Reducing Time to Market With Apparel PLM Software

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of fashion, time is of the essence. Apparel companies are constantly evolving to bring new products to market as quickly as possible. Streamlining operations is critical to reduce time-to-market, and maintain a competitive edge.

However, the process of designing, developing, and manufacturing apparel can be complex and time-consuming, with numerous challenges that can delay product launches.

This is where Apparel Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software comes into play, offering a powerful solution to streamline operations and accelerate time to market.

Understanding Apparel PLM Software

Apparel Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software is a comprehensive digital platform that manages the entire product lifecycle, from initial concept to final delivery. In today’s circular economy, the product’s story spans from raw materials to end-of-life stages.

It serves as a centralized hub for all product-related data, enabling seamless collaboration among designers, merchandisers, suppliers, and manufacturers.

By integrating various processes and stakeholders, PLM software ensures efficient communication, streamlined workflows, and real-time visibility throughout the product development cycle.

Challenges in the Apparel Industry

Accelerating time to market is crucial in the apparel industry, where trends and consumer preferences can shift rapidly. Delays in bringing new products to market can result in missed opportunities, reduced sales, and ultimately, decreased profitability.

Apparel PLM software addresses this challenge by optimizing processes, reducing errors, and facilitating faster decision-making, enabling companies to respond swiftly to market demands. It’s the ‘Easy Button” of the sewn goods industry.

The apparel industry faces numerous challenges that can impede time to market. Some of the most common issues faced are:

Design Complexities: Apparel design involves intricate details, such as patterns, fabrics, trims, and embellishments, which can be time-consuming to manage and communicate effectively.

Supply Chain Issues: Global supply chains, with multiple suppliers and manufacturers, can lead to communication breakdowns, delays, and quality control issues, slowing down the production process.

Fast Fashion Demands: The rise of fast fashion has increased pressure on apparel companies to deliver new products at an unprecedented pace, challenging traditional development cycles.

Regulatory Compliance: Navigating various regulations, such as product safety standards and labeling requirements, can add complexity and time to the product development process.

These challenges highlight the need for a robust and efficient system to manage the entire product lifecycle, ensuring that products are brought to market quickly and efficiently.

Supply Chain issues with apparel plm software solved

Key Features of Effective Apparel PLM Software

Apparel PLM software offers a range of features and functionalities designed to streamline processes and accelerate time to market. These solutions often integrate with other enterprise systems, such as ERP and supply chain management tools.

Having ERP integration allows enhanced efficiency and visibility across the entire product lifecycle. Now let’s take a look at some other key features of Apparel PLM software.

Centralized Data Management

A single, centralized repository for all product-related data, including technical specifications, bills of materials, costing information, and design files, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing errors.

Collaborative Platform

A secure, cloud-based platform that enables real-time collaboration among cross-functional teams, suppliers, and manufacturers, facilitating seamless communication and decision-making.

Workflow Automation

Automated workflows for tasks such as sample tracking, change management, and approval processes, reducing administrative overhead and ensuring consistent and timely execution.

Supplier Management

Streamlined communication and collaboration with suppliers, enabling efficient sharing of technical specs, sample tracking, and approval management.

Analytics and Reporting

Comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities, providing valuable insights into product performance, trends, and areas for improvement, enabling data-driven decision-making.

Integration Capabilities

Seamless integration with other enterprise systems, such as ERP, CRM, and PLM solutions, ensuring a cohesive and efficient flow of data across the organization.

By leveraging these features, Apparel PLM software empowers companies to optimize their
product development processes, reduce time to market, and stay ahead of the competition.

8 Steps to Implementing Apparel PLM Software

Implementing Apparel PLM software is a strategic decision that requires careful planning and execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure a smooth transition and successful integration:

  1. Define Goals and Objectives: Clearly define the goals and objectives for implementing Apparel PLM software, such as reducing time to market, improving collaboration, or enhancing supply chain visibility.
  2. Assess Current Processes: Conduct a thorough assessment of existing product development processes, identifying areas for improvement and potential bottlenecks.
  3. Select the Right Solution: Evaluate and select an Apparel PLM software solution that aligns with your organization’s specific needs, scalability requirements, and budget.
  4. Develop an Implementation Plan: Create a detailed implementation plan that outlines key milestones, timelines, and responsibilities for each phase of the project.
  5. Data Migration: Migrate existing product data, including design files, technical specifications, and supplier information, into the new Apparel PLM system, ensuring data integrity and accuracy.
  6. User Training: Provide comprehensive training to all stakeholders, including designers, merchandisers, suppliers, and manufacturers, to ensure effective adoption and utilization of the software.
  7. Pilot Testing: Conduct pilot testing with a selected group of users to identify and address any potential issues or challenges before a full-scale rollout.
  8. Continuous Improvement: Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of the Apparel PLM software, gathering feedback from users and making necessary adjustments to optimize processes and maximize efficiency.
Happy employees after fixing time to market on apparel plm software

This may sound like a lot and to be honest, it is. That’s why any PLM software provider worth their salt will consult with you, and then make the setup a reality.

Take The Steps to Empower Your Apparel Business

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software is a game-changer in product development and management. The end result is improved efficiency, reduced time-to-market, and better product quality, all while promoting sustainability by optimizing resource utilization and minimizing waste throughout the product lifecycle.

PolyPM offers a comprehensive, scalable, and user-configurable PLM solution for businesses in the sewn-goods industry. By leveraging Polygon’s expertise and PolyPM’s apparel PLM software, businesses can reduce time to market and operate more efficiently.

Polygon, PolyPM’s developer, brings over 30 years of technology solutions to the sewn-products and textile industries. The company invented apparel CAD in the 1970s and remains committed to cutting-edge solutions.

Polygon has thousands of successful installations worldwide, providing confidence in rapid, low-risk deployment of apparel PLM software.

If you’d like to learn more, feel free to reach out to the team at Polygon.


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