Putting the Consumer First in PLM

contributed by Karina Kogan, President, Business Management Systems ([email protected])

Since it first hit the market, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) has been helping to move tens of thousands of companies away from frustrating manual processes, fill in problematic gaps in workplace communication, eliminate redundant data entry, tedious rework and countless other common operational issues, all while speeding time to market, slashing sampling costs, and delivering measurable ROI year after year.

All of the ways in which a business can benefit from PLM have been written about 100 times over. But one extremely important factor seems to have been omitted from the PLM discussion -- how will implementing a PLM system at your company impact the consumer?

In any business, it is ultimately the customer's happiness that matters -- customer satisfaction and loyalty is what keeps a business afloat. So what does choosing PLM mean for them?

Let's begin by stripping away the previously mentioned benefits of PLM.

Decreased speed to market means giving the competition the upper hand when it comes to innovation, allowing them to reach consumers with new products before you do. This gives other businesses the opportunity to dominate the market, even with a substandard product -- simply because they got there first.

When it comes to costs, over-sampling and overproduction as well as less-than-optimal business processes could be hitting you hard financially, needlessly pulling money from your budget and causing sacrifices to be made in terms of both quality and design of the product that ultimately hits shelves.

In terms of monetary returns -- especially in times of economic hardship -- one might feel pressure to choose between profitability and quality of product. You may have noticed that at the downturn of the economy, a lot of off-the-rack fashion changed -- skirts became just a hair less generous, and maybe your favorite jeans became a little less durable. These changes in quality may seem minute and may add up to big savings in the short-term, but it could be harmful if it's causing you to lose customers in the greater scheme of things. Remember, you may be looking for a better deal on denim, but your customer is too! PLM permits the user to save money on the "back end" --pre-production, sourcing, sampling, etc.-- allowing them to pass better prices and higher quality onto their customers at less cost to the company, increasing profitability even while consumer spending is down.

From an aesthetic standpoint, savings on the "back end" means the garment that ultimately reaches the consumer is less costly to make, thus fewer sacrifices need to made in terms of design and fabrication, allowing the finished product to be more true to the designer's original vision. Apparel PLM aims to eliminate a great deal of the creative filtering that oftentimes must occur between the initial design stages and the finished product consumers see in stores. In this way, PLM users can create a cost-effective product while maintaining the artistic integrity that is at the heart of any apparel brand.

We like to think of PLM as a "win-win" for both companies and consumers. While top management and designers can enjoy greater control over the short and long-term financial and aesthetic direction of their brand, the customer ultimately reaps the benefit of a higher quality, well-designed, more beautiful product at a better price. The bottom line is this -- a happy customer is a loyal customer, and a business with a loyal clientele is a profitable business.


Business Management Systems (BMS) is one of the most established and reliable product lifecycle management (PLM) providers in the market today, with more than 30 years of experience in the PLM and ERP industries.

BMS provides the VerTex software solution in order to alleviate the strain of frustrating, outdated manual processes, fill problematic gaps in workplace communication, identify detrimental bottlenecks, and form the most profitable and efficient company possible.

Catering to an esteemed clientele, BMS boasts 100 percent customer satisfaction and implementation success rates, and has the honor of being named one of the best in customer service by Apparel Magazine in a past user survey.

Visit BMSystems.com for more information or call to arrange a free demo: 800-266-4046.

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