BY CHRIS JONES | SEPTEMBER 05, 2023 | 4 MINUTE READ
Agility, adaptability, and foresight are critical to staying relevant and profitable in an ever-evolving fashion landscape. Brands often look to diversify their offerings or enter new geographical markets to grow their footprint. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tools tailored for the fashion industry and effectively integrated within a connected solution can be the lynchpin for success in these ventures.
This article highlights eight benefits an integrated Fashion PLM solution can provide to aid brands in seamlessly launching new product categories and penetrating fresh markets.
1. Comprehensive Data Management
Fashion PLM systems offer robust data management tools. Whether a brand is considering launching activewear or eyewear, PLM can store, categorise, and make detailed information accessible about materials, design specifications, suppliers, and deep data from the supply chain when integrated into a connected solution.
When data from across the digital value chain is captured in this centralised database, the brand has a holistic view of the new product category or market and its associated supply chain, enabling informed decision-making.
Read more on Fashion PLM integration with the broad scope of processes and solutions within the Fashion Supply Chain within an editorial opinion piece in The Interline Fashion PLM Report 2023.
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2. Efficient Collaboration Across Teams
Diversifying product categories and markets often demands collaboration between multiple teams in different regions. Fashion PLM's collaboration tools, such as real-time chat, shared design spaces, and feedback loops, facilitate streamlined cross-functional teamwork, ensuring that designs, marketing strategies, and production timelines align seamlessly.
3. Market Analysis, Consumer Insights and Customer Experience
Modern PLM tools come equipped with, or the ability to connect to, advanced analytics. Understanding consumer preferences, local trends, and potential price points is vital when entering a new market or launching a novel product category. In combination with an integrated and centralised database, analytics can collate, align, and analyse data from multiple additional sources, giving brands invaluable insights and helping tailor their offerings accordingly.
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4. Streamlined Supplier Management
Tapping into a new product category might necessitate collaboration with new suppliers or expanding existing relationships. PLM solutions allow brands to manage supplier data, evaluate their performance, and ensure they align with the brand's ethical and quality standards.
This is particularly vital when sourcing materials or manufacturing processes unfamiliar to the brand.
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5. Risk Management
Launching new products or entering unfamiliar markets carries inherent risks. From understanding regulatory compliance in a new region to ensuring the new product category adheres to sustainability standards, PLM tools can flag potential issues. Connected with predictive analytics, PLM can help brands anticipate challenges and strategise accordingly.
Read the series on sustainability return on investment;
6. Variations for Different Markets
Cultural nuances, climatic conditions, or local trends might necessitate product tweaks. With Fashion PLM, designs can be adapted, iterations can be tracked, and collaborative feedback can be incorporated efficiently, ensuring the product resonates with the target market.
Read more on boosting innovation in Fashion with Generative AI.
Photo by Yiran Ding on Unsplash
7. Efficient Inventory Management
Overproduction can be a significant issue when testing new waters. When Fashion PLM and Retail Planning solutions are connected, these systems can help brands forecast demand more accurately for new product categories or markets, optimising inventory levels and minimising wastage.
Fashion PLM can also enable the planning and execution of more effective Manufacturing on Demand to ensure maximum control of inventory and demand variation for new product categories or markets.
8. Speed to Market
In the dynamic world of fashion, speed is of the essence. When Fashion PLM is integrated within a connected supply chain solution and provides a centralised and real-time view of the digital value chain, its tools streamline processes, enhance collaboration, and reduce redundancies across the front-end and supply chain processes, ensuring that the brand can launch its new offerings swiftly and capitalise on emerging trends or market demands.
Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash
Diversification is often a necessary growth strategy for fashion brands, but is complex. The challenges are multifaceted, whether understanding a new consumer demographic or ensuring product quality remains consistent across categories.
With their integrated approach to product lifecycle management, Fashion PLM tools provide brands with a structured, data-driven, and collaborative platform, paving the way for successful expansion and market penetration.
If this topic resonates with you or any of the strategies discussed that an integrated Fashion PLM solution can expedite, feel free to contact me to discuss.
CHRIS JONES, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, JBSO GROUP
After originally training and working as an engineer, Chris joined a fashion services and technology company 30 years ago to implement ISO9001. Since then, he has helped drive transformation projects for over a hundred fashion brands, retailers, sourcing agents, and manufacturers to optimize their processes, supported by innovative technologies and concepts, working in offices, showrooms, and factories world-wide.