IDC Retail Insights' research shows that as retailers continue to focus on performance improvements, a broad spectrum of product lifecycle management capabilities from product conception to order receipt can help, especially with private-label brands. Retail PLM allows retailers to harmonize decisions at each step of the product lifecycle, resulting in more profitable product launches, fewer product failures, and more business success. As a result, PLM has shifted from merely enabling improved technical specification, sampling and sourcing management processes to enabling faster innovation and product cycle times, with improved regulatory compliance and reduced costs.
"PLM empowers employees to do what they do best and return to their core competencies - designers can design products, supply chain managers can optimize a well-orchestrated and instrumented supply network, and merchants can optimize assortments, efficiently buying and selling products," said Leslie Hand, research director for IDC Retail Insights. "By enabling collaboration up and down the supply chain retailers can not only reduce the cost of doing business but improve performance for all supply chain partners. Importantly, with retail PLM the retailer can develop 'fashion' products closer to customer demand, enabling fresh and inviting assortments, that improve customer loyalty and sales."
Vendors that serve this space range from those that have long histories in PLM and CAD to those that have emerged specifically to serve retail product lifecycle management needs. Regardless of heritage, PLM providers have increased retail specific R&D over the last several years.
As a result, many best practices have emerged, including establishing a common data repository, facilitating collaborative innovation, calendar management and workflow control, automated collaborative sourcing processes, and close attention to regulations and product, vendor, and factory compliance and performance.
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Source: IDC Retail Insights
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