Help your design & development team collaborate better with PLM

June 1, 2023 . 4 mins read
  • Introduction

    The world is full of big ideas. And big teams.

    So why do so many innovative ideas fall flat? Because they’re NOT taking a big enough approach. Let’s understand what that means.

    It’s a common complaint from product development managers that they’re unable to deliver products on time and within budget. They have a great idea, and are ready to get it off the ground. But there’s a problem: their designers, developers, and producers are all working on different programs with different tools, and it’s slowing product development down, not to mention costing them time and money.

    In fact, employees sometimes feel like they’re going at it alone. No one really knows how to ask for help, who to ask or what the right questions are. And it can just be hard to find the right resources you need. The design workflow is siloed and inefficient.

    Another problem with product development is the invisibility of the work in progress. Unlike manufacturing, much of the product development process involves information assets such as design ideation, specifications, sampling and compliance data and so on. It can be difficult to manage problems in processes you can’t see or measure easily.

  • At its core, ALL of these problems are problems of collaboration.

    Design and development are two parts of a larger, crucial process called PLM (Product Lifecycle Management). Your design and development team, quality team, sourcing team and suppliers need to all work together to get the job done—and if their communication isn’t up to par, it will be much more difficult for them to deliver the best possible product.

    The old way of using email & spreadsheets doesn’t work. Your outdated systems will hold back your production before it even begins.

    In order to communicate effectively, you need to utilize cloud-based software that can keep everyone on the same page—and Product Lifecycle Management software has everything you need in one place!

    PLM software helps your design and development teams collaborate better. It’s kind of like project management software, but with features specifically geared toward helping your team develop products. It shows your team members what each other is working on so they can help each other out—and it manages risks, costs, and timelines based on real-time data from every member of your team.

  • Here’s how PLM software directly leads to better team collaboration

    • Single source of truth: PLM software can improve communication within a company by creating a single source of truth that provides all information about the project, its status, and its organization. Every change made to the content is tracked and verified by multiple team members before it gets approved and becomes the ‘source of truth.
    • Open access to all members: Trying to share information across an organization can be frustrating. Each department has its own system, so it’s hard to get a clear picture of the work. A PLM can help managers and workers alike by giving them a centralized source of information about a product—where it came from, where it goes, when it was made, and when it will run out—and helps improve communication with suppliers and customers.
    • Track all product revisions: Many people and teams often make changes to the same product during the design process. All this back-and-forth and versioning can be time-consuming and confusing. Before PLM, it was difficult for the design team to see how the development team was progressing. A PLM keeps you on track making sure all changes are recorded and accounted for so that everyone knows what has happened at every step of the project.
    • Remove time zone, language barriers: If a company is looking to bring in more international customers or work with global suppliers, or if they have employees spread out across different regions of the world, then having a cloud-based PLM solution allows everyone to work seamlessly together on a single project, regardless of their physical location. Often referred to as ‘misunderstandings,’ these barriers could otherwise lead to lost productivity and a loss of money for businesses.
    • Reduce email dependence: Organizations that rely on email communication find it difficult to track and find documents due to the lack of a central location. Employees lose productivity by being stuck in email chains trying to resolve issues with no outside help from colleagues. A PLM system helps make communication more efficient by reducing the number of emails needed between employees in order to coordinate work efforts. It allows you to collaborate in real-time and share information without having to constantly email your coworkers.
  • Conclusion

    A PLM helps you make sure that all of the work being put into a product is being used and reused throughout the product’s life cycle. A good PLM solution will improve communication, collaboration, and documentation across your organization. It makes collaboration easier by streamlining your workflow and helps your organization achieve better results.

    With PLM, you’ll always know what’s going on so you don’t have to keep asking others, “Hey, where are we at with this?” No more waiting, it’s time to take action!

    Get a free demo of WFX PLM to fire up the wheels of collaboration.

Vishakha Somaniauthor linkedin
Assistant Manager

Vishakha Somani is a Fashion Tech Analyst and Communications expert at WFX - World Fashion Exchange. She is a Fashion graduate from Polimi Italy, and has been actively reporting on the fashion industry since 2016. She's an expert in analyzing trends, market shifts and new technologies. Her work spans forecasting and research on the global luxury and retail supply chain, emerging markets, and the circular economy.

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