strategy. He has a B. Tech degree from NIT Trichy and an MBA degree from XLRI.

 R Krishna Kumar 

Founder and Managing DIrector

Krishna Kumar (KK) – An IIM Ahmedabad Graduate, KK has 25 years experience with Fashion Industry Leaders like Madura Garments and Arvind Mills. An acknowledged expert in Supply Chain, KK has led transformational projects in large and medium companies in areas of supply chain planning, retail planning and PLM implementation.

 He founded Simbus with a mission to help companies to simplify their business using technology. He mentors several start-ups and also serves on the advisory board of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).