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Thinking About PLM? 5 Ways to Know if PLM is right for you

Being in the fashion business, we are all trained to tune into trends. We pick up the clues about what’s hot and what’s not from the press, our clients and our suppliers. Then it’s no surprise that PLM is the hot new technology trend. Before you take the PLM plunge check out your organization’s PLM readiness by answering the five questions below and register at to view informative videos that will support your PLM education.

  1. 1. What does PLM mean to me?

PLM integrates people, data, processes and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise. PLM benefits include: reduced time to market, improved product quality, reduced sampling costs, savings through the re-use of original data, reduced waste, savings through the integration of workflow and collaboration. So what does this mean to me? Start to think about technology and processes in a new way. What tools do you use day to day: A mobile phone, GPS, email, shared calendars, customer relationship tools, shared files, desktop tools, spreadsheets and cameras?  Are things easier now then they were before you used these tools?  Now think about processes that have changed: Do you use Facebook or LinkedIn to find people and stay in touch? Do you get your news and stock information from an online newspaper or portal? Do you pay your bills online?  We assume you are doing most of this today. So the big question to ask is: “How can technology and processes solve my Business problems”? The answer is PLM, IF what you are focused on is the alignment of process and information around developing, sourcing and marketing your products. (For more information on this topic view: “The Thinking Executive’s Guide to a Better PLM Implementation:  Develop a PLM strategy and reach your PLM goals” by Nancy Winslow, TBC Unlimited).

  1. 2. Are we in pain?

We know you have productive organizations and that you “get it done” at the end of the day. But what is the price you pay? Are your people overworked? Are you typically on calendar or running to catch up? Do you have organized chaos or military precision processes? Is everyone complaining to your face or behind your back? If the answer is: “we can always do better” then explore PLM as a means to your end. If the answer is: “we are doing it great” then explore PLM as a means to tweak specific aspects of your business that can elevate you to even higher levels of performance. (For more information on this topic view: “Don’t pave the cow paths – understand your “As- Is” processes to better implement your PLM Solution” by Steve Holland, Principal, MADLAN Specialists, Inc.)

  1. 3. Are we ready to change?

At this point you are probably hearing the voices in your head: “my team won’t change”, “we can’t afford to disrupt our business”, “Design does not like technology” and “Management doesn’t get it”. Of course you hear these voices. They are loud and clear! Our organizations are not that different then the reality TV shows we watch with fascination and disgust: people behave in ways you can’t imagine and group dynamics make things even more insane. This is where leadership comes into play. We have all heard the quote from the popular movie Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come”. Start building towards change! (The hard work of PLM implementation: aligning and engaging people to make it work by Amy Armitage, Principal and Co-founder Delta NPD LLC)

  1. 4. Can we do this?

Your organization may be savvy at implementing software. If implementing new systems and processes is not your core competency then bring in experts. You can get help from consultants, coaches or bring in experienced in house resources. PLM requires focus, time and attention, so make sure you ask the questions and get support. (The PLM Implementation Methodology Guide – Step by step do’s and don’ts for implementing PLM solutions by Nancy Johnson, Founder & CEO- Optimyze and Matt Gersper, Founder and President, Global Data Mining, LLC

  1. 5. What processes and tools do we really want and need?

Would you like to take your forms, templates databases and processes and turn them into sustainable tools that standardize the way you do things?  PLM technologies are supported by powerful software platforms that can be set up “out of the box” to do many of the things you dream of. If not then configuring or customizing PLM software is possible even with small budgets. Dare to dream big or keep it focused. Either way develop your PLM vision and requirements and learn what is possible. (Measure twice and cut once: manage your risk when implementing PLM with better requirements gathering by Laura McCann-Ramsey, CEO – Zweave)

Gain valuable insights at the largest PLM knowledge video library on the web. Register at


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