How PLM software helps fashion brands reduce their time-to-market

June 2, 2023 . 4 mins read
  • Introduction

    The time-to-market is the amount of time it takes for a product to go from the conception stage to being sold in the market. It’s an important factor for success in any consumer goods industry. Fashion brands, in particular, face increasing pressure to tap into new trends and deliver products quicker than ever before.  

    Keeping up with the pace at which consumers want to see new items on shelves is getting harder every day. The faster a brand can bring its products to market, the better its chances of survival amid heavy competition.  

    Time-to-market can make or break a product, but a fashion brand has to wrangle a very complex supply chain to make this happen. That’s why they turn to Fashion PLM software to streamline every function in the product development process. 

  • 5 Ways PLM Solutions Reduce Time-to-market For Fashion Products:

    1. Centralize All Product Data for Better accessibility  

    When data is scattered across documents and databases on local machines or email threads, you end up wasting a lot of time just tracking down the information you need. PLM software simplifies digital asset management by keeping this data centralized so that the right people can access the right information when they need it.  

    PLM also makes it easier for teams to securely share this information with other departments or external stakeholders such as suppliers or buyers. What’s more, information management tools such as version control, search and filter capabilities, user permissions management and version history tracking enable teams to manage their data more efficiently.  

    CUSTOMER SPEAK: Dutch fashion brand Mexx said they chose WFX PLM “specifically for their best-in-market Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) modules” which allows them to gather all their data in a single place and then filter and extract this information for specific use cases such as for marketplaces like Zalando or Amazon.  

    2. Standardize and Streamline Tech Packs  

    Fashion Tech Pack contains specifications for each product, from yarns used in the fabric to methods of construction and washing instructions. PLM solutions help standardize the Tech Pack development process—developing templates for different product categories, each customizable for set specifications and supplier requirements. 

    The digitalization of Tech Packs reduces time-to-market by ensuring that suppliers have access to the most up-to-date information for production—including images and CAD files—with just one click.   

    READ MORE: How digital Tech Packs can prevent costly manufacturing errors 

    3. Speed Up Sample Approvals and Quality Control 

    PLM accelerates sample approval and quality control by streamlining the process. Working from the same design version eliminates discrepancies in measurements, colors, and materials, enabling faster and smoother sample approvals. It also ensures that appropriate designs are approved by the right stakeholders at each development stage. 

    In fashion, where designs can undergo significant changes during development, PLM helps maintain quality standards. Effective collaboration between designers and merchandising teams prevents confusion regarding materials and adherence to the original design intent.

    4. Ensure Adherence to Timelines and Deadlines  

    In order to stay on schedule, you need an effective way of communicating deadlines and timelines among the various parties working on your project (designers, merchandisers, etc.) This can be accomplished within your PLM platform by setting up automatic notifications at critical milestones or defining which users are notified when certain events occur during project execution (such as delivery).  

    You can also track deadlines and verify timelines as they’re happening in real-time (or close enough). Unlike paper-based methods like spreadsheets or email chains, PLM software allows teams to see past due dates right inside their user interface so they don’t have to manually enter them into separate calendar apps or checklists—making sure that no one falls behind!  

    In fact, Benetton India implemented WFX PLM expressly to improve production and shipment tracking and get better visibility of their operations. Benetton was able to reduce their time-to-market by 35% through comprehensive real-time tracking of production deliverables of their suppliers via the WFX platform.  

    READ MORE: 8 ways fashion brands can speed up their fashion manufacturing process 

    5. Improve Communication Within Teams and With Suppliers   

    PLM enhances communication both within teams and with external suppliers by providing a centralized database for sharing information and design updates throughout a project’s lifecycle. Whether it’s a designer working on a new design or a supplier requiring production details, access to the same database streamlines supply chain management.  

    The software’s built-in collaboration tools, such as commenting and version control, keep everyone informed across different departments or locations, eliminating version confusions. Additionally, PLM lets you create custom workflows tailored to specific business processes, such as requiring multiple approvals before an order is sent out. This further optimizes communication and ensures efficient project execution.  

    CUSTOMER SPEAK: Maternity and kids fashion group NINE&Co has offices in Netherlands, Germany and Belgium as well as suppliers in Asia. Using WFX PLM allowed NINE&Co to streamline collaboration and communication across all teams, which has helped them bring down lead times by 30%!    

  • Conclusion

    Fashion brands are always looking for ways to reduce their time-to-market. Product Lifecycle Management solutions are the answer because they can help you save time and money by allowing you to collaborate with your team more effectively in real-time.  

    In fashion, speed and agility are crucial factors that determine the market positioning and profitability of a brand. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your risk of product failure, then check out WFX PLM, a solution designed specifically for fashion brands!

    Sign up for a free demo to learn more.  

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World Fashion Exchange

WFX - World Fashion Exchange is a global fashion-tech leader providing cloud-based software solutions for the fashion industry.

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