Winning the race for market leadership in an industry where fast fashion rules is a subtle combination of price, time to market and creative vision. Fashion companies need to excel in all these areas. So they adopt PLM technologies to introduce more method and organization to improve productivity and reduce costs but this is not always compatible with the way design teams want to work. Freedom and inspiration cannot always be tamed or structured. There are two opposing forces here yet as more and more design companies turn to PLM to give them a competitive advantage, they must not forget that their designers cannot be constrained if they want to keep those creative juices flowing.
How can companies reconcile the structured approach needed to be cost-effective and meet aggressive deadlines with an approach that encourages innovation and free-thinking? Don’t designers need to share and explore new ideas with others to continuously improve their designs so that they can propose compelling products to their consumers? While PLM technology is obviously an asset, enabling every stakeholder to be involved in the creative process, all PLM systems are not created equal. There exists a breed of non-traditional PLM systems that inspire teams while creating the structured environment companies need to be profitable.
Here’s a checklist of what a creative-inspiring PLM system should do:
- Enable teams to collaborate early in the design process in an unstructured environment
- Help design teams create design stories that appeal to consumers
- Provide designers with early visibility to design concepts and the ability to collaborate on fit, construction, and vendor selection
- Allow designers to visualize line assortment in 3D to optimize the product mix without having to wait for physical samples
- Enable designers to freely express their creativity by using powerful free-form clay-like modelling features and 3D design apps
- Allow designers to create photorealistic images for project reviews with managers and clients using powerful rendering tools
- Deliver 3D simulation features to enable designers to easily and rapidly test and validate their designs
So, in a fast-moving fashion industry where products must be delivered to market at record speed, companies that invest in a designer-friendly yet structuring PLM solution are in a better position to beat the competition and achieve business success.