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What comes after PLM? Solving fashion’s challenges

To stay competitive on today’s landscape, fashion companies are offering much more than garments. 

What comes after PLM? Solving fashion’s challenges

A whole new scope of products are used to create a brand experience that engages today's consumer from every angle. Multichannel sales blur boundaries across online and offline storefronts, to complement increasingly fluid product category definitions.

Companies that once sold four seasonal collections a year are diversifying into lines and market segments as well as entirely new product categories. Luxury brands were among the first to invest in this trend in 2016: Gucci and Christian Dior opened fine dining restaurants in their mainland Chinese flagships, a move that underlined a shift from providing totally fashion-oriented products to more lifestyle-driven offers through 360° brand experience.

The diversification needed to engage the experience-hungry, ultra-connected consumer requires an unprecedented level of centralization and control. Companies are obliged to retain and protect the consistency of core brand DNA while optimizing processes that generate unprecedented levels of complexity.

While traditional apparel PLM software were a revolutionary way to centralize product-related data, from stitch type to sizing, next season’s coral blazer is just one among a multitude of aspects that fashion companies need to leverage to continually stay in the game and beat sales objectives.

Next-generation PLM solutions are designed to broaden the scope of traditional PLM from historical data to gather data from marketing campaigns, regional pricing data, discount information, supplier details, consumer data, such as feedback and trends gathered from consumers’ social media. So while the garment remains at the core of fashion, capitalizing on information from past collections to inform new products is nothing new. A new kind of integration is needed to empower companies to move forward intelligently.

Advanced PLM systems give fashion companies the power to organize and deal with an increasingly large amount of heterogeneous data from different IT systems by centralizing and filtering information, giving it meaning and relevance in the context of collection development. This data-driven agility is key to developing the productivity and resilience that fashion companies will need to tackle the future of an industry that promises to serve up a good deal of economic and technological unknowns.

To find out how PLM can help you master your data and workflows to meet your fashion business objectives, read our e-guide now.