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Why Aren’t More Fashion Companies Utilizing PLM Platforms?

According to a 2022 industry survey conducted by Sourcing Journal and retail consulting firm AlixPartners, only 46 percent of respondents are utilizing digital product life cycle management (PLM) solutions to improve efficiencies. This is shocking considering the complex steps to get garments created—including planning and sourcing, development and testing, sampling and final shipment, not to mention teams spanning cities, countries, continents and time zones.

So why aren’t more companies taking advantage of PLM software when it clearly offers so many advantages over manual methods?

“Often, any objection is a problem of perception and mindset,” said Aleksey Kuzmin, founder and president of Wave PLM. “PLM software connects companies with vendors, helps reduce internal/external emails with vendors by 85 percent, and automates workflow for 95 percent of task creation/updates. So any objections are misplaced.” 

Here, Kuzmin explains the advantages of PLM software in general, and how Wave PLM specifically answers any hesitations.

Objection: Doesn’t Excel work just fine? 

Reality: Excel becomes difficult to manage as your company grows

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The “Excel objection” is common—for companies that have never tried automation.Excel is a useful tool for basic data management, but it can prevent your company from scaling as it becomes difficult to manage large amounts of data and track changes over time,” said Kuzmin. In addition, Wave PLM software was designed specifically for the fashion industry, but Excel is a general spreadsheet tool.

Objection: Will this be too time-consuming to implement and too complicated to teach the team?

Reality: Wave PLM has been redesigned to be user-friendly and intuitive

The “learning curve” objection is fair enough based on basic market research of generic PLM providers, and indeed, the implementation process and timeline will vary depending on the size and complexity of your company. However, the Wave PLM team can work with you to create a customized implementation plan that fits your specific needs and timeline, and for basic functionality, your company will be up and running in 48 hours or less.

“Not only has Wave PLM been redesigned recently to be user-friendly and intuitive, we also offer training and support resources—free of charge—including online tutorials, video guides and customer support,” said Kuzmin.

Objection: Does this mean relinquishing control of our data to a third-party platform?

Reality: Data protection and high data security are top priorities for Wave PLM.

“Wave PLM software includes robust security measures such as encryption, secure data storage and regular software updates to protect your data,” said Kuzmin. “Plus, by using a Wave SaaS solution, you can set permissions and control who has access to specific information, ensuring that your data remains secure.”

Objection: We need something mobile for added convenience during the complex approvals process.  

Reality: Wave PLM’s proprietary app helps users take control of the process from anywhere.

“Wave PLM created an app that lets users simply scan a bar code to get instant status updates on samples from anywhere in the world, and then approve or reject as necessary,” said Kuzmin. “There are fabric approvals, sample approvals, lab dip approvals… We focused on simplifying and eliminating steps with automation to streamline the conversations about a lot of activities—connecting steps together within the system.”

Users can even add an avatar to make it a more personalized, social experience.

Objection: What is the obligation? How can we measure the ROI? 

Reality: Utilization of PLM software can have a significant impact on your bottom line by improving efficiency, reducing errors and streamlining processes.

Wave PLM offers a three-month trial period, and includes incidentals such as reports that large software systems charge for. Companies can also measure ROI by calculating the cost savings from reduced errors and improved efficiency.

Another way to measure the ROI of PLM software is by analyzing the improvements in product quality. By having a comprehensive view of the product lifecycle and improved communication and collaboration, you can reduce the risk of mistakes and improve the overall quality of your products. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and repeat business, ultimately impacting your bottom line.

To learn more about how Wave PLM can improve your business, click here.