Companies are run on people, processes and tools. Implementing new tools into the mix means a change in the way people work and the way the business is run. It is one of the biggest time consuming and daunting tasks. It is very rare to see fast implementations. Implementing product life-cycle management (PLM) at fashion brands is no different it represents a significant difficulty for software vendor and service provider.
Fashion Brands/Retailers often implement PLM Solutions without really considering the various parameters there by leading to disappointing return on investment, and failure to achieve strategic business and IT goals
Taking a step-by-step approach and obtaining both executive and organisational buy-in will help ensure a smooth and successful PLM implementation. It is important and crucial to start by defining your reasons for taking the first step. It will help companies define their PLM needs, by possessing a clear picture on which process can wait for future and which cannot. Not just that companies can plan gradual upgrades and improvements that are less likely to disrupt the work environment.
Primary Objectives of PLM Implementation include:
- Centralised Data for better accessibility and one version of truth
- Releasing of Products faster to the market
- Standardised Change Management, BOM management and Vendor Collaboration.
- PLM integration capabilities with other systems
Here are seven parameters to look for while implementing a PLM strategy
- Flexibility and accessibility: The greatest benefit of a PLM platform is the ability to communicate and stay organised across different teams, businesses and industries. The software you choose needs to be accessible to every group you wish to work with.
- Scalability and performance: Successful solutions need to support three levels of scalability:
- Which connects multiple servers and PLM data instances in a multi-tier architecture
- Scale-able solution, where more business functions are added
- Which optimises performance as the PLM solution is scaled for higher concurrent user workloads
- Which enables the chosen PLM solution to handle large files through a sophisticated caching mechanism.
- Support for existing processes and data: Some of the key parameters to consider to boost efficiency without destroying the ongoing processes and data are,
- Knowing what gets done, who does it and who is impacted is an important, both in the planning stage and the buy-in stage.
- Spend time reviewing the files and decide what data needs to be moved and what data can stay where it is. Make sure any information being moved is accurate and in tip-top shape.
- PLM Solution integration capabilities
- When your business systems are integrated, all the stakeholders are directed to a single source of data. An integrated system automates the updating of data to everyone. Besides, one can even view all the changes made in the past to understand how the products or processes have progressed over time.
- It is important to have a PLM which is integration friendly and the users should be able to downstream or upstream systems easily.
- Access to the overarching data of their business operations helps all the departments align better, increasing performance and productivity.
- Speed of Implementation and Training
- It is so important to choose a system that is sufficiently robust while staying accessible and easy to use.
- Many PLM systems have online help systems to answer immediate questions and also web training to help users achieve individual success with the PLM software system. Getting users access to training material early in the PLM implementation process will help more efficient outcome with better control of processes and data.
- Deployment flexibility
- Large enterprises need a PLM architecture that supports a range of deployment options so that they can implement a future-proof PLM solution in an enterprise environment commensurate with IT budget constraints.
- The PLM architecture should be able to support at least three deployment paradigms, including peer-to-peer, centralised and a lead site with satellite sites
- Choose the right PLM Vendor
- Accurately assess the vendor’s experience and reputation. An excellent way to measure a vendor’s compatibility with your company is with Request for Information, RFIs and demonstrations.
- A flexible, nimble and high-performance team of the vendors plays a critical role when implementing PLM Solutions.
- Keep an eye out for the future. Select a vendor that is frequently updating, improving, and offering new integrations to its PLM software.
- Ensuring its security, accessibility and lower downtime of the PLM system becomes a critical factor in choosing the right partner
It is important to keep the future of your company at the front of your mind during a PLM software implementation. A powerful PLM system implementation should accommodate the business as it scales and support its transformation and expansion down the line helps prepare your organisation for growth.
Keeping the above parameters in mind while implementing PLM, you will have the high ROIs, less maintenance and quality solutions to reduce re-work leading to increased efficiency.