No need to introduce Mark anymore (but just in case, he is the Founder and MD of whichPLM). He has been around the industry long enough (no offense Mark you haven’t changed!). Mark and I recently had lunch together and I asked him if he would come to Las Vegas to present his latest findings from the whichPLM Annual Review 2014 (coming very, very soon!). He said yes, so we encourage you to come and join us and you will hear Mark’s complete overview and see that he hasn’t changed one bit!
And if I haven’t convinced you here is a taste of some of the analysis he will share:
- In the 1990’s and years 2000, many fashion brands invested in PLM and PDM technologies. Where are these companies standing today and where should they invest tomorrow?
Although some PLM vendors do work extremely hard to build a smooth and robust upgrade path today, the way that PDM/PLM solutions were deployed in the 1990’s and earlier part of the millennium – notably the “toolbox” method – led to a situation where most PLM solutions were tailored to each customer’s needs so extensively that they might as well have been entirely bespoke. Because of this, expectations from the consumer space (the move from Windows 7 to 8, or OSX 10.8 to 10.9) cannot be applied to legacy PDM/PLM implementations, since the numbered version paradigm has in some cases been abandoned.
New PLM customers drawn by the touted reductions in implementation time, the comparatively low cost of ownership, and the potentially rapid “ROI” return on investment – for these customers and others across the market – PLM “OOTB” proven best-practice methodologies has now become essential to the smooth running of any business that depends upon product innovation to meet changing consumer needs.
- Do you think that going digital and investing more in technology is essential for apparel companies if they want to remain competitive and why?
Today, I believe that PLM has crossed the chasm, and is beginning to ascend the slope to where we might see peak adoption rates on a global
basis. In previous years we have occasionally referred to PLM as being functionally incomplete, or at least lacking in some of what we consider to
be the essential processes and capabilities. In 2014 customers of PLM can now shop for PLM with confidence, safe in the knowledge that a set of core competencies could be assumed. PLM today is in the most part considered to be a complete solution, capable of delivering against its ROI promises, and already in the hands of both early adopters and the more forward-thinking members of the broader community. And I expect that things will continue to progress even faster with the growth and integration of E-PLM (Extended-PLM) solutions and the use of PLM as an enterprise backbone for extended integration and data consolidation that has created a situation whereby PLM is rightly considered a true enterprise solution, like ERP – something that is evidenced by the significant market growth seen in recent years.
- There is a new generation of users out there that is more technology savvy than the previous one. Isn’t this a real opportunity for apparel companies to leverage this new generation?
The new generation entering the retail, brands and manufacturing market place has little or no reservations of using “smart” technologies the likes of PLM-E-PLM, in fact if anything they expect to see and use smart technologies in their daily lives. Very pleased to say gone are the days were we had to hold people’s hands whilst operating a mouse for the first time! I’m so certain of this transition that I would even say that people will move from business to business to work on smarter technologies than stay working as “fire fighters” in companies that can’t keep pace with the challenges of operating in an ever faster retail world.